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theaetetus   


the criterion not only of what in his opinion is but of what will
be, and do things always happen to him as he expected? For example,
take the case of heat:-When an ordinary man thinks that he is going to
have a fever, and that this kind of heat is coming on, and another
person, who is a physician, thinks the contrary, whose opinion is
likely to prove right? Or are they both right?-he will have a heat and
fever in his own judgment, and not have a fever in the physician's
judgment?
Theod. How ludicrous!
Soc. And the vinegrower, if I am not mistaken, is a better judge
of the sweetness or dryness of the vintage which is not yet gathered
than the harp-player?
Theod. Certainly.
Soc. And in musical composition-the musician will know better than
the training master what the training master himself will hereafter
think harmonious or the reverse?
Theod. Of course.
Soc. And the cook will be a better judge than the guest, who is
not a cook, of the pleasure to be derived from the dinner which is
in preparation; for of present or past pleasure we are not as yet
arguing; but can we say that every one will be to himself the best
judge of the pleasure which will seem to be and will be to him in
the future?-nay, would not you, Protagoras, better guess which
arguments in a court would convince any one of us than the ordinary
man?
Theod. Certainly, Socrates, he used to profess in the strongest
manner that he was the superior of all men in this respect.
Soc. To be sure, friend: who would have paid a large sum for the
privilege of talking to him, if he had really persuaded his visitors
that neither a prophet nor any other man was better able to judge what
will be and seem to be in the future than every one could for himself?
Theod. Who indeed?
Soc. And legislation and expediency are all concerned with the
future; and every one will admit that states, in passing laws, must
often fail of their highest interests?
Theod. Quite true.
Soc. Then we may fairly argue against your master, that he must
admit one man to be wiser than another, and that the wiser is a
measure: but I, who know nothing, am not at all obliged to accept
the honour which the advocate of Protagoras was just now forcing
upon me, whether I would or not, of being a measure of anything.
Theod. That is the best refutation of him, Socrates; although he
is also caught when he ascribes truth to the opinions of others, who
give the lie direct to his own opinion.
Soc. There are many ways, Theodorus, in which the doctrine that
every opinion of: every man is true may be refuted; but there is
more difficulty, in proving that states of feeling, which are
present to a man, and out of which arise sensations and opinions in
accordance with them, are also untrue. And very likely I have been
talking nonsense about them; for they may be unassailable, and those
who say that there is clear evidence of them, and that they are
matters of knowledge, may probably be right; in which case our
friend Theaetetus was not so far from the mark when he identified
perception and knowledge. And therefore let us draw nearer, as the
advocate of Protagoras desires; and the truth of the universal flux
a ring: is the theory sound or not? at any rate, no small war is
raging about it, and there are combination not a few.
Theod. No small, war, indeed, for in most the sect makes rapid
strides, the disciples of Heracleitus are most energetic. upholders of
the doctrine.
Soc. Then we are the more bound, my dear Theodorus, to examine the
question from the foundation as it is set forth by themselves.
Theod. Certainly we are. About these speculations of Heracleitus,
which, as you say, are as old as Homer, or even older still, the

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