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  1. Commerce, Theft and Deception : The Etymology of Hermes in Plato’s Cratylus.Olof Pettersson - forthcoming - In Filip Karfik & Vladimir Mikes (eds.), Proceeding from the XI International Plato Symposium. Brill.
    In the light of Socrates’ largely neglected etymological account of the name Hermes, this article reexamines the dialogue’s perplexing conclusion that reality should not be sought through names, but through itself. By a close scrutiny of three claims made in this etymology – that language is commercial, thievish and deceptive – it argues that Socrates’ discussion about the relation between names and reality cannot only be meaningfully understood in terms of his characterization of language as deceptive and therefore tragic, but (...)
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  • The Legacy of Hermes: Deception and Dialectic in Plato’s Cratylus.Olof Pettersson - 2016 - Journal of Ancient Philosophy 10 (1):26-58.
    Against the background of a conventionalist theory, and staged as a defense of a naturalistic notion of names and naming, the critique of language developed in Plato’s Cratylus does not only propose that human language, in contrast to the language of the gods, is bound to the realm of myth and lie. The dialogue also concludes by offering a set of reasons to think that knowledge of reality is not within the reach of our words. Interpretations of the dialogue’s long (...)
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  • Ancient Etymology and the Enigma of Okeanos.Elsa Bouchard - 2020 - Rhizomata 8 (1):107-131.
    Okeanos is at once a mythological figure and a philosophical concept appearing in many ancient accounts of the world. A frequent object of allegoresis, his cosmological role and his name posed an enigma to Homer’s readers, especially those with a rationalizing bent. This paper proposes that the paradoxical representation of Okeanos as a primordial generative power and a geographical limit may be explained by the influence of etymological speculation, which was a popular heuristic method used by Greek intellectuals from the (...)
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  • Platonism, Moral Nostalgia, and the “City of Pigs”.Rachel Barney - 2002 - Proceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium of Ancient Philosophy 17 (1):207-236.
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