The theaetetus

Essay 2 Introduction The Theaetetus represents one of Plato’s dialogues relating to Plato’s dialogues concerning the natureof knowledge. Theaetetus’ first response to Socrates’ question of definition of knowledge begins with examples of knowledge such as geometry, harmony, arithmetic, and astronomy. Theaetetus suggests a second definition of knowledge in which he outlines that knowledge is true belief. Protagoras understandably pursued to preserve the reality of sense perception. # 1) Explain Protagoras’ position in your own words Protagoras makes a philosophical statement regarding the structure of reality. Protagoras proposes that knowledge is nothing but perception. The definition of knowledge as perception draws from the Protagoras’ position that man is the measure of all things. A relativistic epistemology eventually underpins any positive definitions of knowledge, and, thus, is self-refuting. The proposal that knowledge is perception means that perception is both sufficient and necessary for knowledge. This necessitates that the two conditions are separate and are pertinent in comprehending the objections to the analysis. It is essential to take note an ambiguity within the term perception (employed to refer to perception via the senses) (Zilioli 31). # 2) Give at least three arguments in your own words that Socrates uses to refute Theaetetus or Protagoras. Socrates’ seeks to raise a number of objections against the proposal that man is the measure, that knowledge is perception. The first set of objections direct against the allegation that perception is adequate for knowledge and relates to relativity of perception. The proposal is that, in some instances, such as hot or cold, all perception is effective in that there is no variation between perception and appearance. The second objection to Protagoras’ thesis can be found in Socrates’ two rhetorical questions, whereby, given that Protagoras’ thesis entails that all perceptions are true, it not only bear the allegedly absurd consequence highlighting that animal’s perceptions are not substandard to humans (Lampert 109). This means that if all perceptions were to be true, there cannot be any reason to perceive that animal perceptions are inferior to human perceptions. Socrates considers this situation to be incongruous. Socrates points out a number of problems for any theory regarding perception by highlighting how perceptions differ in one is healthy and when one is ill. This appears to contradict with Protagoras’ dictum that suggests that whatever one perceives is knowledge (Jolley 45). Socrates remedies the situation by highlighting that Socrates who is healthy and the Socrates who is ailing are two distinct subjects. After the first objection and having demonstrated the prima facie truth of Protagoras’ proposal, Socrates proceeds with systematic levying of additional objections to the position. First, Socrates questions why one should perceive that man is the measure, as opposed to some other creature such as a pig. Second, Socrates questions why, if that were the case in which what anyone thinks is true for him, anyone would seek advice of others when each of use is himself the measure of his own wisdom. The third and one of the most significant objections to Protagoras’ centers on ” the table-turning argument,” which makes reference to the effect that Protagoras’ theory suggests that no one is wiser that anyone else (Lampert 110). This objection outlines that if whatever anyone thinks is true, then for those who perceive that Protagoras’ own view is false it follows that Protagoras’ suggestion is false. Notably, this objection does not assault the notion that perception as infallible, instead is assaults the notion that the opinion of judgment that anyone shapes on the grounds of perception is infallible (Zilioli 32). # 3) How do Socrates’ ideas of knowledge seem to differ from those of Protagoras? In the Theaetetus, three possibilities regarding what knowledge is and how individuals come to have it is presented. The first is that knowledge is perception and that people’s perceptions are true, at least to the holders, but illusions or dreams may manifest. Socrates stipulates that Protagoras’ relativistic argument “ man is the measure of all things” implies “ what is true, is what is true for me,” but innumerable others may properly judge the opinion to be false. Socrates is quick to point out that Protagoras had asserted that perception means appearance and that appearances may differ with diverse subjects. Socrates continues to note that if knowledge is perception, then no one can be wiser relative to any other man if every man is the best judge of own sense-perception. Nevertheless, Socrates fails to demonstrate that his theory is entirely plausible (Lee 77). Indeed, Socrates discussion that crests in the table-turning argument appears to be far from the initial example. Socrates acknowledges that the wind might feel chilly to one and not chilly to another. Conclusion Protagoras proposes that knowledge is perception. Sometimes “ perception” appears to means “ immediate sensory awareness,” while in other instances is appears to translate to “ judgments made regarding immediate sensory awareness.” The suggestion “ knowledge represents immediate sensory awareness” is refuted as incoherent, given that knowledge is not to be situated in bodily experiences, but in people reasoning regarding those experiences. Protagoras might have been referring to the relativity of perceptual or empirical observations. Works Cited Jolley, Kelly. “ Made to measure: Socrates’ Exquisite Argument against Protagoras.” Trinity College Dublin 180 (2006): 45-63. Lampert, Laurence. How Philosophy Became Socratic: A Study of Plato’s Protagoras, Charmides, and Republic. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010. Print. Lee, Mi-Kyoung. Epistemology After Protagoras: Responses to Relativism in Plato, Aristotle, and Democritus. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005. Print. Zilioli, Ugo. Protagoras and the Challenge of Relativism: Plato’s Subtlest Enemy. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007. Print.