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The Theaetetus - Essay Example

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The Theaetetus

Theaetetus suggests a second definition of knowledge in which he outlines that knowledge is true belief. Protagoras understandably pursued to preserve the reality of sense perception. # 1) Explain Protagoras' position in your own words Protagoras makes a philosophical statement regarding the structure of reality. Protagoras proposes that knowledge is nothing but perception. The definition of knowledge as perception draws from the Protagoras' position that man is the measure of all things. A relativistic epistemology eventually underpins any positive definitions of knowledge, and, thus, is self-refuting. The proposal that knowledge is perception means that perception is both sufficient and necessary for knowledge. This necessitates that the two conditions are separate and are pertinent in comprehending the objections to the analysis. It is essential to take note an ambiguity within the term perception (employed to refer to perception via the senses) (Zilioli 31). # 2) Give at least three arguments in your own words that Socrates uses to refute Theaetetus or Protagoras. Socrates’ seeks to raise a number of objections against the proposal that man is the measure, that knowledge is perception. The first set of objections direct against the allegation that perception is adequate for knowledge and relates to relativity of perception. The proposal is that, in some instances, such as hot or cold, all perception is effective in that there is no variation between perception and appearance. The second

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objection to Protagoras’ thesis can be found in Socrates’ two rhetorical questions, whereby, given that Protagoras’ thesis entails that all perceptions are true, it not only bear the allegedly absurd consequence highlighting that animal’s perceptions are not substandard to humans (Lampert 109). This means that if all perceptions were to be true, there cannot be any reason to perceive that animal perceptions are inferior to human perceptions. Socrates considers this situation to be incongruous. Socrates points out a number of problems for any theory regarding perception by highlighting how perceptions differ in one is healthy and when one is ill. This appears to contradict with Protagoras' dictum that suggests that whatever one perceives is knowledge (Jolley 45). Socrates remedies the situation by highlighting that Socrates who is healthy and the Socrates who is ailing are two distinct subjects. After the first objection and having demonstrated the prima facie truth of Protagoras’ proposal, Socrates proceeds with systematic levying of additional objections to the position. First, Socrates questions why one should perceive that man is the measure, as opposed to some other creature such as a pig. Second, Socrates questions why, if that were the case in which what anyone thinks is true for him, anyone would seek advice of others when each of use is himself the measure of his own wisdom. The third and one of the most significant objections to Protagoras’ centers on "the table-turning argument,” which makes reference to the effect that Protagoras’ theory suggests that no one is wiser that anyone else (Lampert 110). This objection outlines that if whatever anyone thinks is true, then for those who perceive that Protagoras’ own view is false it follows that Protagoras’ suggestion is false. Notably, this objection does not assault the notion that perception as infallible, instead is assaults the notion that the opinion of judgment that anyone shapes on the grounds of perception is infallible (Zilioli 32). # 3) How do Socrates' ideas of knowledge seem to differ from those of Protagoras? In the Theaetetus, three possibilities regarding what knowledge is and how individuals come

Summary

The Theaetetus represents one of Plato’s dialogues relating to Plato’s dialogues concerning the nature of knowledge. Theaetetus’ first response to Socrates’ question of definition of knowledge begins with examples of knowledge such as geometry, harmony, arithmetic, and astronomy. …
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The Theaetetus essay example
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