Dialogue

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Knowledge and Flux in Plato's Cratylus (438–40)

M. T. Thorntona1

a1 Victoria College, Toronto

The etymologizing which forms the torso of the Cratylus gives way, in the final pages, to an interesting, but brief, discussion of Heraclitean Flux. The transition is made on pages 437–8. Knowledge of reality through names has proved elusive because the names yield contradictory theses (411ff. versus 436–7). This being so, it is argued that the truth is only to be obtained by a direct acquaintance with reality (ta onta, 438E).