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The Rational Enterprise
logos in Plato's Theaetetus
The Rational Enterprise
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Rosemary Desjardins - Author
SUNY series in Ancient Greek Philosophy
N/A
Hardcover - 275 pages
Release Date: April 1990
ISBN10: 0-88706-837-5
ISBN13: 978-0-88706-837-9

Out of Print
Price: $31.95 
Paperback - 275 pages
Release Date: March 1990
ISBN10: 0-88706-838-3
ISBN13: 978-0-88706-838-6

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Summary

"Desjardins' conclusion, that the Theaetetus really does point to a particular theory of knowledge, certainly will be controversial, since for many people the idea that the Theaetetus fails to define knowledge is the cornerstone of their interpretation of Plato's later philosophical thought. But whatever one thinks about the conclusion, it must be agreed that the manner in which it is defended is intrinsically important. Desjardins starts from the unassailable premise that the dialogues are internally unified, and that everything in the dialogues is there for a reason. Her method, then, is to show how some of the features of the dialogue that are usually not taken very seriously actually are very important. Of course, she is not the only scholar taking this sort of tack, but what she makes of the various elements of the Theaetetus is a most impressive construction.

"I'll take this opportunity to praise her repeated use of the mathematical paradigm set up at the beginning. Most commentators have essentially ignored the emphasis put upon the references to mathematics in the dialogue; Desjardins has made them, quite rightly, a cornerstone of her interpretation. Why would the dialogue have featured two great mathematicians, and been named and written in honor of one of them, who was to be cited for his contributions to mathematics in Euclid's Elements? Why else than what is said about mathematics in the dialogue is the key to the meaning of the dialogue?" -- Anthony Preus, State University of New York at Binghamton

"Desjardins has discovered and argued for an interesting and novel interpretation of a pervasive form of argumentation in Plato's dialogues and especially the Theaetetus. Hence, her contribution to Platonic scholarship is of first rate importance. Desjardins is one of the few interpreters who really bring together both the drama and the argumentation in the dialogues, and thus she systematically treats the whole philosophical drama." -- Henry Teloh, Vanderbilt University

Rosemary Desjardins is Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the New School for Social Research.


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements

Prologue

Introduction

Overview of the Theaetetus
Apparent Failure of the Theaetetus
Interpretation of the Theaetetus

1. Ambiguity

Ambiguity of Theaetetus' Logos
Ambiguity of Protagoras' Logos
Ambiguity of Heracleitus' Logos

Transition: Ambiguity and Initiation

Part One: The "Mysteries" of Aisthesis

2. Kompsoteros Theory of Generation

Continuum
Division of the Continuum
Generative Combination
The Generated Product

3. Kompsoteros Theory of Perception

Continuum
Division of the Continuum
Generative Combination
The Generated Product
Retrospective

4. Kompsoteros Method

Tripartite Theory: Philebus
Tripartite Practice: Sophist and Statesman Theaetetus
Implications of the Tripartite Method
Presuppositions of the Tripartite Method

Mathematical Interlude: Kompsoteros Method and "Playing the Geometer"

Part Two: The "Mysteries" of Episteme

5. "Knowledge is ... perception (aisthesis)

Epistemological Dimension: Cross-examination of Protagorean Doctrine
Ontological Dimension: Cross-examination of Hercaleitean Doctrine
Retrospective

6. "Knowledge is true opinion (doxa alethes)

The KompsoterosPattern for Doxa
The Problem of Doxa
The Interpretation of Doxa
Retrospective

7. "... logos (meta logou)

The Kompsoteros Pattern for Logos
Logos in the Theaetetus
The Dialogues as Logoi
Logos in Socrates' "dream"

8. "... what knowledge (episteme) really is"

Socrates' "dream" as Resume of Kompsoteros Theory
Refutation of Socrates' "dream"
The Account of Knowledge
Overview

Conclusion

Epilogue: The Mathematical Paradigm

Appendix A: Socrates' Dice Illustration

Appendix B: Emergence

Notes

Bibliography

Index



Related Subjects
25051/24503(WDE/CL/)

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Inner Experience
Inner Experience
Living and Value
Living and Value
Beyond the Call of Duty
Beyond the Call of Duty
Plato's Theory of Explanation
Plato's Theory of Explanation
Existence, Truth, and Probability
Existence, Truth, and Probability
Hegel's Quest For Certainty
Hegel's Quest For Certainty
Everybody's Story
Everybody's Story
Schelling's Dialogical Freedom Essay
Schelling's Dialogical Freedom Essay
The Darkness and the Light
The Darkness and the Light
Schelling's Organic Form of Philosophy
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