Turtles All the Way Down: On Plato’s Theaetetus, a Commentary and Translation. Pp. 315. Sankt Augustin: Academia Verlag, 2015. isbn: 978-3-89665-640-7.In the last thirty years Plato’s Theaetetus has received much attention both in monographs and in specialized articles. Ambuel’s book is the latest addition to the growing scholarship on the dialogue, one that most resembles in format Burnyeat’s magisterial study: a 200-page commentary is followed by the author’s translation. A heavily selective bibliography and two indices complete the book.1 This is a philosophical reading of the Theaetetus with little attention to its rich and arguably under-discussed literary elements. The gap between philosophical and literary approaches to the dialogue remains, sadly, unbridged.The commentary is a straightforward run-through of the text from its dramatic setting (142a-151e) to the concluding exchange between Socrates and Theaetetus (210b-d). Ambuel picks up old and current debates on Protagoras’ measure doctrine, Heraclitean flux, being and not-being, appearance and reality, the wax tablet, knowledge and opinion, parts and wholes, treating every segment of the dialogue and giving previous philosophical studies their due, even if only perfunctorily. Other Platonic dialogues often come in to illuminate the discussion, especially the Republic, with little consideration for the early/middle/late taxonomy, a
International Journal of the Platonic Tradition – Brill
Published: Nov 3, 2017
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