Knowledge and Truth in Plato: Stepping Past the Shadow of Socrates

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15 Citations (Scopus)


Several myths about Plato's work are decisively challenged by Catherine Rowett: the idea that Plato agreed with Socrates about the need for a definition of what we know; the idea that he set out to define justice in the Republic; the idea that knowledge is a kind of true belief, or that Plato ever thought that it might be something like that; the idea that Theaetetus was Plato's best attempt to define knowledge as a species of belief, and that it only failed due to his incompetence.

Instead Rowett argues that Plato was replacing the failed methods of Socrates, including his attempt to find a definition or single common factor, and that he replaced those methods with methods derived from geometry, including methods that involve inference from shadows to their originals (a method which Rowett calls Meno, Republic and Theaetetus, and argues that the insights that Plato brings about the nature of conceptual knowledge, its importance in underpinning all other activities, and about the notion of truth as it applies to conceptual competence, are significant and should be taken seriously as a corrective to areas in which current analytic philosophy has lost its way.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages336
ISBN (Print)9780199693658
Publication statusPublished - 26 Apr 2018


  • knowledge
  • definitions
  • concepts
  • Geometry
  • Philosophical method
  • Meno
  • Republic
  • Theaetetus
  • Being
  • Iconic method
  • Plato
  • Socrates

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