The present study sets out to clarify some issues in Plato’s later thought. For one thing, the author suggests that Plato’s Parmenides
, far from acknowledging defeat vis-à-vis the charge of self-predication, clearly indicates that the criticism at stake is misguided. Plato, in fact, identifies patterns of thought in Speusippus’s philosophy that contributed to such misunderstandings and hence must be subject to severe criticism. For another, the author proves that the epistemological passage in the Seventh Letter
provides evidence that – far from accepting the charge of self-predication – Plato presented something like an error theory, showing what is wrong with the ideas concerned.
Inasmuch as these theses run counter to current tendencies of mainstream scholarship, the present study provides a different perspective. Rather than settling somewhere in-between visions of self-criticism and honest perplexity on the part of Plato, we should consider that our philosopher may well have been on top of things, and thus was capable of arguing his case for the theory of forms against criticism arising from within the Academy.
- Ann M. Hentschel (Übers.)