Unity and Logos: A Reading of Theaetetus 201c-210a

Ancient Philosophy 12 (1):87-111 (1992)
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A close reading of Socrates’ arguments against the proposed definition of knowledge as true opinion together with a logos (“account”). I examine the orienting implications of his apparently destructive dilemma defeating the so-called dream theory and of his apparently decisive arguments rejecting the notions of “account” as verbalization, as working through the parts of the whole of the definiendum, and as identifying what differentiates the definiendum from all else. Whereas the dilemma implies of the object of knowledge that it must be both simple and complex, the last two notions of “account” point to the kinds of discursive analysis that can do justice to its complexity; together the refutations suggest the relation between noesis, that is, eidetic intuition of the object in its simplicity, and discursive analysis of the object in its complexity that knowledge requires.

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Mitchell Miller
Vassar College


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