Plato: Sophistes [The Sophist]

(2133 words)

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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Citation:
Wood, Kelsey. "Sophistes". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 15 February 2005
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=13441, accessed 24 April 2014.]