The Sophist, 259C to the end. Philosophy 190: Plato Fall, 2014 Prof. Peter Hadreas Course website: http://www.sjsu.edu/people/peter.hadreas/courses/Plato.

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  • The Sophist, 259C to the end.Philosophy 190: PlatoFall, 2014Prof. Peter HadreasCourse website:http://www.sjsu.edu/people/peter.hadreas/courses/Plato

    Plato's Academy, a mosaic in the Museo Nazionale, Naples, (Photo: Giraudon)

  • Issue of the dialogue:

    To distinguish the sophist from the true philosopher, and in so doing, to sketch the structure of the world of Forms.

  • First six definitions ofSophist defined by method of division

  • Renewed attempt to define the'sophist by method of division (232A-237A; pp. 252-7)

  • Solution to Problem of Non-Being and Being: Some types are capable of blending and others incapable of blending with each other.(253A, p. 275)

    Third Possibility Discussed. The first two possibilities led to multiple contradictions: Third Possibility: The are some types that blend and others that don't

    Visitor: So everyone who wants to give the right answer will choose the third.Theaetetus: Absolutely.Visitor: Since some will blend and some won't, theyll be a good deal like letters of the alphabet. Some of them fit together with each other and some don't.

  • Returning to the Sophist and relation of kinds'to each other. The alphabet and musical scale analogy.(253A-B; pp. 275)Visitor: Since some will blend and some won't, theyll be a good deal like letters of the alphabet. Some of them fit together with each other and some don't.Theaetetus: Of course.Visitor: More than the other letters the vowels run through all of them like a bond, linking them together, so that without a vowel no one of the others can fit with another.Theaetetus: Definitely.Visitor: So does everyone know which kinds of letters can associate with which, or does it take an expert?Theaetetus: It takes an expert.Visitor: What kind?Theaetetus: An expert in grammar.Visitor: Well then, isn't it the same with high and low notes? The musician is the one with the expertise to know which ones mix and which ones don't, and the unmusical person is the one who doesn't understand that.Theaetetus: Yes.

  • Stanley Rosen on the Alphabet Paradigm in the Sophist

    . . . the relevant feature of the alphabet paradigm is thus spelling, a procedure in which letters combine to produce intelligible structure without either dissolving or impinging upon the integrity of their fellows. Thus, when the Stranger [the Visitor] says, after noting that some letters fit together and others do not, that the vowels run through the others like a bond, he should be taken rather literally. A bond joins things together but does not enter into their internal natures or forms. Without a vowel, it is impossible for other letters to fit together with each other to form syllables and words [252E9-253A7].1

    1. Rosen, Stanley, Plato's Sophist: The Drama or Original and Image, (South Bend, IN: Carthage Reprint/St. Augustine's Press, 1994), p. 250.

  • Stanley Rosen on the Alphabet Paradigm in the Sophist(continued)

    But the vowel does not become a predicate of the letter with which it joins in order to form a syllable or word. We assume that being, sameness, and otherness [difference] at least are vowels, and this assumption illuminates another defect of the alphabet paradigm. Every syllable [hence every word] must have at least one vowel, and it can have no more than one vowel in some cases. In the case of the cosmos or whole, however, the vowels being, sameness, and otherness [difference] must be present in every syllable and word.1

    1. Rosen, Stanley, Plato's Sophist: The Drama or Original and Image, (South Bend, IN: Carthage Reprint/St. Augustine's Press, 1994), p. 250.

  • Description of the Art of Dialectic and Philosopher as Opposed to Sophist(253C-254B; pp. 276-7)Visitor: So, Theaetetus, what shall we label this knowledge? Or, for heavens sake, without noticing we have stumbled on the knowledge that free people have? Maybe we've found the philosopher even though we were looking for the sophist?Theaetetus: What do you mean?Visitor: Aren't we going to say that it takes expertise in dialectic to divide things by kinds and not to think that the same form is a different one or that a different form is the same?Theaetetus: Yes . . . .Visitor: The sophist runs off into the darkness of that which is not, which he's had practice dealing with, and he's hard to see because the place is so dark. Isn't that right?Theaetetus: It seems to be.Visitor: But the philosopher always uses reasoning to stay near the form, being. He isn't at all easy to see because that area is so bright and the eyes of most people's souls can't bear to look at what's divine.

  • At the same time it appears that he is charismatic and highly capable of motivating, organizing, controlling, manipulating and inspiring his adherents. He has been referred to during the trial as a "genius," a "revered person," a man who was "viewed by his followers in awe." Obviously, he is and has been a very complex person and that complexity is further reflected in his alter ego, the Church of Scientology. Breckenridge Jr., Paul G. (October 24, 1984). Memorandum of Intended Decision, Church of Scientology of California vs. Gerald Armstrong. Quoted by Miller, pp. 370-71L. Ron HubbardThe evidence portrays a man who has been virtually a pathological liar when it comes to his history, background and achievements. The writings and documents in evidence additionally reflect his egoism, greed, avarice, lust for power, and vindictiveness and aggressiveness against persons perceived by him to be disloyal or hostile.

  • John Rawls, philosopher(1921 2002)Author of A Theory of Justice (1971)

  • Three Forms Selected for Purposes of Illustration: that which is restchange

    Visitor: . . . Let's not talk about every form. That way we won't be thrown off by dealing with too many of them. Instead let's choose some of the most important ones.(254C; p. 277)

  • Two additional Forms distinct from the first three but all-pervading:SamenessDifference (literally Otherness)

    Visitor: But if that which is and the same don't signify distinct things, then when we say that change and rest both are, we'll be labeling both of them as being the same.Theaetetus: But that certainly is impossible. (255C; p. 278) . . .

    Visitor: And we're going to say that it [otherness] pervades all of them [the forms], since each of them is different from [other than] the others, not because of its own nature but because of sharing in the type of the different [other than]. (255E; p. 278)

  • Aristotle Metaphysics Book X, Chapter 3 1054b22-1054b31

    But difference is not the same as otherness [ ]. For the other and that which it is other than need not be other in some different respect (for everything that exists is either one or the same), but that which is different from anything is different is some respect, so that there must be something identical whereby they differ. And this identical thing is a genus or species; for all things that differ differ either in genus or in species, in genus if the things have not their matter in common and are not generated out of each other (i. e. if they belong to different figures of predication), and in species in they have the same genus (the genus is that same thing which both the different things are said to be in respect of their substance).

  • The following pairs of statements, then, are true and consistent:

    Motion is not Rest because Motion participates in Otherness in relation to RestMotion is that which is because Motion participates in BeingMotion is not the Same because Motion participates in Otherness in relation to Rest and countless other Forms, such as the Form of Number, as well as the Form of individual numbers.Motion is the same (as itself) because Motion participates in the Form of Sameness.

  • Let stand for participates in or partakes in. Let 'stand for mutually participates in or mutually partakes in.

  • Conclusion #1:

    Of any form it can be said that it is not (any other Form) and also a thing that is, (possesses Being).(256E; p. 280)

    Visitor: So it has to be possible for that which is not to be, in the case of change and also as applied to all the other kinds. That's because as applied to all of them the nature of the different [the other than] makes each of them not be, by making it different from that which is. And we're going to be right if we say that all of them are not in this same way. And on the other hand, we're also going to be right if we call them beings, because they have a share in that which is.

  • Conclusion #2:

    There are also countless true statements asserting that what is not in a sense is.(257B-258C; p. 280-1)

    Visitor: So we won't agree with somebody who says that negation signifies a contrary: We'll only admit this much: when not and non are prefixed to names that follow them, they indicate something other than the names, or rather, other than the things to which the names following the negation are applied.Theaetetus: Absolutely.

  • Conclusion #3:

    Parmenides saying that what is cannot in any sense not-be, and that what is not cannot in any sense be has be refuted. (259D-E; p. 282)

    Visitor: You know, our disbelief in Parmenides has gone even farther than his prohibition.Theaetetus: How?Visitor: We've pushed our investigation ahead and shown him something even beyond what he prohibited us from even thinking about.Theaetetus: In what way?Visitor: Because he says, remember,

    Never shall it force itself on us, that that which is not may be;Keep your thought far away from this path of searching.

  • Conclusion #3(continued)

    Parmenides'saying that what is cannot in any sense not-be, and that what is not cannot in any sense be has be refuted. (259D-E; p. 282)

    Never shall it force itself on us, that that which is not may be;Keep your thought far away from this path of searching.

    Theaetetus: That's what he says.Visitor: But we've not only shown that those which are not are. We've also caused what turns out to be the form of that which is not to appear. Since we showed that the nature of the different [other than] is, chopped up among all beings in relation to each other, we dared to say that that which is not really is just this, namely, each part of the nature of the different [other than] that's set over against that which is.

  • Problem of Reading Aristotle, or worse Frege, back into Plato's Theory of Truth. Cornfords explanation:

    But Plato's language seems to show that he did not imagine eternal truths as existing on the shape of propositions with a structure answering to the shape of statements. He conceived them as mixtures in which Forms are blended; and the word logos is reserved for spoken statements. Hence the term proposition had better be avoided altogether; and we must realise that Dialectic is not Formal Logic, but the study of the structure of reality in fact Ontology, for the Forms are the realities ( ). [ ~ onts onta).

    1. Summary adapted from Cornford, Francis, M., Plato's Theory of Knowledge, (New York: Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc., 1957), p. 266.

  • Problem of Reading Aristotle, or worse Frege, back into Plato's Theory of Truth. Cornfords explanation:

    In Plato's view the highest Form, whether it be called Being or the One or the Good, must not be the poorest, but the richest, a universe or real being, a whole containing all that is real in a single order, a One Being that is also many. Such a form is as far as possible from resembling an Aristotelian category; for the categories are precisely the barest of abstractions, at the furthest remove from substantial reality.

    1. Summary adapted from Cornford, Francis, M., Plato's Theory of Knowledge, (New York: Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc., 1957), p. 270

  • The Account of False Statements(pp. 284-8, 260B-264B)

    Up to this point in the dialogue Plato's focus had been strictly focusing in beings.

  • Explaining Non-Being is not enough to Explain False Statements.1He [Plato] emphasizes that showing that kinds mix was necessary but not sufficient to solve all their problems and, in particular, was insufficient to solve the problem of falsehood. To do that they must must also investigate what statement and judgment (logos and doxa) are, to see if they can be false (to see if not being can mix with them (260B10-C4)). Theaetetus repeats the point (261AB), and its made a third time by the ES [Eleatic Stranger] (261C). Plato was evidently concerned that the reader should see a fresh topic has been broached and that they are moving in a new direction.

    1. As quoted from Brown, Leslie, The Sophist on Statements, Predication, and Falsehood, inThe Oxford Handbook of Plato, edited by Gail Fine, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011), p. 453.

  • How that which is and that which is not appear in speech and, as result, belief.

    Visitor: Well, perhaps you'll understand if you follow me in this way.Theaetetus: Where?Visitor: That which is not appeared to us to be one kind among others, but scattered over all those which are. Theaetetus: Yes.Visitor: So next we have to think about whether it blends with belief and speech.Theaetetus: Why?(260C-D, p. 284)

  • How that which is and that which is not appear in speech and, as result, belief.

    (Continued) Visitor: If it doesn't blend with them then everything has to be true. But if it does then there will be false belief and false speech, since falsity in thinking and speaking amount to believing and saying those that are not. Theaetetus: Yes.Visitor: And if there's falsity then there's deception.Theaetetus: Of course.Visitor: And if there's deception then necessarily the world will be full of copies, likeness and appearances.Theaetetus: Of course. (260C-D, p. 284)

  • But Plato also presumes that words, whether nouns or verbs, apart from their functions in statements, are not tokens of a mental affection (Aristotle's view1), but are a spoken signs that can indicate something about being (Sophist 262A; p. 285).

    Visitor: . . . since there are two ways to use your voice to indicate something about being.Theaetetus: What are they?Visitor: One kind is called names, and the other is called verbs. (261E, p. 285). [my emphasis]

    1. cf. Aristotle's explanation of the meaning of words in De Interpretatione 16a3-8 Ackrill trans.: Now spoken sounds are symbols of affections in the soul, and written marks symbols of spoken sounds. And just as written marks are not the same for all men, neither are spoken sounds. But what these are in the first place signs of affections of the soul are the same for all; and what these are likenesses of actual things are also the same.

  • In saying that words, in themselves, can indicate something about being, and that words have a blending function, Plato does imply that sentences are made of subjects and predicates. There is rather a weaving together of names which fit together.

    Visitor: So some things fit together and some don't. Likewise some vocal signs don't fit together, but the ones that do produce speech. (262D, p. 286)

  • Weft and woof are Old English words for woven.

  • Plato Aserts Speech ( as Statements) Requires Subjects and Verbs. (pp. 285-6, 262B-D). He has the notion of a Statement as a Speech Act.

    VISITOR: So no speech is formed just from names spoken in a row, and also not from verbs that are spoken without names.THEAETETUS: I didnt understand that.VISITOR: Clearly you were focusing on something else when you agreed with me just now. What I meant was simply this: things dont form speech if theyre said in a row like this.THEAETETUS: Like whatVISITOR: For example, walks, runs, sleeps, and other verbs that signify actions. Even if somebody said of them one after another that wouldnt be speech.THEAETETUS: Of course not.

  • Plato Assets Speech ( as Statements) Requires Subjects and Verbs. (pp. 285-6, 262B-D) He has the notion of a Speech Act.VISITOR: Again, if somebody said lion stag horse, and whatever names there are of things that perform actions the series wouldnt make up speech. The sounds he uttered in the first or second way wouldnt indicate either an action or an inaction of the being of something that is or of something that is not not until he mixed verbs with nouns. But when he did that, theyd fit together and speech the simplest and smallest kind of speech, I suppose would arise from that first weaving of name and verb together. THEATETUS: What do you mean?VISITOR: When someone says man learns, would you say thats the shortest and simplest kind of speech?THEAETETUS: Yes.VISITOR: Since he gives an indication about what is, or comes to be, or has come to be, or is going to be. And he doesnt just name, but accomplishes something [ , that is bring to an end, finish, accomplish, execute something], by weaving, by weaving verbs with names. Thats why we said he speaks and doesnt just name. In fact this weaving is what we use the work speech for.THEAETETUS: Right.

  • Platos Formula for Falsehood in Statements in Terms of Sameness and Difference (Otherness) of a statement or logos.

    Visitor: But if someone says things about you, but says different things as the same or not beings as beings, then it definitely seems that false speech really and truly arises from that kind of putting together of names and verbs. (263D; p. 287)

  • Interpretations of Plato on False Statements.The Oxford Interpretation1

    The Oxford interpretation. The false logos, Theaetetus flies, says about Theaetetus, something that is different from everything that is about him. On this reading the Problem [the assertion that if Plato is referring to word classes. So thing in the formula for falsehood should be pluralized as things and so should be being as beings] is solved. Theaetetus is talking will indeed by false if talking differs from everything which is about him (i. e., which is true of him).

    1. As quoted in Brown, Leslie, The Sophist on Statements, Predication, and Falsehood, inThe Oxford Handbook of Plato, edited by Gail Fine, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011), p. 455. The disgnation Oxford Interpretation arises from Keyt, Plato on Falsity: Sophist 263B, in Exegesis and Argument, Lee, Mourelatos, and Rorty (eds.), pp. 284-305.

  • Interpretations of Plato on False Statements.The Incompatibility Interpretation1

    The false, logos Theaetetus flies, says about Theaetetus, something that is incompatible with what is known about him. This too solves the Problem. If I ascribe an attribute incompatible with what is about Theaetetus, I must indeed be making a false statement about him. While talking is merely different from sitting, flying is or was before the invention of the airplane incompatible with sitting.

    1. As quoted in Brown, Leslie, The Sophist on Statements, Predication, and Falsehood, inThe Oxford Handbook of Plato, edited by Gail Fine, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011), p. 455. The disgnation Oxford Interpretation arises from Keyt, Plato on Falsity: Sophist 263B, in Exegesis and Argument, Lee, Mourelatos, and Rorty (eds.), pp. 284-305.

  • Interpretations of Plato on False Statements.Leslie Browns Revised Incompatibility Interpretation1

    The false, logos Theaetetus flies, says about Theaetetus, something that is different [from the relevant range of incompatible properties] from what is about you because it says you are flying, which is a different one of the range of locomotive properties from the one that applies to you namely sitting.

    1. As quoted in Brown, Leslie, The Sophist on Statements, Predication, and Falsehood, inThe Oxford Handbook of Plato, edited by Gail Fine, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011), p. 457.

  • Instructors (Hadreas) comment to the three mentioned Interpretations.

    The simple or revised incompatibility interpretation may work to explain how the logos, Theaetetus flies is false, but it leaves out that just as commentators seem to have missed that Plato hit upon a statement as a speech-act, he also hit upon the notion that a true meaningful statement needs to imply a speaker and auditor or writer and reader. Plato is adding dialogistic condition of truthful or false statements. The definition of false statements literally translated:

    VISITOR: About things said of you, however, which are other than as the same and not being as being, it seems for each case that such a generated synthesis from verbs and nouns really and truly generates false speech. [Emphasis added] (263D1-4)

  • Stanley Rosen Also Notes the Dialogistic Element in Platos Analysis1

    Let us first try to translate the definition as literally as possible. When things are so spoken about you [ ] that the other is spoken as the same and things that are not as things that are [ ], is seems that such a synthesis brought about through from verbs and nouns, has produced in all respects what is genuinely and truly [ ] false . [263D1-4]. The definition is formulated in terms of what is said about Theaetetus. I do not think we should disregard this fact entirely, and move to a general definition.

    Rosen, Stanley, Plato's Sophist: The Drama or Original and Image, (South Bend, IN: Carthage Reprint/St. Augustine's Press, 1994), p. 305.

  • False Speech Leads to False Belief

    Visitor: Aren't thought and speech the same, except that what we call thought is speech that occurs without a voice, inside the soul in conversation with itself?Theaetetus: Of course.. . .Visitor: And then again we know that speech contains . . .Theaetetus: What?Visitor: Affirmation and denial.Theaetetus: Yes.Visitor: So when affirmation and denial occurs as silent thought inside the soul, wouldn't you call that belief?Theaetetus: Of course.

  • Appearance is the Blending of Perception and Belief

    Visitor: So since there is true and false speech, and of the process just mentioned, thinking appeared to be the souls conversation with itself, belief the conclusion of thinking, and what we call appearing the blending of perception and belief, it follows that since these are all the same kind of thing as speech, some of them must be sometimes false. (264B; p. 288)

  • With this Analysis of False Belief and Appearance Especially As Directed To Persons -- We Can Return to the Definition of the Sophist, for We Were Stymied by the Problem of False Belief

  • Previous attempt to define the'sophist by method of division (232A-237A; pp. 252-7)

  • Final definition of the'sophist by method of division (265A-268D; pp. 289-295)

  • Belief-Mimicry and Justice(267c; p. 291)

    Visitor: What about the character of justice and all of virtues taken together? Don't many people who are ignorant of it, but have some beliefs about it, try hard to cause what they believe it is to appear to be present in them. And don't they imitate it in their words and actions as much as they can?Theaetetus: Very many people do that.

  • Summary Definition of Sophist(268D-p. 293)C. J. Rowe's translation

    Visitor: Imitation of the contrary-speech-producing, insincere and unknowing sort, of the appearance-making kind of copy-making, the word-juggling part of production that's marked off as human not divine. Anyone who says the sophist is of this blood and family will be saying, it seems, the complete truth.

  • Over 300children were murdered at Jonestown, almost all of them by cyanide poisoning. Jones died from a gunshot wound to the head; it is suspected his death was a suicide.Downloaded from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_JonesJim JonesJames Warren "Jim" Jones (May 13, 1931 November 18, 1978) was an American cult leader and community organizer. Jones was the founder and the leader of the Peoples Temple, best known for the mass suicide in November 1978 of 909 of its members in Jonestown, Guyana,[1] and the murder of five individuals at a nearby airstrip, including Congressman Leo Ryan.

  • Literal Translation of Summary Definition of Sophist(268D-p. 293)

    VISITOR: The dissembling contradiction-mongering part of belief-imitation, of the fantastical kind of copy-making, which is marked off, not by divine but by human production in words of the conjuring sort that is this one's lineage and blood, and if one were to say this is the real sophist,'the complete truth, as it were, would be told.

    NOTE: The construction of the sentence defines the sophist, in reverse from the method of division, from its narrower to is broader kinds, and ends with told, emphasizing the voicing of the being of the sophist.

  • Human Art of ProductionArt of Copy-makingfantastical-copy making in conjuring wordsbelief-imitationdissembling contradiction-mongering

  • Logical equivalences involving conditional statementspq ~pqpq ~q ~ppq ~pqpq ~(p~q)pq (pq)(qp)

  • For these equivalences to hold, we must allow for so-called material conditional with the following truth table:

    This leads to a disconnect between logical symbology and ordinary English meaning: Any false antecedent statement, will result in a true truth value for the whole conditional. So (2 + 2 = 5) I am the king of Spain is a valid inference.

    pQP QTTTTFFFTTFFT

  • Logical Equivalences Between Universal and Existential Quantifiers

    x:p(x) ~x: ~p(x)

    x:p(x) ~x: ~p(x)

  • References for slides used in this powerpoint Slide #28: picture of warp and woof: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weaving#mediaviewer/File:Warp_and_weft.jpgSlide #41, photograph of L. Ron Hubbard: http://f.edgesuite.net/data/www.scientology.org/files/profile-LRH.jpg?__utmaSlide #43, photograph of Jim Jones:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Jones http://www.ticketmaster.com/Bill-Maher-tickets/artist/821441

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