Ordinary Language, Cephalus and a Deflationary Account of the Forms

Humanities Bulletin 3 (1):17-29 (2020)
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In this article I seek to come to some understanding of the interlocutors in the first book of Plato’s Republic, particularly Cephalus. A more complete view of Cephalus not only provides some interesting ways to think about Plato and the Republic, but also suggests an interesting alternative to Plato’s view of justice. The article will progress as follows: First, I discuss Plato’s allegory of the cave. I, then, critique the cave allegory by applying the same kind of reasoning that O. K. Bouwsma used to criticize Descartes’ evil genius. Next, I present what I think is a fruitful way to understand Cephalus. Finally, I draw some important conclusions regarding justice and offer some interesting critiques of Plato and Platonism.

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Joshua Anderson
Virginia State University


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