By Geoffrey Bagwell
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Extra info for A study of Plato's ''Cratylus''.
30 interlocutors has suggested at this point in the dialogue what counts as a name or what sort of thing a name is. Because of this, we are not entitled to limit the meaning of ὄλνκα in any definite way. We cannot assume, therefore, that names are predicates at this point. The greater problem is that to suppose a fallacy of division is to ignore the context of the argument. 33 To make matters worse, Socrates gives Hermogenes three opportunities to avoid the fallacy and, on each occasion, Hermogenes insists upon the view that names can be true or false.
The distinction between correct and incorrect names becomes rather meaningless. Any name can be correct, on this account, so long as someone coins it for something. Hermogenes‘ conventionalism effectively denies the distinction between correct and incorrect (Mackenzie 1986, 127). Thus, it becomes necessary for Socrates to establish that there is a correctness of names—to show that there is a distinction between correct and incorrect names—before attempting to arbitrate the dispute between Hermogenes and Cratylus.
They are not in relation to us and are not made to fluctuate by how they appear to us. They are by themselves, in relation to their own being or essence, which is theirs by nature. (386d9–e4; cf. 385e1–3) Hermogenes‘ rejection of relativism implies that he accepts the view that everything has a being of its own, which is neither dependent upon its appearance nor capable of possessing contrary attributes at the same time. 45 If things have being by nature, nature must play some part in 44 Euthydemus explicitly defends this view in the dialogue named for him (Euthydemus 290c), but it is not clear that Euthydemus actually defended the position Plato ascribes to him.
A study of Plato's ''Cratylus''. by Geoffrey Bagwell