Workshop in Ancient Philosophy (Thursday - Week 5, HT22)

Workshop in Ancient Philosophy

I discuss the notion of doxa, starting from the passage in Plato’s Philebus where Socrates proposes that one makes a silent utterance when deciding what something is, and that the utterance is inscribed in the soul as if written, and can be accompanied by an illustration. This illustrated book can contain falsehoods and truths because the doxa can be true or false, and this includes both the words and the pictures being false. I compare this passage with similar ideas about the silent enquiries in the soul, and its doxastic decisions following such enquiries, in the Theaetetus and Sophist, and I argue that the Theaetetus contains a (deliberately) unworkable attempt at explaining the kind of falsity that is explained clearly and successfully in the Philebus, and that the Sophist is considering a different kind of judgement, involving two terms (a label plus a predicate), where falsity in judgement may arise due to just one of the items being false.

If you would like to go out to dinner with the speaker after the meeting, then please contact the chair of the meeting before Tuesday of that week. The meals of the chair and the speaker are covered by the faculty; others attend at their own expense.

The Seminar will take place in the Ryle Room. Colleagues and students who are unable to attend in person are welcome to join remotely, via Microsoft Teams, by clicking this link. You will be redirected to a page in which you will be prompted to sign in with your Oxford SSO.

Workshop in Ancient Philosophy Convenors: Ursula Coope, Simon Shogry and Luca Castagnoli