Socrates’ Question

Plato’s Theaetetus is a dialogue, in which the leading question: “what is knowledge?” is posed by Socrates to Theaetetus. “Knowledge,” a translation of epistememe, has two meanings; it is a practical know-how, which “extends across all possible human activities,” from how to make a pair of shoes to how to conduct a war. It is also understood as “seeing” or idein. What unites both is their relationship to beings in their unhiddenness, their truth. Seeing is the seeing of beings in their presence, as what they show themselves for. Similarly know-how is disposal over beings in their presence, in their unhiddenness. This leads Heidegger to define knowledge as: “knowing-one’s-way-around in something as the possession of truth.” (120)

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