Names and nature in Plato's Cratylus


Names and nature in Plato's Cratylus

Rachel Barney

(Studies in philosophy)

Routledge, 2001

  • : alk. paper

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Revised version of the author's thesis (Ph. D.)--Princeton University, 1996

Includes bibliographical references and index



This study offers a ckomprehensive new interpretation of one of Plato's dialogues, the Cratylus. Throughout, the book combines analysis of Plato's arguments with attentiveness to his philosophical method.


Preface Introduction: The Argument of the Cratylus 1. From Convention to Nature 1.1 Conventionalism 1.2 Subjectivism 1.3. The Significance of Conventionalism 1.4. Against Conventionalism 1.5 The First Stage of Naturalism: Names as Tools 2. The Second Stage of Naturalism: Function and Genre in the Etymologies 2.1 Rational Reconstruction 2.2 The Inspiration of Episode 2.3 The Agonistic Display 2.4 The Etymologies as Agon 2.5 Polato and Parmendis on the Deceptiveness of Language 3. The Third Stage of Naturalism: Mimetic Correctness 3.1 Beyond Etymology 3.2 Mimesis and the Elements of Language 3.3 Draft and the Foundations of Correctness 4. Natureal Correctness Re-examined 4.1 The dianome Argument 4.2 On the Correctness of Images 4.3 The Two Cratyluses 4.4 The Sklerotes Argument 4.5 The Names of the Numbers 4.6 Conclusions About Correctness 5. The Name of Things 5.1 Against the Study of Names 5.2 Language, Knowledge and Flux 6. The Cratylus and After: Names and Logoi 6.1 The Seventh Letter and the Weakness of Language 6.2. Logos and Knowledge 7. The Cratylus and After: false Statement 7.1 False Statement in the Cratylus 7.2 The Sophist on Syntax 7.3 The Sophist on False Statement Bibliography Index

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