Diálogo sobre a linguagem e a propriedade das palavras. Interlocutor no diálogo e ateniense, filho de Smicrion.


Sobre a propriedade das palavras. Contra o heraclitismo. Insuficiência das palavras e das etimologias para chegar à verdade e à essência das coisas. Aparece a teoria das Ideias.

Jowett: Cratylus 427d-440e — Novo exame do problema

Her. But, Socrates, as I was telling you before, Cratylus mystifies me ; he says that there is a fitness of names, but he never explains what is this fitness, so that I cannot tell whether his obscurity is intended or not. Tell me now, Cratylus, here in the presence of Socrates, do you agree in what Socrates has been saying about names, or have you something better of your own ? and if you have, tell me what your view is, and then you will either learn of Socrates, or Socrates and I will learn of you.

Jowett: Cratylus 391a-421c — A denominação natural

Soc. My good Hermogenes, I have none to show. Was I not telling you just now (but you have forgotten), that I knew nothing, and proposing to share the enquiry with you ? But now that you and I have talked over the matter, a step has been gained ; for we have discovered that names have by nature a truth, and that not every man knows how to give a thing a name.

Her. Very good.

Soc. And what is the nature of this truth or correctness of names ? That, if you care to know, is the next question.

Her. Certainly, I care to know.

Soc. Then reflect.

Jowett: Cratylus 384c-391a — A linguagem deriva de uma convenção e é arbitrária

Her. I have often talked over this matter, both with Cratylus and others, and cannot convince myself that there is any principle of correctness in names other than convention and agreement ; any name which you give, in my opinion, is the right one, and if you change that and give another, the new name is as correct as the old — we frequently change the names of our slaves, and the newly-imposed name is as good as the old : for there is no name given to anything by nature ; all is convention and habit of the users ; — such is my view.