Plato on the Norms of Speech and Thought

Phronesis 56 (4):322-349 (2011)
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Abstract

Near the beginning of the Cratylus (385e-387d) Plato's Socrates argues, against his friend Hermogenes, that the standards of correctness for our use of names in speech are in no way up to us. Yet this conclusion should strike us, at least initially, as bizarre. After all, how could it not be up to us whether to call our children by the names of our parents, or whether to call dogs “dogs“? My aim in this paper will be to show that, although Plato's argument does not succeed in establishing this apparently bizarre conclusion, it may well succeed in establishing an equally momentous conclusion: that the standards of correctness for our use of concepts in thought are in no way up to us

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Matthew Evans
Open University (UK)

Citations of this work

Thought as Internal Speech in Plato and Aristotle.Matthew Duncombe - 2016 - History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis 19 (1):105-125.
Plato and the Norms of Thought.R. Woolf - 2013 - Mind 122 (485):171-216.

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References found in this work

Convention: A Philosophical Study.David Kellogg Lewis - 1969 - Cambridge, MA, USA: Wiley-Blackwell.
The Language of Thought.J. A. Fodor - 1978 - Critica 10 (28):140-143.
On the Very Idea of a Conceptual Scheme.Donald Davidson - 1973 - Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 47:5-20.
Speech Acts: An Essay in the Philosophy of Language.William P. Alston - 1970 - Philosophical Quarterly 20 (79):172-179.

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