The Resource Plato's theory of knowledge ; : The Theaetetus and the Sophist, Plato ; translated, with commentary, by Francis M. Cornford, (electronic resource)

Plato's theory of knowledge ; : The Theaetetus and the Sophist, Plato ; translated, with commentary, by Francis M. Cornford, (electronic resource)

Plato's theory of knowledge ; : The Theaetetus and the Sophist
Plato's theory of knowledge ;
Title remainder
The Theaetetus and the Sophist
Statement of responsibility
Plato ; translated, with commentary, by Francis M. Cornford
  • eng
  • grc
  • eng
Translated by the noted classical scholar Francis M. Cornford, this edition of two masterpieces of Plato's later period features extensive ongoing commentaries by Cornford that provide helpful background information and valuable insights. Both works pose eternal questions that keep these dialogs ever-relevant not only for students of philosophy but also for every reader and thinker. The Theatetus offers a systematic treatment of the question, What is knowledge? Most of the dialog takes place between Socrates and the student Theatetus. Among the answers they explore: knowledge as perception; knowledge as true belief; knowledge as true belief plus an account (i.e., a justified true belief); as well as variations on each of these answers. Like most Socratic dialogs, the Theatetus ends without a definitive answer leaving the subject open for the reader's further consideration. In the Sophist, a related dialog, Plato redefines the term sophist, which hitherto had connoted one who gives sophia (wisdom) to his disciples. Plato depreciated the term, and ever since, in philosophy, sophistry indicates the deceptive exploitation of linguistic ambiguities. The dialog follows Socrates' cross-examination of a self-proclaimed true philosopher, The Stranger, on the distinction between philosophers, statesmen, and sophists
Member of
Cataloging source
Dewey number
index present
LC call number
LC item number
C6 2003eb
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
  • dictionaries
  • bibliography
Series statement
Dover philosophical classics
Plato's theory of knowledge ; : The Theaetetus and the Sophist, Plato ; translated, with commentary, by Francis M. Cornford, (electronic resource)
Plato's theory of knowledge ; : The Theaetetus and the Sophist, Plato ; translated, with commentary, by Francis M. Cornford, (electronic resource)
Originally published: New York : Liberal Arts Press, 1957, in series: The library of liberal arts
Related Contributor
Related Location
Related Agents
Related Authorities
Related Subjects
Related Items
Antecedent source
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references and index
Carrier category
online resource
Carrier category code
Carrier MARC source
Content category
Content type code
Content type MARC source
  • The Theaetetus. The introductory dialogue -- The main dialogue -- Introductory conversation -- I. The claim of perception to be knowledge -- Theaetetus identifies knowledge with perception -- Dialectical combination of Theaetetus' position with Protagoras' doctrine -- Dialectical combination with the Heracleitean doctrine of Flux -- Preliminary account of the nature of sense-objects and percipients -- Some puzzles concerning size and number -- Theory of the nature of sense-perception -- Theaetetus accepts the theory of perception -- The claim of perception, so defined, to be infallible -- Interlude. Criticism begins -- Some objections against Protagoras -- Objections to a simple identification of perceiving and knowing -- Socrates undertakes to defend Protagoras -- The defence of Protagoras -- Interlude -- Criticism of Protagoras' doctrine as extended to all judgments -- Restatement of the question : wherein lies the superiority of the wise? -- Digression. The contrast of philosophy and rhetoric -- Refutation of the defence of Protagoras -- The extreme Heracleitean position, contrasted with Parmenides' denial of all motion and change -- Criticism of extreme Heracleiteanism -- Interlude. Socrates declines to criticise Parmenides -- 'Perception is knowledge' finally disproved -- II. The claim of true judgment to be knowledge -- Theaetetus states the claim of true judgment -- How is false judgment possible? -- False judgment as thinking that one thing (know or unknown) is another thing (known or unknown) -- False judgment as thinking the thing that is not -- The apparent impossibility of false judgment as mistaking one thing for another -- One class of mistakes can be explained by taking into account memory. The wax tablet -- False judgment in general cannot, however, be defined as the misfitting of perception to thought -- Memory compared to an Aviary, to provide for mistaken judgments not involving perception -- Rejection of 'interchange of pieces of knowledge' as an account of false judgment -- Conclusion : knowledge cannot be defined as true belief -- III. The claim of true belief accompanied by an account or explanation to be knowledge -- Socrates states this theory as he has heard it -- The theory cirticised for making elements unknowable -- Three possible meanings of 'account' : (1) expression of thought in speech (irrelevant) -- (2) Enumeration of elementary parts. This will not convert a true notion into knowledge -- (3) The statement of a distinguishing mark. This will not convert a true notion into knowledge -- Epilogue. All these attempts to define knowledge have failed --
  • The Sophist. Introductory conversation -- Illustrative division defining the Angler -- The seven divisions defining the Sophist -- Division I. The Sophist as hunter -- Divisions II-IV. The Sophist as salesman -- Division V. Eristic -- Division VI. Cathartic method of Socrates -- The methods of collection and division -- Survey yielding the genus 'image-making' -- Division of image-making into two species -- Statement of the problems of unreal appearances and of falsity in speech and thought -- I. The worlds of reality and appearance -- (a) The totally unreal -- (b) Definition of eidolon and the problem of false statement and belief -- (c) The perfectly real. What does 'real' mean? -- Criticism of Parmenides' one real being -- The battle of gods and giants. Idealists and materialists -- A mark of the real is offered for the materialists' acceptance -- The idealists must concede that reality includes some changing things -- Transition. What does the idealist mean by 'real'? -- II. The combination of forms and the problem of negative statements -- Exclusion of the trivial question, how one individual thing can have many names -- Proof that some forms will combine, others will not -- The texture of philosophic discourse -- Description of the science of dialectic -- The structure of the world of forms -- Three of the most important forms selected for purposes of illustration : existence, motion, rest -- Two further forms, sameness and difference, distinct from these three and all-pervading -- A review of true statements involving the five forms shows that there are any number of true statements asserting that 'what is' in a sense 'is not' -- There are also any number of true statements asserting that 'what is not' in a sense 'is' -- Conclusion : we have refuted Parmenides' dogma that 'what is' cannot in any sense 'not-be', and that 'what is not' cannot in any sense 'be' -- III. False speaking and thinking -- Introductory statement of the problem -- Every statement is a complex of heterogeneous elements (name and verb) -- Every statement is about something and is either true or false -- The definition of true statement -- The definition of false statement -- Judgment being simply unspoken statement, false judgment and false 'appearing' are possible -- Transition, connecting these results with the interrupted division of image-making -- Division VII. The Sophist as a species of image-maker
Control code
1 online resource (xii, 336 pages)
File format
Form of item
Isbn Type
(electronic bk.)
Level of compression
Media category
Media MARC source
Media type code
Quality assurance targets
not applicable
Reformatting quality
unknown sound
Specific material designation
Stock number

Library Locations

  • African-American Resource CenterBorrow it
    1520 North Hartford, Tulsa, OK, 74106, US
    36.177425 -95.984795
  • American Indian Resource CenterBorrow it
    2224 West 51st Street, Tulsa, OK, 74107, US
    36.089493 -96.017975
  • Bixby LibraryBorrow it
    20 East Breckenridge, Bixby, OK, 74008, US
    35.941196 -95.882858
  • Broken Arrow LibraryBorrow it
    300 West Broadway, Broken Arrow, OK, 74012, US
    36.052799 -95.793762
  • Brookside LibraryBorrow it
    1207 East 45th Place, Tulsa, OK, 74105, US
    36.098392 -95.976791
  • Central LibraryBorrow it
    400 Civic Center, Tulsa, OK, 74103, US
    36.150291 -95.994675
  • Charles Page LibraryBorrow it
    551 East 4th Street, Sand Springs, OK, 74063, US
    36.14093 -96.102013
  • Collinsville LibraryBorrow it
    1223 Main, Collinsville, OK, 74021, US
    36.364716 -95.839783
  • Community Outreach and Literacy ServicesBorrow it
    2901 South Harvard, Tulsa, OK, 74114, US
    36.126396 -95.850967
  • Genealogy CenterBorrow it
    8316 East 93rd Street, Tulsa, OK, 74133, US
    36.026527 -95.882851
  • Glenpool LibraryBorrow it
    730 East 141st Street, Glenpool, OK, 74033, US
    35.959007 -95.999352
  • Hardesty Regional LibraryBorrow it
    8316 East 93rd Street, Tulsa, OK, 74133, US
    36.026527 -95.882851
  • Herman and Kate Kaiser LibraryBorrow it
    5202 South Hudson Avenue, Suite B, Tulsa, OK, 74135, US
    36.087879 -95.913635
  • Hispanic Resource CenterBorrow it
    2601 South Garnett Road, Tulsa, OK, 74129, US
    36.126396 -95.850967
  • Jenks LibraryBorrow it
    523 West B Street, Jenks, OK, 74037, US
    36.024796 -95.975784
  • Judy Z. Kishner LibraryBorrow it
    10150 North Cincinnati Avenue E, Tulsa, OK, 74073, US
    36.307392 -95.991371
  • Kendall Whittier LibraryBorrow it
    21 S. Lewis, Tulsa, OK, 74104, US
    36.15889 -95.957886
  • LibrariumBorrow it
    1110 South Denver Ave., Tulsa, OK, 74119, US
    36.145419 -95.992799
  • Martin Regional LibraryBorrow it
    2601 South Garnett Road, Tulsa, OK, 74129, US
    36.126396 -95.850967
  • Maxwell Park LibraryBorrow it
    1313 North Canton, Tulsa, OK, 74115, US
    36.174 -95.918648
  • Nathan Hale LibraryBorrow it
    6038 East 23rd Street, Tulsa, OK, 74114, US
    36.129539 -95.905617
  • Owasso LibraryBorrow it
    103 W. Broadway, Owasso, OK, 74055, US
    36.266193 -95.855667
  • Peggy Helmerich LibraryBorrow it
    5131 East 91st Street, Tulsa, OK, 74137, US
    36.032127 -95.918701
  • Pratt LibraryBorrow it
    3219 South 113th W Avenue, Sand Springs, OK, 74063, US
    36.115589 -96.119003
  • Rudisill Regional LibraryBorrow it
    1520 North Hartford, Tulsa, OK, 74106, US
    36.177425 -95.984795
  • Schusterman-Benson LibraryBorrow it
    3333 East 32nd Place, Tulsa, OK, 74135, US
    36.116108 -95.938911
  • Skiatook LibraryBorrow it
    316 East Rogers, Skiatook, OK, 74070, US
    36.368568 -95.998375
  • South Broken Arrow LibraryBorrow it
    3600 South Chestnut, Broken Arrow, OK, 74011, US
    36.016449 -95.818459
  • Suburban Acres LibraryBorrow it
    4606 North Garrison, Tulsa, OK, 74126, US
    36.22065 -95.987175
  • Zarrow Regional LibraryBorrow it
    2224 West 51st Street, Tulsa, OK, 74107, US
    36.089493 -96.017975
Processing Feedback ...