عنوان مقاله [English]
Plato examines language mainly as a subordinate matter related to the more important problem of knowledge. For him true knowledge is the knowledge of ideas but this is attained only through the particulars. The relation between ideas and particulars, as well as finding a mediating term between them is one of the most complex problems of his philosophy. It seems that sometimes he thinks of language as a mediate between ideas and particulars, since the words resemble both the ideas and particulars and so, beginning from the particulars, one can reach knowledge of the ideas through the words. Thus the names’ bipolar relation to both ideas and particulars makes it possible to acquire true knowledge. The difference between ideas and particulars, however, is so great that some problems emerge gradually in explaining their relation, so far as Plato suspects applying names either to the ideas or to the particulars. On the one hand, he considers names as appropriate to ideas and, regarding the permanent motion and substantial deficiency of the particulars, the names are applied to them solely as homonymous. On the other hand, according to Plato, ideas stand beyond language and their ultimate knowledge requires leaving language, then language from many aspects resembles particulars and therefore its applying to the ideas is not appropriate.