Seeking the image-maker : an evaluation of Plato's account of negation and falsity in the Sophist : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Philosophy at Massey University, Manawatu, New Zealand
This paper will explore Plato’s metaphysical account of negation and falsity as outlined in Sophist, and evaluate some scholarly responses to it. It attempts to determine how the Forms interact when we say that something is not, or say something that is false. In order to achieve this we begin by examining the notion of a Kind (genos) that Plato seems to introduce in Sophist. This term is widely assumed to be synonymous with Form (eidos); we shall argue that the evidence does not support this, on the grounds that Plato seems to be using Kinds in a new way in Sophist, even though he has used the word genos before. Second, we consider the question of how a Form or a Kind may be said to have parts, and finally we evaluate some scholarly interpretations of negation and falsity, both on their own merits and in light of what we believe Plato’s purpose in seeking an account of negation and falsity has been. We propose some changes to an existing interpretation in order to make it fit more closely the results of our analysis of Kinds and the parts of Forms and so to more closely suit Plato’s requirements.