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date: 17 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter pursues two themes concerning the relation between epistemology and metaphysics in the Theaetetus. The first theme concerns Plato’s methodology: sometimes Socrates examines a thesis on its own, and sometimes he examines it by assuming premises on behalf of that thesis. These ancillary theses introduce metaphysical ideas and commitments that are meant to describe sufficient conditions under which the proposed definitions would be true. But they turn out to create problems for the very definitions they were meant to support. The second theme of the discussion concerns the kinds of objects of knowledge under consideration. For the reader of the Theaetetus, the theory of Forms is the elephant in the room—Socrates never mentions it, but that does not mean it has gone away.

Keywords: Plato, dialogues, philosophy, Theaetetus, epistemology, metaphysics, Socrates, theory of Forms

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