Thoughts on Plato’s Statesman

Plato's Statesman is a largely unremarkable dialogue. Unlike its parallel dialogues with the explicit subject being political philosophy, such as the Republic or the Laws, the Statesman fails to cover the ground necessary to fully examine the topic, and its main subject matter may more appropriately be called political science. The dialogue picks up from where the Sophist leaves off. Socrates and the geometer, … Continue reading Thoughts on Plato’s Statesman

Considering Plato’s Sophist

The Sophist, a favorite of Martin Heidegger, begins without introduction and takes place the following morning after the end of the Theaetetus. Unlike the Theaetetus, it has no introduction from the Megarians many decades later. Theodorus, a a man who meets his obligations, opens the dialogue: "It is in accordance with yesterday's agreement..." (116 A). He has brought with … Continue reading Considering Plato’s Sophist

A Note on Temporality in the Theaetetus

Without drawing too closely from Heidegger, let us consider the pacing and timing of the Theaetetus. The dialogue is bookended by two very different temporal situations. The first words of the dialogue are: "Just now, Terpsion, or a long time ago...". We encounter Euclides and Terpsion mid-discussion in the agora in Megara. Terpsion responds that he … Continue reading A Note on Temporality in the Theaetetus

Why Theaetetus?

The Theaetetus is the first of seven dialogues chronologically leading up to the death of Socrates. It is an extraordinarily unique dialogue in the Platonic corpus. At the outset, the dialogue is framed as a conversation between Euclides and Terpsion from Megara around three decades after the initial conversation between Socrates and Theaetetus had originally taken place (When … Continue reading Why Theaetetus?

Outline of the Theaetetus

As Strauss notes, there are always three different layers to a Platonic dialogue. On the surface, the Theaetetus is a dialogue addressing the question of knowledge. Contextually within the larger series of dialogues, the Theaetetus is the first in a series leading up to the death of Socrates (Theaetetus, Euthyphro, Sophist, Statesman, Apology, Crito, Phaedo). It is, first and … Continue reading Outline of the Theaetetus