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Ambuel, David.

Turtles All the Way Down.

On Plato's Theaetetus, a Commentary and Translation.
2015. 315 S. 29,50 Euro. 14,8 x 21 cm. 978-3-89665-640-7.
(Academia Philosophical Studies Bd. 51)

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The Theaetetus is subtitled peri epistemes, on knowledge, and peirastikos, tentative. Theaetetus' three attempted definitions of knowledge, each ventured only to fail, are structured in a cascading reduction. This regress functions both negatively, as an indirect demonstration that knowledge is not definable in term of opinion or judgment, that is, knowledge is not "opinion plus," but also positively, as the ill-fated definitions build upon one another to delineate the elements necessary for a possible theory of judgment. The themes of knowledge and judgment never resolve, yet, through the multiple peirastic beginnings that perish struggling to say something lasting about knowledge, this main theme ties together the dialogue's many subthemes-wisdom and character; sophistry and its relation to philosophy; Socrates' trial; intellectual midwifery, or Socratic dialectic; appearance and reality; Heracliteanism; Eleaticism; forms and participation; unity and plurality; particularity and universality; identity and difference; memory and time; relations; the relation of resemblance.

One could go on. The guiding question, how to define knowledge, is a theoretical one, and the reasoning becomes progressively more abstract as the dialogue proceeds, while at the same time never straying far from practical implications: the theoretical conception of knowledge holds consequences made manifest in human action and deliberation. The dialogue about knowledge is also a dialogue about wisdom.


David Ambuel is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Mary Washington. Previous publications include Image and Paradigm in Plato's Sophist (2007) and Philosophy, Religion, and the Question of Intolerance (co-editor, 1997).



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Andere neue Titel aus dieser Schriftenreihe/Other new books from this series:

Boeckh, August. Encyclopédie et méthodologie des sciences philologiques. Édité, présenté et traduit par Marie-Dominique Richard.

Ferber, Rafael. Platos Idee des Guten. Dritte Auflage.

Ferber, Rafael. Key Concepts in Philosophy.

Finamore, John F.; Phillips, John. Literary, Philosophical, and Religious Studies in the Platonic Tradition. Edited by John F. Finamore and John Phillips.

Hadot, Ilsetraut. Le néoplatonicien Simplicius à la lumière des recherches contemporaines.

Lire les dialogues, mais lesquels et dans quel ordre ? Edited by Anne Balansard and Isabelle Koch.

Newton, Isaac. Mathematische Grundlagen der Naturphilosophie. 4. Auflage. Übersetzt und herausgegeben von Ed Dellian.

Ostenfeld, Erik Nis. Human Wisdom.

Périllié, Jean-Luc. Mystères socratiques et Traditions orales de l'eudémonisme dans les Dialogues de Platon. 2ieme edition.

Questioni epicuree. Edited by Dino De Sanctis, Emidio Spinelli, Mauro Tulli and Francesco Verde.

Reason and No-reason from Ancient Philosophy to Neurosciences. Edited by R. Loredana Cardullo and Francesco Coniglione.

Robinson, Thomas M. The Other Olympians.

Andere Neuerscheinungen/Other new books:

By the sophists to Aristotle through Plato. Edited by Elisabetta Cattanei, Arianna Fermani, Maurizio Migliori.

For a Skeptical Peripatetic. Edited by Yosef Liebersohn, Ivor Ludlam and Amos Edelheit.

The Harmony of Conflict. Edited by Francisco L. Lisi and Michele Curnis.

Il NOUS di Aristotele. Edited by Fabio Stella, Maria Giovanna Sillitti, Francesco Fronterotta.

José Antonio Giménez Salinas. Theorie und Praxis bei Platon.

Licciardi, Ivan Adriano. Parmenide tràdito, Parmenide tradìto nel Commentario di Simplicio alla Fisica di Aristotele.

Mansfeld, Jaap et al. Melissus between Miletus and Elea.

Meister Eckhart. Kommentar zum Buch der Weisheit. 2. Auflage. Eingeleitet, übersetzt und erläutert von Karl Albert.

Nous, Polis, Nomos. Edited by A. Havlíček / Ch. Horn / J. Jinek .

Plato in Symposium. Edited by Mauro Tulli and Michael Erler.

Understanding the 'Phaedrus'. Second edition. Edited by Livio Rossetti.