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4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  776 ratings  ·  24 reviews
This is a fluent and accurate new translation of the dialogue that, all of Plato's works, has seemed to speak most directly to the interests of contemporary analytical philosophers. White's extensive introduction explores the dialogue's center themes, its connection with related discussions in other dialogues, and its implication for the interpretation of Plato's metaphysi...more
Paperback, 109 pages
Published October 1st 1993 by Hackett Pub Co (first published -360)
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By the middle of the book here's what I really wanted to see happen:

STRANGER: There are some who imitate, knowing what they imitate, and
some who do not know. And what line of distinction can there possibly be greater than that which divides ignorance from knowledge?

THEAETETUS: There can be no greater.

STRANGER: Was not the sort of imitation of which we spoke just now the
imitation of those who know? For he who would imitate you would surely
know you and your figure?

THEAETETUS: Naturally.

Although the Sophist is not my favorite of Plato's dialogues, I have to give it points for keeping me awake in the dark for several hours. I just could not stop thinking long enough to get to sleep. I actually ended up having to get up in the middle of the night and jot down a few thoughts!
While part of that was due to the dialogue itself, I think that an equal, if not greater, force behind my preoccupation was that I could hear the individual voices of Mr. Kalkavage, Mr. Salem and Ms. Brann. I...more
Sophist is one of the few Platonic dialogues which don’t have Socrates as the main character (all are from the late period). This seems to offer Plato some advantages, especially for this book’s purposes. Using the Eleatic Visitor as the main speaker allows Plato to make sustained arguments consisting of series of positive statements as opposed to the Socratic character’s standard approach, claiming to know nothing and play the midwife of others’ thoughts – asking questions, testing answers, usu...more
Don't you love a book with an original publication date of -360? (This fatuous opening should warn the reader that this review is written by one who is NOT a philosophy student.)

Sophist is the title of one of Plato's dialogues. In this highly readable text there are two speakers: Stranger, a philosopher, and Theaetetus, a student. The issue that triggers their Q&A is, What is a sophist? It is not a "spoiler" to tell you that a sophist in Plato's time was a person who claimed to know everythi...more
Sam L
This dialogue purportedly aims to expound the nature of the Sophist, as distinguished from the Statesman and the Philosopher. The interlocutors are an Eleatic stranger, who is a bit of a know-it-all and could probably do with being taken down a peg or two, and Theaetetus, who can barely get a word in edgeways. It starts with this excruciating bit where they're all saying things like 'ooh, is the Sophist an artist? Sure, so is he an acquisitive artist or a creative artist? An acquisitive artist?...more
This dialogue is the companion diaglogue to Theatetus. Plato continues his thoughts on his theory of knowledge.
A Sophist is a hunter of young boys by the way.
Jeremiah Tillman
My first real trip into Plato's late dialogues. I read up to part two of the Parmenides, but turned chicken at the sheer impenetrability of the second part. I don't feel all that bad though, even Gilbert Ryle (my favorite "average guy" philosopher), among others, couldn't make heads or tails of that one. Going in, my contention was that this dialogue would be similar as it comes from the same period and is often grouped together with the Parmenides and the Theaetetus. The Sophist is much more co...more
Socrates takes a back seat in Plato’s Sophist, which primarily features Theaetetus and the “stranger,” a philosopher from Elea who Theaetetus has invited to participate in the day’s discussion. Their dialogue is an attempt to track down the nature of the sophist. Their primary methodology is pursuing a series of classifications based on binary divisions. Following a practice round focusing on the angler, they start hunting the sophist. They—though mostly the Stranger—come up with a variety of de...more
Sarah Angoluan
Sophist dialogue was primarily for explaining the nature of Sophist is, after Socrates asked the Stranger, whose name weren’t even mentioned, about whether in his place (Elea), Sophist, statemen and philosophers are one or three different names. At first, I presupposed that the dialogue will tackle primarily on those three, but after reading it, understand it with all my might. The dialogue was all about the Sophist, maybe thats the reason why does this dialogoue was named after it.
The stranger...more
Draco3seven Crawdady
Nov 07, 2007 Draco3seven Crawdady rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: philosopher and scholars
Shelves: philosophy
The concept of the sophist is one of the most important concepts in at least Western academia... and maybe all human thinking....
Plato’s dialogue The Sophist is concerned with defining what the sophist is or more precisely defining what the sophist does and in so doing giving meaning to the term. So Plato’s goal here is to explain actions that define the term, and so explain the methods that define the sophist. Roughly the sophist is some one who is not concerned with truth and genuine knowledg...more
Working through the Sophist as an introduction to a Seminar I am taking on Aristotle.

Read this Dialogue a few times from "Plato: Complete works" Edited by John Cooper and found this to be a much easier translation to follow, especially if it is a close and careful reading.

The downside is that at times there are words which are clearly translated into more colloquial and modern English. This serves the reader well for having a better sense of what is happening within the dialogue, but from a lite...more
Natalie Baldino
Probably the most brilliant and encompassing of Plato's works I've read. He situates a logical meta-methodology of understanding language (identity, predicates, etc.) through a metaphysical discussion of the Forms in order to understand the sophist (and thus, the philosopher). Brilliant.
Der Sophist ist eindeutig kein Buch, das man aus Vergnügen nebenher mal eben lesen kann. Platon hat allerdings die Suche nach der definitiven Definition einer Sache in einen Dialog verpackt. Dadurch kann man den Eindruck gewinnen bei dem Gespräch selbst anwesend zu sein und Rückfragen, die man selbst vielleicht stellen würde werden durch den Gesprächspartner im Buch gestellt. Wer ist denn nun dieser Sophist? Gibt es Unwahrheit? Existiert Nichtseiendes? Fragen, deren Antworten wir als selbstverst...more
O.k. Since now, whenever somebody asks me what's the point of reading Plato after nearly 2500 years, I can laught earnestly.
This was a truly extraordinary experience. Plato is quite regardful writer, he makes sure everybody's got the point before he moves on. Trying to define (and succeding in it which is a nice change from Hippias Major) the concept of Sophist, he manage to designate a neat classification of all human activity, prove that Non-Being exists, define the concepts of Being, Not-Bein...more
The Visitor is not very good at dialogues, and the metaphysics weren't as interesting as other Platonic dialogues to me.
George C.
Definitely more than meets the eye in this one. On the surface it seems to be "vitiated with confusions" (Frede), however once you take a moment to get acclimated with the subject and the language being used, the content and discussion is quite simple to understand (though lofty). It seems Plato was one of the first to tackle a subject such as this, something many of us just assume or take for granted.
David Williamson
This book opened up some ideas of Derrida's to me; its bleeding of being and non-being, difference and sameness. But, I can't say I particular enjoyed it or found it that rewarding - although, it was infinitely clearer than Derrida, which isn't hard.

I think fundamentally Plato and I just don't get on.
Michael Ledezma
An unfolding of dialectical logic before one's very own eyes. (And always with a touch of humor) To think that this was written when it was. It may be the case that current epochal Being is an enframing rather than phusis, but some things have not changed all that much.
David Haines
a very interesting discussion of what characterizes a Sophist. plato touches on the relation between being, becoming, and non-being, as well as whether false belief is possible. A great dialogue that asks some very difficult questions.
The problem of being and non-being. How can thought be of something that is not? One of the better later Platonic dialogues.
This is the best example of dialectic reasoning. Heidegger masturbated over his copy; you should too.
Don't recall what I thought and didn't make any notes at the time.
M. is currently reading it
Jul 07, 2014
Joshua Mcnellis
Joshua Mcnellis marked it as to-read
Jul 06, 2014
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Politics: Sophist and Phaedrus 1 2 Oct 29, 2013 06:38AM  
  • Physics
  • The New Organon
  • The Enneads
  • The Discourses
  • Ptolemy's Almagest
  • Elements of Chemistry
  • Cartesian Meditations: An Introduction to Phenomenology
  • The Nature of the Gods
  • Fragments
  • A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge
  • Philoctetes
  • Philosophical Fragments/Johannes Climacus (Kierkegaard's Writings, Volume 7)
  • Monadology
  • Euclid's Elements
  • Theological-Political Treatise
  • Critique of Judgment
  • A History of Philosophy 3: Ockham to Suarez
  • The Essential Epicurus (Great Books in Philosophy)
Plato is a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the foundations of Western philosophy and science.

Plato is one of the most important Western philosophers,...more
More about Plato...
The Republic The Trial and Death of Socrates The Symposium Apology Five Dialogues: Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Meno, Phaedo

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“We are completely perplexed, then, and you must clear up the question for us, of what you intend to signify when you use the word "being". Obviously you must be quite familiar with what you mean, whereas we, who formerly imagined we knew, are now at a loss.” 1 likes
“Stranger: 'Are not thought and speech the same, with this exception, that what is called thought is the unuttered conversation of the soul with herself?

Theatetus: Quite true.

Stranger: But the stream of thought which flows through the lips and is audible is called speech?

Theatetus: True.

Stranger: And we know that there exists in speech...

Theatetus: What exists?

Stranger: Affirmation

Theatetus: Yes, we know it.”
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