THE ESSENCE OF TRUTH


(whether rightly or otherwise is a further question; it is always the inner claim of a view to present the thing itself); and on the other hand the comportment, a stance-taking that springs from the soul itself, i.e. to be of the view, to hold something for such and such. I am of the view: for my part I see the matter as so and so (ἡ ψυχὴ αὐτὴ καθ᾽ αὑτὴν). The first meaning concerns the perceiving of a view, the perceiving acceptance of a look as this presents itself; the second meaning concerns the fore-taking [Sich-vornehmen] of the same, the perceiving of something by us (thus seeing it and taking it as such and such).

In this way it should become clear how the unfolding of the problem of the first answer necessarily presses into the region indicated by the term δόξα. The identification of this region, and of the path towards it, is of special importance for us because it is precisely within this region of δόξα that there arises the phenomenon of the distorted view [verkehrte Ansicht]. The Greeks understand untruth as τὸ ψεῦδος, distortion. This phenomenon does not arise here by accident, but necessarily. The δόξα cannot be further understood without attending to this phenomenon of distortion.


§ 38. Two More Faces of δόξα: The Wavering between Letting-Appear (εἶδος) and Distorting (ψεῦδος)

But let us again follow the actual course of the dialogue (187 b ff.)! Theaetetus has only just named the new region for discovering the essence of knowledge when he makes a curious qualification (187 b 4 ff.):

Δόξαν μὲν πᾶσαν εἰπεῖν, ὦ Σώκρατες, ἀδύνατον, ἐπειδὴ καὶ ψευδής ἐστι δόξα: κινδυνεύει δὲ ἡ ἀληθὴς δόξα ἐπιστήμη εἶναι, καί μοι τοῦτο ἀποκεκρίσθω.


'To say that knowledge is only view [having a view] is impossible, for a view can often be false [distorted]. Only the true view could be knowledge. Let that be my answer.'


We see that with δόξα we are immediately in a region which is indifferent in respect of truth and falsity. As Socrates says (187 c 3 f.): δυοῖν ὄντοιν ἰδέαιν δόξης ('the δόξα has two faces'). To be noted, however, is that this is not the double-meaning we just discussed (the look of an object and the comportment of having-a-view), but that each of these two meanings of δόξα has two faces. A δόξα qua 'look of something': the look


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