What is it about?

This article interprets a celebrated passage from Plato's Theaetetus, commonly referred to as a digression; it argues that the passage present us with an ethical ideal that is essentially Socratic and constitutes a defence for the primacy of the life of theory.

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Why is it important?

The article is important because it challenges a widespread view of the relation between Plato and Socrates. According to this view, Socrates is a philosopher who is fist and foremost concerned with ethical and political questions and the well-being of his fellow citizens, whereas Plato is a philosopher who is remote from our everyday concerns and preoccupied with metaphysical speculation. The article argues that both assumptions are false and that the digression in Plato's Theaetetus presents an ideal of philosophy that is at one and the same time Socratic and Platonic, ethical and metaphysical.


I hope the article proves to be of some interest to people working on Platonic or Socratic philosophy.

Jens Kristian Larsen
Universitetet i Bergen

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Measuring Humans against Gods: on the Digression of Plato’s Theaetetus, Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie, March 2019, De Gruyter, DOI: 10.1515/agph-2019-1001.
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