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Colloquium Talk: Irani Tushar from Wesleyan University

Event Type
Philosophy Department
GH 319
Mar 8, 2024   3:00 - 5:00 pm  
Originating Calendar
Department of Philosophy Events

Join the Department of Philosophy for a lecture by Professor Tushar Irani titled "Plato's Account of Being as a Theory of Predication." This lecture is part of our Colloquium Talks lecture series. Learn more about future lectures here:


The interrelatedness of the forms is the signal feature of the metaphysical picture that Plato develops in the Sophist, but it’s also an especially crucial claim in understanding how he believes the forms stand to one another in subject predicate relationships. I argue in this paper that Plato’s account of being as “change and rest both together”—the so-called “children’s wish” at 249c-d in the Sophist—is not just a metaphysical theory but functions in addition as a theory of predication. The account basically does double duty: it underwrites Plato’s belief in the interrelatedness of the forms while also explaining a range of predicative statements at the heart of many of his most celebrated philosophical views—from the essential relationships he draws in defining the soul as a principle of self-motion, for example, to analogical relationships that compare the soul to a city. The children’s wish thus explains not only a form’s possession of a variety of essential features but also Plato’s use of poetic devices for philosophical purposes: it provides the metaphysical backing required for philosophical image-making. As a theory of predication, I suggest it represents a kind of logic that makes sense of both the discursive reasoning that’s characteristic of philosophical inquiry and the figurative reasoning that Plato regards as conducive to philosophical understanding. 

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