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The Intermediate and the Unspeakable in Plato's Philosophy of Language

Grant number: 21/05819-4
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2022
Effective date (End): May 31, 2026
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Philosophy - History of Philosophy
Principal Investigator:Marcelo Perine
Grantee:Cássio Mercier Ramos
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Comunicação, Letras e Artes. Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo (PUC-SP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


This research project proposes to investigate the limits of language in Plato's philosophy. Indeed, the Cratylus divides names into matter (¾ ¿W, 389c) and form (Äx Ä¿æ @½Ì¼±Ä¿Â µ6´¿Â, 389a), leaving the question of whether this form is unique for all names or multiple. Important authors such as Sedley (2003) and Ademollo (2011) follow the latter route, without, however, satisfactorily justifying the multiplication of ideas. With this research, I will attempt to ground the idea of the name in such a way that justifies its multiplicity by relating it to the intermediate realities that Aristotle talks about in his Metaphysics. Indeed, the intermediaries are characterized by their multiplicity, and authors such as Reale (2004) and Gaiser (1994) have already pointed out the ideas of artifacts as belonging to this ontological stratum. Based on this interpretation, the concept of an absolutely unspeakable or ineffable being, which took on importance in late Platonism, appears to be unnecessary and, perhaps, even absurd. This is because, assuming the idea of the name as an intermediary, a complete opposition between the intelligible world and sensible language disappears. Therefore, the question that will guide this research is: what is the ontological foundation of the idea of the name and what are its implications for Plato's philosophy of language? In order to answer this, I will investigate the concept of intermediary beings, mainly through the Cratylus and the Republic.

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