Chapter 2 Why the Cratylus Matters, or: Plato’s Cratylus and the Philosophy of Language

In: Plato’s Cratylus
Francesco Ademollo
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In this paper I survey some central stages and aspects of the argument of Plato’s Cratylus, paying special attention to their affinities with themes from modern and contemporary philosophy. My aim is to show that the dialogue is close to some of our current philosophical concerns and that, in particular, it can be read as a profound inquiry into the relation between reference, on the one hand, and description and representation, on the other. Among other things, I explore the dialogue’s connections with Frege’s sense/reference distinction and Kripke’s arguments against it.

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