Metamorphoses of logos: from non-predicative to predicative

José Gabriel Trindade Santos


This paper deals with some philosophical uses of logos prominent in platonic dialogues, namely those associated to contrasting logical and-epistemological contexts. Contraposed to some non-predicative conceptions, the ‘predicative’ theory of logos (Sophist 261-264) culminates Plato’s research on the subject. In the “socratic” dialogues it focuses on the request to answer the “What is?” question with a logos, to which corresponds, in the Phaedo and the Republic, the logon didonai requirement as proof of knowledge. As examples of sophistic uses of logos it examines three infallibilist and non-referentialist conceptions of logos advanced in the Euthydemus, the Theaetetus and the Cratylus. Having analyzed three cases of non-predicative logos, the paper suggests that with the predicative theory of logos Plato aims at enabling discourse to get at the knowledge of “what is”.


Plato; dialogues; predicative; non-predicative logos


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UNESCO Chair in Archai: on the origins of the western thought

ISSN: 1984-249X electronic version