In Plato’s Sophist 261d1-262e3 two main claims are maintained about names, verbs, and sentences: a syntactic claim, according to which a sentence is neither a list of names nor a list of verbs but the ‘interweaving’ of verbs with names; and a semantic claim, according to which both names and verbs signify something but something radically different: verbs signify actions (prãjeiw), i.e. acts or activities, and names signify agents (prãttontew). In this paper I will briefly discuss and criticize Nicholas Denyer’s and Donald Davidson’s ambivalent reactions to these main claims. They both agree (within limits as for Denyer) with the syntactic claim and disagree with the semantic one. What I try to prove, through a joint reading of Plato’s Sophist and Aristotle’s linguistic section of the de Interpretatione, is that their disagreement with Plato’s semantic claim is ungrounded. In this context, Plato's weaving metaphor of sumplokÆ (interweaving) deserves particular attention. It is to be compared with Frege's chemical metaphor of saturation as the key to understanding the syntactic and semantic unity of the sentence.

L'ordito e la trama: Il Sofista platonico e la tessitura del logos

CAVINI, WALTER
2009

Abstract

In Plato’s Sophist 261d1-262e3 two main claims are maintained about names, verbs, and sentences: a syntactic claim, according to which a sentence is neither a list of names nor a list of verbs but the ‘interweaving’ of verbs with names; and a semantic claim, according to which both names and verbs signify something but something radically different: verbs signify actions (prãjeiw), i.e. acts or activities, and names signify agents (prãttontew). In this paper I will briefly discuss and criticize Nicholas Denyer’s and Donald Davidson’s ambivalent reactions to these main claims. They both agree (within limits as for Denyer) with the syntactic claim and disagree with the semantic one. What I try to prove, through a joint reading of Plato’s Sophist and Aristotle’s linguistic section of the de Interpretatione, is that their disagreement with Plato’s semantic claim is ungrounded. In this context, Plato's weaving metaphor of sumplokÆ (interweaving) deserves particular attention. It is to be compared with Frege's chemical metaphor of saturation as the key to understanding the syntactic and semantic unity of the sentence.
W. Cavini
File in questo prodotto:
Eventuali allegati, non sono esposti

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/81544
 Attenzione

Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact