A young man of “extraordinary natural gifts” is introduced to Socrates, and together they embark on a quest to say “what, exactly, knowledge really is”. The result is a wide-ranging exploration of some of the most fundamental issues in theoretical philosophy, including: the relation between knowledge and perception; the possibility of reference; the idea of propositional articulation; and the possibility of falsehood. We shall consider both how the Theaetetus treats of these issues, and how its treatment relates to later discussions, not merely in Plato (specifically, in the Sophist), but in Kant and Wittgenstein.

We shall work with John McDowell’s English translation, and with his notes.

Semester: ST 2023