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Between Truth and Meaning. A Novel Interpretation of the Symploke in Plato’s Sophist

  • Lorenzo Giovannetti EMAIL logo
From the journal Elenchos


In this paper, I provide an interpretation of the symploke ton eidon at Soph. 259e. My goal is to show that the specific metaphysical view expressed by the interweaving of forms best accounts for Plato’s explanation of truth and falsehood. In the first section, I introduce the fundamentals of the interpretation of the greatest kinds and their functions. After that, I propose an interpretation of the assertion at 259e, the upshot of which is that the interweaving of forms only deals with extra-linguistic items, that it is related to both truth and meaning of linguistic items, in a very complex way which I aim to explain throughout the paper, and that it never involves sensible particulars. In the second section, I put forward my reading of the Stranger’s description of how logoi are structured and how they work. I pay particular attention to the view that words reveal being when they intertwine to form a statement. In the third section, I interpret the statements concerning Theaetetus. My goal is to advance a new reading of the specific role that kinds and their interweaving play with regard to the truth and falsehood of the statements concerning Theaetetus. The result is the very specific view that the kinds, which are the separated ontological cause of what happens in space and time, are the grounds of both the truth and the meaning of statements.

Corresponding author: Lorenzo Giovannetti, Università degli Studi di Roma Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy, E-mail:


I wish to thank Francesco Aronadio, Francesco Fronterotta, Federico Maria Petrucci, Pierluigi D’Agostino and Erminia Di Iulio for their support and their helpful comments on previous drafts of this paper. I also thank an anonymous reviewer for pushing me to widen my perspective and better frame my interpretation.


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Published Online: 2021-11-29
Published in Print: 2021-12-20

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