Home » The Midwife of Platonism: Text and Subtext in Platos Theaetetus by David Sedley
The Midwife of Platonism: Text and Subtext in Platos Theaetetus David Sedley

The Midwife of Platonism: Text and Subtext in Platos Theaetetus

David Sedley

Published June 1st 2004
ISBN : 9780199267033
Hardcover
216 pages
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 About the Book 

Platos Theaetetus is an acknowledged masterpiece, and among the most influential texts in the history of epistemology. Since antiquity it has been debated whether this dialogue was written by Plato to support his familiar metaphysical doctrines, orMorePlatos Theaetetus is an acknowledged masterpiece, and among the most influential texts in the history of epistemology. Since antiquity it has been debated whether this dialogue was written by Plato to support his familiar metaphysical doctrines, or represents a self-distancing from these. David Sedleys book offers a via media, founded on a radical separation of the author, Plato, from his main speaker, Socrates. The dialogue, it is argued, is addressed to readers familiar with Platos mature doctrines, and sets out to show how these doctrines, far from being an abandonment of his Socratic heritage, are its natural outcome. The Socrates portrayed here is the same Socrates as already portrayed in Platos early dialogues. While not a Platonist, he is exhibited - to put it in terms of an image made famous by this dialogue - as having been Platonisms midwife. In a comprehensive rereading of the text, Sedley tracks the ways in which Socrates is shown unwittingly preparing the ground for Platos mature doctrines, and reinterprets the dialogues individual arguments from this perspective. The book is addressed to all readers interested in Plato, and does not require knowledge of Greek.