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Plato on Language and Thought - Dictionary of Arguments

Gadamer I 411
Language and Thought/Plato/Gadamer: The pure thinking of ideas, the Dianoia, is mute as a dialogue of the soul with itself (aneu phones).(1)
Logos: The Logos(2) is the stream that emanates from such thinking and sounds through the mouth (rheuma dia tou stomatos meta phthongou).
It is obvious that vocal sensualization does not claim any meaning of truth of its own. There is no doubt that Plato does not reflect on the fact that the process of thinking, if it is conceived as a dialogue of the soul, itself includes a linguistic dependency, and if we do read something about it in the 7th letter, it is in the context of the dialectic of cognition, i.e. the orientation of the whole movement of cognition towards the One (auto). Even if the language dependence is basically recognized there, it does not really stand out in its importance. It is only one of the
Gadamer I 412
moments of cognition, all of which are revealed in their dialectical precariousness from the very thing on which cognition is based. One must therefore conclude that Plato's discovery of ideas obscures the very essence of language even more thoroughly than did the sophistic theorists who developed their own art (techne) in the use and abuse of language. >Correctness/Plato.


1. VIl. Brief 342ff.
2. soph. 263 e, 264 a.


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Gadamer I
Hans-Georg Gadamer
Wahrheit und Methode. Grundzüge einer philosophischen Hermeneutik 7. durchgesehene Auflage Tübingen 1960/2010

Gadamer II
H. G. Gadamer
The Relevance of the Beautiful, London 1986
German Edition:
Die Aktualität des Schönen: Kunst als Spiel, Symbol und Fest Stuttgart 1977


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