THE ESSENCE OF TRUTH
dogmatically, it gives a new conception of the essence of the ψευδής δόξα, and in addition a new name: a ψευδής δόξα is an ἀλλοδοξία. This word cannot be translated, at any rate not by Schleiermacher's quite unsuitable expression 'verwechselte Meinung' [confused opinion].4 If opinion, then at best to opine distortedly, to mean something else. But however difficult the translation, the substantive intention of this third proposal is quite clear.
The essence of a distorted view in the sense of an ἀλλοδοξία is, as Socrates says (189 b 12 ff.):
ἀλλοδοξίαν τινὰ οὖσαν ψευδῆ φαμεν εἶναι δόξαν, ὅταν τίς τι τῶν ὄντων ἄλλο αὖ τῶν ὄντων ἀνταλλαξάμενος τῇ διανοίᾳ φῇ εἶναι.
'A ψευδής δόξα, in the sense of an ἀλλοδοξία, occurs when a person, in perceiving, takes one existing thing for another existing thing.'
Example: when someone takes an approaching person to be Socrates, when he is actually Theaetetus, i.e. instead of Theaetetus he takes him for Socrates. (But ἀνταλλάτεσθαι does not mean confusion, rather a switching around of one for the other.) This conception of the essence of the ψευδής δόξα is immediately explained in terms of its adequacy to the guiding principles of the two previous attempts. More clearly stated: it is claimed that with this conception the previously discovered positive characteristics of the ψευδής δόξα find their place and inner connection. There are three moments:
1. The ψευδής δόξα (according to the second attempt) is an opining of nothing. Now it is shown that it is not an opining of nothing, but that in distorted opinion something existing is intended, only instead of one thing (Theaetetus, who it really is) another (Socrates, who it is not).
2. It is thereby already claimed (and thereafter held to) that a view is always such as to relate to one thing and to another thing (it has to do with two things) - in the case of the ψευδής δόξα to the one instead of the other. What Plato wants to emphasize is that an opinion really has two objects: the one instead of the other.
3. In this way the nature of the ψεῦδος is also indicated: that which is intended is missed (instead of Theaetetus, Socrates).
Theaetetus considers this new conception of the essence of the ψευδής δόξα to be highly suitable, and is so sure of it that he claims, as additional confirmation, that whoever comports himself in this way (in the sense of this ἀλλοδοξία), ὡς ἀληῶς δοξάζει ψευδῆ, is 'truly of a false view'.