Names, Reference and Correctness in Plato's Cratylus (American University Studies, Series V, Philosophy)

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9780820407081: Names, Reference and Correctness in Plato's Cratylus (American University Studies, Series V, Philosophy)

The Cratylus unfolds as a confrontation between competing theses on the question of the correctness of names. Since Plato levels criticism against both theses, we are led to wonder whether Plato himself takes a position on the main issue. Dr. Palmer argues that we can discern in the Cratylus a positive statement of Plato's own views. Plato, unlike many contemporary theorists who follow Frege, does not presuppose that intensional entities such as concepts or meanings mediate the relation between a name and its nominatum. Plato believes that reality divides into discrete, natural units and that names are established, in part, to mark these non-conventional units. Plato holds (or at least assumes) that a name is correct if it successfully (and directly) picks out a real unit or entity, and if it aptly describes its nominatum.

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About the Author:

Michael D. Palmer is the Dean of the School of Divinity at Regent University, Virginia Beach, Virginia. In addition to numerous scholarly articles, he has published two books: Elements of a Christian Worldview (1998) and Names, Reference, and Correctness in Plato s Cratylus (1989). Palmer has extensive experience at teaching university-level courses in moral theory, social ethics, applied ethics, and philosophy of religion. He also has considerable experience conducting professional workshops and seminars for educators in subjects relating to religion and ethics.

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