Names, Reference and Correctness in Plato's Cratylus

Names, Reference and Correctness in Plato's Cratylus

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The "Cratylus" unfolds as a confrontation between competing theses on the question of the correctness of names. Since Plato levels criticism against both theses, we are led to wonder whether Plato himself takes a position on the main issue. Dr. Palmer argues that we can discern in the "Cratylus" a positive statement of Plato's own views. Plato, unlike many contemporary theorists who follow Frege, does not presuppose that intensional entities such as concepts or meanings mediate the relation between a name and its nominatum. Plato believes that reality divides into discrete, natural units and that names are established, in part, to mark these non-conventional units. Plato holds (or at least assumes) that a name is correct if it successfully (and directly) picks out a real unit or entity, and if it aptly describes its nominatum.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 207 pages
  • 152.4 x 215.9 x 19.05mm | 360g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0820407089
  • 9780820407081