The Secret Doctrine and the Gigantomachia: Interpreting Plato’s Theaetetus-Sophist

  • Brad Berman Portland State University
Keywords: Plato, Theaetetus, Sophist, secret doctrine, battle of gods and giants, dunamis, kinêsis


The Theaetetus’ ‘secret doctrine’ and the Sophist’s ‘battle between gods and giants’ have long fascinated Plato scholars. I show that the passages systematically parallel one another. Each presents two substantive positions that are advanced on behalf of two separate parties, related to one another by their comparative sophistication or refinement. Further, those parties and their respective positions are characterized in substantially similar terms. On the basis of these sustained parallels, I argue that the two passages should be read together, with each informing and constraining an interpretation of the other.


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Author Biography

Brad Berman, Portland State University

Assistant Professor

Department of Philosophy