Plato, Hermeneutics and Knowledge
The dialogue “Theaetetus” has once again become famous due to discussion on the concept ‘knowledge’ in analytic philosophy. In my paper, I provide a novel interpretation of this dialogue and demonstrate how it can be applied for a specification of hermeneutics. For this, I revisit this dialogue and argue, against the dominant view, that Plato achieves a positive result concerning the concept of knowledge. I show that this kind of knowledge can be interpreted as a special kind of ‘practical knowledge’ and used for the reconstruction of a hermeneutic tradition à la Dilthey. I then demonstrate the main characteristics of this kind of knowledge analysing the relationship between the concepts ‘knowledge’ and ‘belief’ and between the concepts ‘knowledge’ and ‘truth’, and challenging the standard definition of knowledge as a true justified belief from the hermeneutic perspective. One methodological implication of my paper may be to challenge the dominant and sometimes eliminative projects assuming that all knowledge can be somehow reduced to propositional knowledge.
Hermeneutics; knowledge; Plato; Theaetetus; practical knowledge; intellectual perception; belief; truth.