This volume presents a new reading of how ontology and language intertwine in Plato’s thought. The main idea is that the structure of reality determines how language works. Conversely, analysing Plato’s view on language is key to understanding his ontology. This work first focuses on Plato’s standard theory of Forms and the plurality of functions they perform with regard to thought, knowledge and language. The volume then provides a detailed interpretation of the first definition of episteme as perception in Plato’s Theaetetus, which is ultimately said to make language impossible. The main argument is that basic linguistic acts such as reference and predication rely on fundamental ontological grounds. Finally, the critique of the Theaetetus is connected to the complex account of true and false logoi in the Sophist. The result is a new interpretation of how language is connected to the ontology of kinds put forward in the Sophist, with particular regard to the nature of the kind Being. This book provides a detailed exegetical investigation into a crucial aspect of Plato’s thought, which can also be of interest to those working in metaphysics and philosophy of language.
Lorenzo Giovannetti is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen. He earned his PhD from the Universities of Roma “Tor Vergata” and Roma Tre, and was also awarded the title of Doctor Europaeus. His PhD thesis received a recognition of excellence from the International Plato Society Conrado Eggers Lan Prize, 2nd Ed., for the best dissertation in Platonic studies. In 2018 he was Research Fellow at the Istituto Italiano per gli Studi Filosofici. He edited two volumes: The Sustainability of Thought (Bibliopolis) and Le forme del vedere (Bibliopolis). He sits on the editorial board of Deloma (Bibliopolis), a series of books devoted to the lexicological study of ancient philosophical texts. He has published several papers, most recently ‘Between Truth and Meaning. A Novel Interpretation of the Symploke in Plato’s Sophist’ in Elenchos (De Gruyter) 2021.