has not already encountered beings as such [the being of precisely that something]?'


Here we have ἀληθειας τυχεῖν together with οὐσίας τυχεῖν. The encounter with beings is the condition of the possibility of encountering unhiddenness. Schleiermacher has completely misunderstood this statement. He translates: 'Can anyone attain the true essence [Wesen] of something who has not even attained its existence [Dasein]?'14 Here Schleiermacher opposes ἀλήθεια and οὐσία to one another in the sense of the later school-distinction between essentia and existentia, essence and existence. This has no sense at all here, where the meaning is unhiddenness (in every sense) and beings (in their what and how).

(186 c 9 - e 12):

[Socrates] Οὗ δὲ ἀληθείας τις ἀτυχήσει, ποτὲ τούτου ἐπιστήμων ἔσται;

[Theaetetus] Καὶ πῶς ἄν, ὦ Σώκρατες;

Ἐν μὲν ἄρα τοῖς παθήμασιν οὐκ ἔνι ἐπιστήμη, ἐν δὲ τῷ περὶ ἐκείνων συλλογισμῷ: οὐσίας γὰρ καὶ ἀληθείας ἐνταῦθα μέν, ὡς ἔοικε, δυνατὸν ἅψασθαι, ἐκεῖ δὲ ἀδύνατον.


Ἦ οὖν ταὐτὸν ἐκεῖνό τε καὶ τοῦτο καλεῖς, τοσαύτας διαφορὰς ἔχοντε;

Οὔκουν δὴ δίκαιόν γε.

Τί οὖν δὴ ἐκείνῳ ἀποδίδως ὄνομα, τῷ ὁρᾶν ἀκούειν ὀσφραίνεσθαι ψύχεσθαι θερμαίνεσθαι;

Αἰσθάνεσθαι ἔγωγε: τί γὰρ ἄλλο;

Σύμπαν ἄρ᾽ αὐτὸ καλεῖς αἴσθησιν;


Ὧι γε, φαμέν, οὐ μέτεστιν ἀληθείας ἅψασθαι: οὐδὲ γὰρ οὐσίας.

Οὐ γὰρ οὖν.

Οὐδ᾽ ἄρ᾽ ἐπιστήμης.

Οὐ γάρ.

Οὐκ ἄρ᾽ ἂν εἴη ποτέ, ὦ Θεαίτητε, αἴσθησίς τε καὶ ἐπιστήμη ταὐτόν.

Οὐ φαίνεται, ὦ Σώκρατες. καὶ μάλιστά γε νῦν καταφανέστατον γέγονεν ἄλλο ὂν αἰσθήσεως ἐπιστήμη.

I now simply give the translation, which after all the previous explanations speaks for itself:

'Can someone have knowledge of anything without attaining its unhiddenness?'

'How could they, Socrates?'

'Then knowledge does not reside in what we encounter through our senses

[242-243] 173