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Plato's Sophist: The Professor of Wisdomby Plato
Synopses & Reviews
Plato's "Sophist" takes the form of a conversation between four characters - Socrates, the great philosopher who is shortly to be tried for impiety and corruption, Theaetetus, a brilliant young mathematician, Theaetetus' elderly teacher Theodorus, and a stranger introduced as "a very philosophical man". The conversation, often considered one of the greatest of all Platonic dialogues, concerns "the purveyor of ignorance" - the sophist. In the Greece of Socrates' time there was a group of travelling professors who gave themselves the honorary title of "sophists", or "wisdom-pliers". Their principle activity was to sell their expertise, particularly of rhetorical techniques and of philosophical opinions. This trading of philosophical insight by those believing themselves to be universal experts is politely but devastatingly undermined by Socrates and his interlocutors, in this, one of the most important of Plato's extant philosophical texts.
Socrates and others discuss the epistemological and metaphysical puzzles of Parmenides, presenting a new conception of the Theory of Forms, with aims to define the meaning of the Sophist. English translation with notes and introductory essay.
This is an English translation of Plato presenting a new conception of the Theory of Forms. Socrates and others discuss the epistemological and metaphysical puzzles of the Parmenides, with aims to define the meaning of the Sophist. The glossary of key terms is a unique addition to Platonic literature by which concepts central to each dialogue are discussed and cross-referenced as to their occurrences throughout the work. In such a way students are encouraged to see beyond the words into concepts.
Focus Philosophical Library translations are close to and are non-interpretative of the original text, with the notes and a glossary intending to provide the reader with some sense of the terms and the concepts as they were understood by Platos immediate audience.
English translation. Introduction and glossary. The glossary of key terms is a unique addition to Platonic literature by which concepts central to each dialogue are discussed and cross-referenced as to their occurrences throughout the work. In such a way students are encouraged to see beyond the words into concepts.
About the Author
Eva Brann is a tutor and member of the senior faculty at St. John's College, Annapolis, where she has also been dean of academic affairs. She holds an M.A. in Classics and a Ph.D. in Archaeology from Yale University. Her recent books include "The Ways of Naysaying; What, Then, Is Time?" and "The World of the Imagination." She has co-authored several translations with Focus Publishing.
Peter Kalkavage is a Tutor at St. John's College in Annapolis.
Eric Salem is a Tutor at St, Johns College, Annapolis.
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