Can we think the meaning of any being? Is it possible to
adequately define the “whatness” of any entity, event, or activity?
Plato’s Sophist, one of the
greatest works in the history of philosophy, approaches the
question of the meaning of being by disclosing the limits of human
reason (logos). The Eleatic
stranger ironically evokes both the possibilities and the
limitations of logos by providing
definitions according to genos
(type). The stranger demonstrates that, because any category of
disclosure essentially involves difference, the wholeness of any
being eludes categorial analysis.
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