Plato's Analysis of Falsity
A Landmark in the History of Logical Analysis

Job van Eck

Faculty of Philosophy
Aweg 30
9718 CW Groningen


Plato's theory of falsity and its preliminaries, as presented in Sophistes 254d-263d, has evoked many grave criticisms: it is said to be fundamentally flawed in several respects. Yet it appears that the main origin of this view is an incorrect reading of the section on negation, which precedes the analysis of falsity. This section is interpreted as treating negative predication; in fact it treats higher order (non-)identity propositions (F is [not] G). And it is on the basis of these (non)identity propositions that the falsity of atomic first order sentences is explained. The resulting analysis turns out to be impeccable and fully adequate to the problems at issue.

Bibtex Entry