Cratylus (Κρατυλος) is the name of a dialogue by Plato, dating to ca. 360 BC. In the dialogue, Socrates is asked by two men, Cratylus and Hermogenes, to advise them whether names are "conventional" or "natural", i.e. whether language, and by language, Plato naturally means Ancient Greek, is a system of arbitrary signs, or whether words have some intrinsic relation to the things they signify. It is the earliest text of Classical Greece to deal with matters of etymology and linguistics. PLATO, an apronym for Programmed Logic for Automatic Teaching Operation, was one of the first generalized Computer assisted instruction systems, originally built by the University of Illinois (U of I) and later taken over by Control Data (CDC), who provided the machines it ran on. ... Centuries: 5th century BC - 4th century BC - 3rd century BC Decades: 410s BC 400s BC 390s BC 380s BC 370s BC 360s BC 350s BC 340s BC 330s BC 320s BC 310s BC 365 BC 364 BC 363 BC 362 BC 361 BC 360 BC 359 BC 358 BC 357... Socrates This article is about the ancient Greek philosopher, for all other uses see: Socrates (disambiguation) Socrates (June 4, c. ... Ancient Greek refers to the first stage in the history of the Greek language, which normally applies on two ancient periods of Greek history: Archaic and Classic Greece. ... This article describes the ancient classical period: for the classical period in music (second half of the 18th century): see Classical music era. ... In historical linguistics, etymology is the study of the origins of words. ... Broadly conceived, linguistics is the scientific study of human language, and a linguist is someone who engages in this study. ...
Cratylus, who came to be known in antiquity as a proponent of universal flux, is not at all deterred by the flux content discovered in the existing Greek vocabulary, and interprets Socrates' etymological marathon as vindicating his own naturalist stance.
Cratylus, despite the damage Socrates has inflicted on his extreme naturalism, still clings to his belief that the study of things' names is the privileged route to knowledge of the things themselves.
Cratylus, who is emerging as an adherent of the flux theory, points to the consistent emphasis on flux revealed throughout the foregoing etymologies.
PlatosCratylus is a dialogue between Socrates (an Athenian philosopher), Hermogenes (the son of a wealthy aristocrat), and Cratylus (a young scholar who subscribes to the philosophy of Heraclitus that all things are in a state of permanent change).
Cratylus again argues that the purpose of naming things is to indicate the nature of things, but Socrates explains that merely understanding the names of things is not the same as understanding the nature of things.
Cratylus agrees, but does not accept as valid the argument by Socrates that knowledge cannot be attained of things which are transitory and always changing or the argument that knowledge can only be attained of things which are eternal and unchanging.
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