The philosophical studies of Yamaguchi University

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The philosophical studies of Yamaguchi University Volume 10
published_at 2001

Logos of a syllable : towards an interpretation of Socrates' dream

シラブルのロゴス : ソクラテスの夢の解釈に向けて
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As Socrates himself points out, the exposition of his dream of 201d8-202c6 0bviously relies much on the model of letters and syllables. The model can in fact be a rich source of hints and suggestions for anyone who attempts an interpretion of the dream. In this paper the author tries to evaluate exactly how much should be sought from this model. While, on the one hand, the point of this model does not seem to lie in the simple part-whole relation holding between letters and syllables, what is given in the text also tells against the view that this model is to be understood phonetically. From an examination of the way in which “sigma and omega” is treated as the logos of the syllable “SO” at 203a-b, the author tries to establish that the model is intended to be phonological. On the phonological model, giving the logos of a complex object x involves an implicit appeal to a theory that contains the definition of x. Here, as in the part-whole model, the logos enumerates x's constituent parts, but does so in a way that shows that x does fall under the definition. The author also argues that the phonological model is applicable to cases of complex objects other than syllables.