You will prepare and submit a term paper on Does Plato’s Theaetetus Provide a Comprehensive Refutation of Empiricism. Your paper should be a minimum of 2250 words in length. In Theaetetus, Plato works on an anti-imperialist stance. It is no ordinary job to offer criticism on definite lines to Plato’s assumptions. From the mind-level, they are available to various interpretations, depending upon the level of intellectual progression of scholars. Chappell “offers a brilliantly original interpretation of his own: first, he sets out to give a defense of the Unitarian interpretation of the Theaetetus superior to Cornford’s, whose many defects he points out along the way. and second, he argues that Plato’s Theaetetus is primarily an anti-empiricist tract. It exposes the shortcomings of that theory, and hints at the advantages of a rationalist epistemology such as Plato’s, waiting in the wings.”(Timothy….)
Out of the interpretations till the mid-20th century, Unitarianism was the predominant view of Plato’s Theatetus and most of his dialogues. While maintaining the theory of Forms and other essential doctrines consistently throughout the corpus, Plato is also aware of his difficulties in doing so. The position is so confusing for the scholars making attempts of interpretation of the doctrines, that they were led to conclude that the theory of Forms is nowhere mentioned explicitly in the Theaetetus and that by the time he wrote the book, he had given up on that theory. . Some of them found evidence of Plato’s criticism and his retreat as for the theory in that dialogue. Many unsolved puzzles and problems in the Theaetetus are the pointers to Plato’s honesty and integrity—that he admits his inability to offer satisfactory solutions to them and the revisionist’s harp on this position of Plato.
But the remedy of the Revisionist interpretations is worse than the disease, so to say! The original problems of the Theaetetus remain the original problems, as the alternative routes of interpretations attempted by them proved more confusing. Mr. Burk’s analysis of the Empiricist Theory is the case in point. He tries to put forth the ostensive definition.