• Valentinus
    1.6k
    Basically, Plato's allegory of the cave.TheMadFool

    The Theaetetus does not claim that. The dialogue ends without finding an adequate account of knowledge. The 'paradigmatic' role of the Forms, spoken of in the Republic, is not on display in Socrates' argument against Protagoras' measure being able to be a judge of possible future events (178b).
  • Fooloso4
    2.6k
    I think that to say that a Form is a kind, is a misunderstanding of Forms.Metaphysician Undercover

    Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon

    εἶδος:
    http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0058%3Aentry%3Dei)%3Ddos


    I am saying that an argument which proceeds in this way could be deceptive.Metaphysician Undercover

    Socrates often warns against those who are not properly suited and prepared from doing philosophy.

    To ask in what way are all the things which are called by the same name similar, is a completely different process than to divide things into kinds. Do you see this difference?Metaphysician Undercover

    Both sameness and difference are necessary for intelligibility. Human beings are similar, but they are not only similar to each other, they are also similar to pigs and other animals. If we are to identify the sophist and the philosopher then it is not enough to note that they human beings.

    The Socratic method is to look at all the different examples of people who are called "hunters", to see what they all have in common, so that we can glean an idea of what it means to be a hunter.Metaphysician Undercover

    Is the coupon cutter a hunter? Is a fisherman a hunter? Treating them as if they are the same or similar leads to some comical images. Fish and game requires separate fishing and hunting licenses, but no shopping licence for bargain hunters.
  • Fooloso4
    2.6k
    The Theaetetus does not claim that. The dialogue ends without finding an adequate account of knowledge. The 'paradigmatic' role of the Forms, spoken of in the Republic, is not on display in Socrates' argument against Protagoras' measure being able to be a judge upon possible future events 178b.Valentinus

    This is an important point. The Forms do not play an essential part in this Socratic dialogue on knowledge.
  • Apollodorus
    2.7k
    The Forms do not play an essential part in this Socratic dialogue on knowledge.Fooloso4

    What "Socratic dialogue"?

    You were talking about The Sophist just a minute ago.

    In the Sophist, the Stranger identifies the Socratic school as the "friends of the Forms" (oi philoi ton eidon) (Sophist 248a).

    So, obviously, Forms are important. Plato never mentions anything for no reason, least of all Forms.

    Plus, the Forms are central to Socrates' philosophy.

    And you raised the issue of Forms yourself:

    Eidetic numbers are relations of eidos or Forms. Their order is determined by kind.Fooloso4

    I see from another of your responses that you reject 'kinds'. You seem unaware that Forms are Kinds.Fooloso4

    And in the OP:

    Plato’s concern is the Whole. Forms are not the Whole. Knowledge of the Forms is not knowledge of the whole.Fooloso4

    Forms may or may not be the "Whole". But they are an important part of it, and an important part of Plato's metaphysics!

    And they are definitely not "kinds" or "universals".

    Eἶδος (eidos) comes from the verb "to see" and its primary meaning is "that which is seen", i.e. shape or form:

    Noun
    εἶδος • (eîdos) n (genitive εἴδους or εἴδεος); third declension

    1. That which is seen: form, image, shape
    2. appearance, look, beauty (comeliness)
    3. sight
    4. fashion, sort, kind
    5. species
    6. wares, goods

    Eἶδος - Wiktionary

    This is precisely why eidos is translated as "Form"!
  • Valentinus
    1.6k
    I think that to say that a Form is a kind, is a misunderstanding of Forms.Metaphysician Undercover

    The text refers to the use of Kind and Form in the following way:

    Stranger: Dividing according to kinds, not taking the same form for a different one or different one for the same - is not that the business of the science of dialectic?
    Theaetetus: Yes.
    Stranger: And the man who can do that discerns clearly one form everywhere extended throughout many, where each one lies apart, and many forms, entirely marked off apart. That means knowing how to distinguish, kind by kind, in what ways the several kinds can and cannot combine.
    Theaetetus: Most certainly.
    Stranger: And the only person , I imagine, to whom you would allow this mastery of dialectic is the pure and rightful lover of wisdom.
    — Sophist, 253d, translated by F.M. Cornford

    The Greek from the Perseus site for the first line by the Stranger (with the words in question underlined by me) is:

    Ξένος
    τὸ κατὰ γένη διαιρεῖσθαι καὶ μήτε ταὐτὸν εἶδος ἕτερον ἡγήσασθαι μήτε ἕτερον ὂν ταὐτὸν μῶν οὐ τῆς διαλεκτικῆς φήσομεν ἐπιστήμης εἶναι;

    Are there examples of division and recognition of forms in the Dialogues that depart from this use?
  • Apollodorus
    2.7k
    Are there examples of division and recognition of forms in the Dialogues that depart from this use?Valentinus

    What use?

    Fowler's translation has;

    Stranger
    Now since we have agreed that the classes or genera also commingle with one another, or do not commingle, in the same way, must not he possess some science and proceed by the processes of reason who is to show correctly which of the classes harmonize with which, and which reject one another, and also if he is to show whether there are some elements extending through all and holding them together so that they can mingle, and again, when they separate, whether there are other universal causes of separation?
    .......
    Stranger
    Shall we not say that the division of things by classes and the avoidance of the belief that the same class is another, or another the same, belongs to the science of dialectic? (Soph. 253b-d)

    He is talking about the division of things by classes or genera (gene).
  • Valentinus
    1.6k

    That is hardly an answer to my question regarding the use of division in other dialogues.

    Cornford does a better job than Fowler of relating the use of εἶδος in the passage.
  • Apollodorus
    2.7k


    Well, I disagree. The Stranger is talking about dividing things by classes or genera.

    Here is Jowett’s translation (p. 179):

    Stranger:
    And as classes are admitted by us in like manner to be some of them capable and others incapable of intermixture ….
    Stranger:
    Should we not say that the division according to classes, which neither makes the same other, nor makes other the same, is the business of the dialectical science?

    And it doesn't say that Forms are "kinds".

    It is important not to confuse one with the other. That's why the Stranger emphasizes the importance of the art of discrimination (diakritike) (Soph.226d) ....
  • Valentinus
    1.6k

    The Greek includes εἶδος, the word that is used for Forms, as an essential part of the description. The description does not turn 'kind'; and 'form' into one word. But to deny the close link made between them in the passage is odd. It is like you are trying to use alternative translations of the text to be used as changes to the text.
  • TheMadFool
    12.6k
    Basically, Plato's allegory of the cave.
    — TheMadFool

    The Theaetetus does not claim that. The dialogue ends without finding an adequate account of knowledge. The 'paradigmatic' role of the Forms, spoken of in the Republic, is not on display in Socrates' argument against Protagoras' measure being able to be a judge of possible future events (178b).
    Valentinus

    I thought Socrates defined knowledge as justified, true belief? The future is within our grasp given the laws of nature are universal and constant - a good basketball player can, if he's skilled enough, score.

    Also, if the future can't be known isn't Heraclitus right?
  • Apollodorus
    2.7k
    The Greek includes εἶδος, the word that is used for Forms, as an essential part of the description. The description does not turn 'kind'; and 'form' into one word. But to deny the close link made between them in the passage is odd. It is like you are trying to use alternative translations of the text to be used as changes to the text.Valentinus

    Nonsense. It is the other way round.

    You deliberately cherry-picked Cornford which is one of the worst possible translations.

    As you can see for yourself, "eidos" can mean "form" as well as "kind", "species", or "class", depending on the context.

    Noun
    εἶδος • (eîdos) n (genitive εἴδους or εἴδεος); third declension

    1. That which is seen: form, image, shape
    2. appearance, look, beauty (comeliness)
    3. sight
    4. fashion, sort, kind
    5. species
    6. wares, goods

    Eἶδος - Wiktionary

    It is very obvious that he Stranger is talking about the division of things by classes or genera (gene), NOT by Forms. Dialectic is about things in general, not exclusively about Forms.

    How can he talk about classes or genera and suddenly bring Forms into it?
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    9.1k
    You proposed that the Sophist was written specifically as a refutation of Parmenides.Valentinus

    No, I said that the arguments purportedly made by Parmenides, as expressed in Plato's "Parmenides", are deficient, i.e., contain category mistakes. This is consistent with what you say here:

    Plato is not content with Parmenides' position either.Valentinus

    Both sameness and difference are necessary for intelligibility.Fooloso4

    It is a mistake to put sameness and difference in the same category. "Similar" is a type of difference, but "same" is fundamentally different from similar. So it is a mistake to assume sameness and difference as both necessary for intelligibility. Sameness, when analyzed, is not a part of intelligibility. Just ask yourself what does "not different " mean, and you'll see that "same" is unintelligible. "Difference" is defined by change, and so is intelligible as such. "Same" is defined by lack of change, so same defines the category of "eternal", which we cannot relate to because we have no experience of it. So "same" is some mystical unintelligible category of "eternal", which people claim to have knowledge of, when this is not really knowledge at all. It's like "God", purported to be the most highly intelligible, but also completely unknowable.

    Is the coupon cutter a hunter? Is a fisherman a hunter? Treating them as if they are the same or similar leads to some comical images. Fish and game requires separate fishing and hunting licenses, but no shopping licence for bargain hunters.Fooloso4

    They all have things in common, and there is nothing comical here. It only becomes comical if we try to say that they are "the same". But that's because "the same" is unintelligible.

    The text refers to the use of Kind and Form in the following way:Valentinus

    Yes, this is the stranger's way of talking, to equate forms with types. Now proceed to his examples "rest" and "change". In no way does "rest" or "change" refer to a kind. A "kind" is a class of things, as Appollodorus has been pointing out, and neither "rest" nor "change" refers to a class of things. We can still say that "rest" and "change" signify forms though, as intelligible ideas, but neither signifies a class of things (a kind). Therefore there is a difference between "kinds" and "forms".

    Now the stranger starts the discussion by referring to kinds of things, and dividing them, hunters, fishers, etc.. Then he (falsely) proposes an equality between "kind" and "form", as you've quoted, and proceeds to talk about some forms, "rest", "change", "being", "different", "same", as if they are kinds. But these words do not refer to kinds, the stranger has made a category mistake, and so the argument is faulty.

    By the way, Valentinus, you seem to be very adept at pulling up the most highly relevant and significant passages from Plato. How do you do this? What supports that skill?

    The passage you quoted above is completely different in my translation, Nicholas White, and there is a footnote proposing an alternative translation, which is completely different from yours as well. In any case, we do not need that passage, where the stranger explicitly attempts to equate "forms" with "kinds", (but is so highly ambiguous that translation consensus cannot be obtained) to see that he makes a category mistake when he proceeds to talk about the forms which follow from this point onward, as if they are kinds,
  • Apollodorus
    2.7k
    A "kind" is a class of things, as Appollodorus has been pointing out, and neither "rest" nor "change" refers to a class of things.Metaphysician Undercover

    Correct. And if he asserts that "Forms are Kinds", then he should (1) define "Kind" and (2) show that a Form is a Kind.

    Otherwise, his assertion is meaningless. After all, everything is a "kind" of something! :grin:

    By the way, Valentinus, you seem to be very adept at pulling up the most highly relevant and significant passages from Plato. How do you do this? What supports that skill?Metaphysician Undercover

    I think there is a long history of providing dodgy translations as we have seen on the other threads on Plato's dialogues. Let's not forget he picked the passage he wanted and the "translation" he wanted to back up his claims. No one invited him to do so. Could this be the sophist's trademark technique of evasion, diversion and misdirection?

    And he still hasn't shown us where Plato uses the phrase "a noble lie" ....
  • Valentinus
    1.6k
    I thought Socrates defined knowledge as justified, true belief?TheMadFool

    That proposition is addressed and deemed inadequate in the Theaetetus starting at 200d.

    The future is within our grasp given the laws of nature are universal and constant - a good basketball player can, if he's skilled enough, score.TheMadFool

    That observation is also made by Socrates to note that Protagoras' use of each person's experience as an adequate measure does not account for differences in ability amongst men.

    Also, if the future can't be known isn't Heraclitus right?TheMadFool

    According to the Fragments of Heraclitus, you would not be able to affirm or deny the proposition:

    Hesiod distinguishes good days and bad day, not knowing every day is like every other.

    And you would be too busy fighting to care:

    It should be understood that war is the common condition, that strife is justice, and that all things come to pass through the compulsion of strife.
  • Fooloso4
    2.6k
    Sometimes it is necessary to state the obvious: 'kinds' and 'forms' are English translations of the Greek εἶδος.

    I.that which is seen, form, shape, figure, Lat. species, forma, Hom.; absol. in acc., εἶδος ἄριστος, etc.
    II.a form, sort, particular kind or nature, Hdt., etc.
    2.a particular state of things or course of action, Thuc.
    III.a class, kind, sort, whether genus or species, Plat., etc. (Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, An Intermediate Greek-English Lexicon)

    Together with terms such as 'class', 'genus', 'species', 'look', 'shape', 'type', and others they give the scope of the meaning of the Greek term εἶδος. And of course the English terms have a scope of meaning as well. There is no one term that is a perfect match.

    It is a mistake to put sameness and difference in the same category. "Similar" is a type of difference, but "same" is fundamentally different from similar. So it is a mistake to assume sameness and difference as both necessary for intelligibility.Metaphysician Undercover

    It is not difference that makes things similar. Things that are similar are in some way or ways the same and in others different. Rather than show it is mistake to assume sameness and difference as both necessary for intelligibility, your example shows why they are necessary.

    In no way does "rest" or "change" refer to a kind. A "kind" is a class of things ...Metaphysician Undercover

    Things can be classified according to those that are at rest and those that change. This distinction is essential to the difference between Forms and things, being and becoming.
  • Valentinus
    1.6k
    By the way, Valentinus, you seem to be very adept at pulling up the most highly relevant and significant passages from Plato. How do you do this? What supports that skill?Metaphysician Undercover

    Thank you for making that observation.

    I have read a lot of Plato, some parts many times. I still possess The Collected Dialogues of Plato which I started reading 45 years ago. I have extensively annotated the texts and the index over the years. My copy of Liddell and Scott's lexicon was acquired at the same time.

    I am mostly using the Cornford translation because it is easily at hand. You are quite right to notice the wide range of translations. How to understand the Greek of Plato's later dialogues is one of the most fiercely debated issues amongst classical scholars. Cornford has many worthy challengers. In the text under discussion, and throughout this dialogue, he at least displays the virtue of being consistent in translating Kind for γένη and Form for εἶδος.

    I will have to think more about your charge of a 'category mistake' in this context. The method of division is used throughout the dialogues. Socrates has been charged numerous times for being sophistical on account of it. See the Greater Hippias at 301 for a particularly exquisite example of the style.
  • Apollodorus
    2.7k
    Cornford has many worthy challengers. In the text under discussion, and throughout this dialogue, he at least displays the virtue of being consistent in translating Kind for γένη and Form for εἶδος.Valentinus

    "Consistently" translating Kind for γένη and Form for εἶδος is complete nonsense for the obvious fact that meaning changes according to context!

    Besides, I don't see why any serious reader of Plato would insist on sticking to Cornford who really belongs to a different era (1874 – 1943). The world has moved on since Cornford, has it not? IMO, precisely because Plato is so difficult to translate into modern English, different translations should be consulted, especially more recent ones that tend to avoid the pitfalls of their predecessors.

    Anyway, the indisputable fact is that the Greek passage starts with “to kata gene diaireisthai”, “the division by genera (classes, or kinds)” and is part of the general discussion of the Method of Division or diairesis.

    As can be clearly seen from the previous pages (252e-253b), the topics discussed are the three arts, grammar, music, and dialectic, and how their objects, viz. sounds, letters, etc. combine or not with the others. So, it is imperative to read the passage in its proper context.

    The objects of dialectic are the Genera or Kinds (gene). Hence “division according to genera” (253d).

    Of course, the Division Method may be applied to Forms, and Forms (eide) are, indeed, mentioned in the dialogue.

    However, (1) gene does not refer to Forms and (2) focusing exclusively on Forms misses the whole point of the dialogue.

    Plato’s central intention is not the application of Division to Forms, but to the distinction between philosopher and sophist, in order to avoid misidentification. Hence the title of the dialogue. Therefore, individual passages must be read in light of the whole, not in isolation.

    The Sophist begins with division or distinction between people who may be “gods” or “mere strangers”, and then proceeds to discuss sophists, statesmen, and philosophers, and the difficulty of classifying them. And classification involves identification, in this case, how can we tell a sophist from a philosopher.
  • Valentinus
    1.6k
    And he still hasn't shown us where Plato uses the phrase "a noble lie" ....Apollodorus

    Plato uses the phrase in the Republic 414b-c. I gave the Greek text for it here, in Shawn's OP, An analysis of the shadows.

    I supported my interpretation of the passage here by quoting the Lexicon's entries for the words in question.

    Then you challenged my use of the lexicon because the forms of the words were not the same as how the lexicon generally lists the basic word it defines. I explained that parts of speech are indicated by means of changing the forms of words.

    Having come to the point of demonstrating your ignorance of a fundamental element of the language, I stopped trying to make my interpretation more clear to you.
  • TheMadFool
    12.6k
    That proposition is addressed and deemed inadequate in the Theaetetus starting at 200d.Valentinus

    Can't be because of Gettier cases.

    The future is within our grasp given the laws of nature are universal and constant - a good basketball player can, if he's skilled enough, score.
    — TheMadFool

    That observation is also made by Socrates to note that Protagoras' use of each person's experience as an adequate measure does not account for differences in ability amongst men.
    Valentinus

    Isn't that putting the cart before the horse? The differences in ability amongst men explains/supports Protagoras' stand that "man is the measure of all things".

    According to the Fragments of Heraclitus, you would not be able to affirm or deny the proposition:

    Hesiod distinguishes good days and bad day, not knowing every day is like every other.
    Valentinus

    So, "every day is like every other"? In a certain sense, yes (cyclical aspects) but in a different sense, no (acyclical aspects). I guess it depends on how we look at it aka perspective. Protagoras?

    And you would be too busy fighting to care:

    It should be understood that war is the common condition, that strife is justice, and that all things come to pass through the compulsion of strife.
    Valentinus

    Basically, the world is chaotic, pulling us in all directions.
    Change is the only constant. — Heraclitus
  • Apollodorus
    2.7k
    Plato uses the phrase in the Republic 414b-c. I gave the Greek text for it here, in Shawn's OP, An analysis of the shadows.Valentinus

    This is a preposterous claim.

    The text you provided was this:

    γενναῖόν τι ἓν ψευδομένους πεῖσαι μάλιστα μὲν καὶ αὐτοὺς τοὺς ἄρχοντας, εἰ δὲ μή, τὴν ἄλλην πόλιν;Valentinus

    As I pointed out to you, quoting a line of 17 Greek words (!), does not amount to showing the phrase "a noble lie". You might equally post the whole dialogue and say "look, it's here!" :smile:

    As a matter of fact, Plato does not use the phrase. Were this not the case, you would be able to show us the three Greek words that together form the phrase "a noble lie". But you can't do that because it's not there.

    This is why I suggested to you that more recent translations like Desmond Lee's offer a better reading. But it seems that you prefer to reject any translator other than Cornford - except when it suits your agenda.
  • Valentinus
    1.6k
    Isn't that putting the cart before the horse? The differences in ability amongst men explains/supports Protagoras' stand that "man is the measure of all things".TheMadFool

    If there are variations of ability between men then there must be some means of comparing them to each other beyond the horizon of personal experience.

    That proposition is addressed and deemed inadequate in the Theaetetus starting at 200d. — Valentinus

    Can't be because of Gettier cases.
    TheMadFool

    You will have to show how that problem of epistemology relates to Plato's actual argument in the dialogue. I don't see why I have to be the only one reading the dialogue in our discussion.

    So, "every day is like every other"? In a certain sense, yes (cyclical aspects) but in a different sense, no (acyclical aspects). I guess it depends on how we look at it aka perspective. Protagoras?TheMadFool

    From the perspective of immediate experience, past, present, and future are what is most familiar to us. To accept Heraclitus' view of the universe is to accept that our experience is an illusion.

    Basically, the world is chaotic, pulling us in all directions.

    Change is the only constant. — Heraclitus
    TheMadFool

    Well, Heraclitus was pretty specific about the fighting part. The next Fragment is:

    Homer was wrong in saying, "Would that strife might perish from amongst gods and men." For if that would occur, then all things would cease to exist.
  • TheMadFool
    12.6k
    If there are variations of ability between men then there must be some means of comparing them to each other beyond the horizon of personal experience.Valentinus

    Relativism is the nemesis of absolutism. :confused: I don't understand how the former could coexist with latter?

    You will have to show how that problem of epistemology relates to Plato's actual argument in the dialogue. I don't see why I have to be the only one reading the dialogue in our discussion.Valentinus

    Sorry, I should do my homework.
  • Valentinus
    1.6k
    Relativism is the nemesis of absolutism. :confused: I don't understand how the former could coexist with latter?TheMadFool

    Aristotle said one gave rise to the other:

    These thinkers came upon the doctrine of Ideas because they were convinced about the truth of the Heraclitean arguments which state that all sensible things are always in a state of flux, so that if there is to be a science or knowledge of anything, there must exist apart from the sensible things some other natures which are permanent, for there can be no science of things which are in a state of flux. — Metaphysics, 1078b, translated by H.G. Apostle

    I will leave off from further replies for today. My wife is beating me with the chalk board the task list is drafted upon.
  • TheMadFool
    12.6k
    Aristotle said one gave rise to the otherValentinus

    It makes sense though to claim that relativism/subjectivism (?) is self-refuting: Subjectivism/relativism itself must be relative/subjective, sawing off the very branch that supports it but only if relativism/subjectivism claims to be objective/absolute. Does it?
  • Apollodorus
    2.7k
    Together with terms such as 'class', 'genus', 'species', 'look', 'shape', 'type', and others they give the scope of the meaning of the Greek term εἶδος. And of course the English terms have a scope of meaning as well. There is no one term that is a perfect match.Fooloso4

    We already know this. But that is beside the point.

    The issue is not finding a "perfect match". The issue is your statement below:

    You seem unaware that Forms are Kinds.Fooloso4

    If you think that you are aware of things others are not aware of, then you should be able to explain what you mean by your statement.

    So, I think you should either:

    1. a) define "Kind" and b) show that a Form is a Kind.

    or

    2. Retract your statement.

    Otherwise you are talking meaningless gobbledegook IMO.
  • Fooloso4
    2.6k


    Once again, this is how it is defined by Liddell & Scott with bolding since you apparently missed it the first two times:


    εἶδος:

    I.that which is seen, form, shape, figure, Lat. species, forma, Hom.; absol. in acc., εἶδος ἄριστος, etc.
    II.a form, sort, particular kind or nature, Hdt., etc.
    2.a particular state of things or course of action, Thuc.
    III.a class, kind, sort, whether genus or species, Plat., etc. (Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, An Intermediate Greek-English Lexicon)
  • Apollodorus
    2.7k
    Basically, the world is chaotic, pulling us in all directions.TheMadFool

    The sensible world certainly seems to be fairly chaotic and confusing. This is why Socrates says:

    Now we have also been saying for a long time, have we not, that, when the soul makes use of the body for any inquiry, either through seeing or hearing or any of the other senses—for inquiry through the body means inquiry through the senses,—then it is dragged by the body to things which never remain the same, and it wanders about and is confused and dizzy like a drunken man because it lays hold upon such things.
    But when the soul inquires alone by itself, it departs into the realm of the pure, the everlasting, the immortal and the changeless, and being akin to these it dwells always with them whenever it is by itself and is not hindered, and it has rest from its wanderings and remains always the same and unchanging with the changeless, since it is in communion therewith (Phaedo 79c-d).

    I think there is an element of Heraclitus there.

    Awareness of the confusing chaos of ordinary experience must have been what has led philosophers like Socrates and Plato to look to a more stable reality that can bring some order, stability, focus, and sanity to everyday life ....
  • Apollodorus
    2.7k
    Once again, this is how it is defined by Liddell & Scott with bolding since you apparently missed it the first two times:Fooloso4

    I know how Liddle & Scott defines "εἶδος", thank you.

    However, Liddle & Scott does not say "Forms are Kinds". That is YOUR statement:

    You seem unaware that Forms are Kinds.Fooloso4

    So, since you made that statement, presumably you know in what sense "Forms are Kinds"? And if you know, then it should be not too difficult for you to explain in a few words what you mean, so that we all know what you are talking about?
  • Fooloso4
    2.6k
    However, Liddle & Scott does not say "Forms are Kinds". That is YOUR statementApollodorus

    They translate εἶδος as form and as kind. Why does this confuse you?
  • Valentinus
    1.6k
    Were this not the case, you would be able to show us the three Greek words that together form the phrase "a noble lie"Apollodorus

    Previously, I had given the first part of the sentence that expressed the intention to lie, expressed by γένοιτο (bring into being) a μηχανὴ (a contrivance) of ψευδῶν (false things), in order to point toward the unambiguous meaning of the word ψεῦδος in this context. A deliberate attempt to deceive.

    What you are looking for is in the remainder of the sentence. The grammar requires four words but the phrase you are asking for is underlined. The γενναῖόν (true to one's birth) modifies the noun ψευδομένους (a single lie). The grammar of τι ἓν says something like 'put forth a particular thing'. The thing being referred to is the lie.

    τίς ἂν οὖν ἡμῖν, ἦν δ᾽ ἐγώ, μηχανὴ γένοιτο τῶν ψευδῶν τῶν ἐν δέοντι γιγνομένων, ὧν δὴ νῦν ἐλέγομεν, γενναῖόν τι ἓν ψευδομένους πεῖσαι μάλιστα μὲν καὶ αὐτοὺς τοὺς ἄρχοντας, εἰ δὲ μή, τὴν ἄλλην πόλιν;
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Welcome to The Philosophy Forum!

Get involved in philosophical discussions about knowledge, truth, language, consciousness, science, politics, religion, logic and mathematics, art, history, and lots more. No ads, no clutter, and very little agreement — just fascinating conversations.