Ewegen, Shane Montgomery. “Playing with Words: Plato's Cratylus and the Comic Unfolding of Language”, PhD, Boston College, 2011. http://hdl.handle.net/2345/3757.
This dissertation serves as an analysis of Plato's Cratylus that attends to the comedy of the text and the manner in which this comedy contributes to the text's philosophical analysis of language. Stated broadly, this dissertation shows how Socrates criticizes a certain view of language (which he calls the `tragic view') by showing the manner in which it binds human beings to opinions and mere appearances, thus severing them from the truth. Against this tragic view, Socrates develops what I call his `comic view' of language that frees human beings from their attachment to mere opinion by providing them with a glimpse of true Being.