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"Known By Being Unknown" (9a18–23)

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Chapter Summary

There is considerable uncertainty about what and whom Theophrastus is referring to in this passage. The crux of the matter is to understand precisely what the people who used the phrase. Since Theophrastus does not specify who said it and how they meant it, we can only proceed by trying to see what Theophrastus is actually saying in this passage and eliminating the impossible interpretations. This chapter conclude that knowing by unknownness is neither a sophism, as Ross would have it, nor what a loaded interpretation like that of Merlan suggests, but merely an indirect manner of knowing for those objects of which there cannot be a direct knowledge.

Keywords: Ross; Theophrastus



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