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Chapter Three The Question of the Possibility of ψευδὴς δόξα§35. Preliminary investigation: the impossibility of the phenomenon of ψευδὴς δόξα a) The arising of the ψεῦδος in the elucidation of δόξα as ἐπιστήμη1 The second answer to the question, “What is knowing?” runs as follows : knowing is δόξα, belief, view. We sought to display the word δόξα in its fundamental meaning, and we ran up against a special ambiguity. We grasped this ambiguity in the word “view,” which has the sense, first, of the look that something offers, as in a postcard vista; second, it also means “it is my view,” “it is my belief.” Both meanings lie in the one word δόξα and resonate in one another. A further division of meaning is made possible on the basis of this ambiguity. A view can be a positive force; it can hit the mark. But the appearance can also miss the mark. A view can give a thing as it is, but it can also offer a mere appearance in the sense of semblance. It can be a mere view, a mere belief. It was important to elucidate this fundamental meaning of δόξα because in Plato, in the discussion of whether δόξα constitutes the essence of knowing, the question arose concerning the ψευδὴς δόξα, the ψεῦδος, the false, the untrue. The place where the ψεῦδος emerges in Plato is, as it were, fixed. We will confine ourselves to considering the ψευδὴς δόξα. Even though this investigation into false belief does not really come under consideration immediately for the question about the essence of knowing, it is remarkable that Plato has nevertheless treated false be1 . {Recapitulation at the beginning of the session of 27 February 1934.} 192 lief in considerably more detail in comparison to the treatment of true belief. This suggests that behind this is hidden a fundamental problem. b) The field of vision of the preliminary investigation as an advance decision about the impossibility of the phenomenon According to the stage of philosophical questioning at this point, the preliminary investigation of the question about false belief should demonstrate the impossibility of something like a false belief. This impossibility is demonstrated on the basis of ancient propositions that were valid until then for Greek philosophy. We can trace this in short order. We therefore want to establish the question in advance: is something like a false view possible at all? In order not to leave the discussion lying in abstraction, we wish to invoke an example mentioned in the dialogue (188b6ff.): if someone in Athens takes a man who is approaching him for Socrates (when in truth it is Theaetetus), then this false view that I have about a man I am encountering is not accidental (one might observe, as a matter of comparison, that Theaetetus, just like Socrates, has a snub nose and is popeyed). I therefore take Theaetetus for Socrates. I am laboring under a false view regarding the person I am encountering. But on the basis of recognized philosophical principles of ancient philosophy, this cannot be possible. The proof unfolds in this way: α) The alternatives of familiarity and unfamiliarity Granted, if I should labor under a false view like this, then because of this I have, in a certain way, a familiarity with the person encountered : [he is] snub-nosed, popeyed—but at the same time, since I take Theaetetus for Socrates, I am not familiar with the person encountered . Therefore, one could insist that with respect to one and the same thing (the same man), I am both familiar and unfamiliar. But in relation to an object there is no possibility other than being either familiar or unfamiliar with it. Therefore we would have to be familiar and unfamiliar with the same object at the same time. But this is impossible. This proves in principle that something like a false view cannot be. According to fundamental principles, it is not possible that someone, insofar as he is familiar with something, is unfamiliar with the very same thing, or that someone, insofar as he is unfamiliar with something, has familiarity with the same thing. But while this is indeed correctly developed on the basis of fundamental principles, it still contradicts the facts of the matter. The deduction from fundamental principles stands against the facts of the matter. The real meaning of this reflection is to indicate and explain what really belongs to this remarkable phenomenon, one that is called a§35 [252–253] 193 marvel: namely, that I do not see one object, but rather two, and at the same time, that I...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9780253004659
Print ISBN
9780253355119
MARC Record
OCLC
678869653
Pages
256
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
N
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