Issues in Ontology


a) Acquire a deep understanding of the meaning and specific characteristics of Ontology as the sought after science (zêtoumenê epistêmê) and of its interlinking with the other branches of philosophy and science
b) Acquire a deep understanding of the various approaches that have been taken in trying to provide an answer to ontological questions
c) Acquire detailed knowledge of a wide range of ontological concepts
d) Acquire increased proficiency in understanding, comparing and using these concepts critically and independently, and in interpreting and discussing ontological claims and questions
e) Acquire detailed knowledge of the fundamental texts in this field, with a mastering of past interpretations, of the current state of research and of all the relevant bibliography
f) Acquire the ability to carry out research work under supervision in this field that meets high scientific quality standards.
g) Acquire the ability to carry out independent research in this area.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Mário Jorge Pereira de Almeida Carvalho


Weekly - 3

Total - 280

Teaching language



Not applicable.


Burnet, I. (Ed.) (1905). Platonis Opera, I. Oxonii.
Duke, E. A./Hicken, W. F. et al. (Ed.) (1995). Platonis Opera, I. Oxonii.
Campbell, L. (Ed.) (1883). The Theaetetus of Plato. Oxford.
Cornford, F. M. D. (1935). Plato’s Theory of Knowledge. The ‘Theaetetus’ and the ‘Sophist’ of Plato. London.
Fowler, H. N. (Ed.) (1967). Theaetetus and Sophist (Loeb).
London/Cambridge (Mass.).
Macdowell, J. H. (Ed.) (1973). Plato Theaetetus. Oxford.
Levett, M. J./Burnyeat, M. (Ed.) (1990). The Theaetetus of Plato. Indianapolis/Cambridge.
Rowe, C. (Ed.) (2015). Plato Theaetetus and Sophist. Cambridge.
Ambuel, D. (Ed.) (2015). Turtles all the Way Down: On Plato’s Theaetetus. A Commentary and Translation. Sankt Augustin.
Diès, A. (Ed.) (1923). Platon Théétète. Paris.
Narcy, M. (Ed.) 1994. Platon Théétète. Paris.
Valgimigli, M. (Ed.) (1999). Platone Teeteto. Roma-Bari: Laterza.
Ferrari, F. (Ed.) (2011). Platone Teeteto. Milano.
Trabatoni, F./Capra, A (Ed.) A bibliography will be given in the first session.

Teaching method

This curricular unit has a theoretical-practical character.
Seminar-oriented classes.
Reading and interpretation of and commentary on the relevant philosophical texts and related philosophical questions and concepts.
The teaching methodology combines: a) a thorough interpretation of the texts in question (of their different components and of their connection with other texts) b) a theoretical analysis of philosophical problems, and c) a discussion of alternative views, objections, counter-examples, etc

Evaluation method

Evaluation Methodologies - Class participation (participation in the discussion)(25%), Individual appraisal. Each student will have to present a research paper on a topic individually agreed upon with the Lecturer and then discuss this paper with the latter.(75%)

Subject matter

Life, knowledge and Reality– Plato’s Theaetetus

What is the role played by knowledge claims and reality in human life? To what extent is human life intrinsically knowledge-related (or at any rate knowledge-claims-related) and reality-related? What is knowledge (viz. the knowledge claims human life is intrinsically related to) all about? And how are knowledge and reality interrelated?
These questions resemble a very complex jigsaw puzzle ontological investigation cannot ignore.
Plato’s Theaetetus, too, strongly resembles a puzzle – and reading it (trying to make sense of its many components) is like having to piece together a very complex jigsaw.
At first glance it would appear that we are speaking of two different puzzles. But, on closer inspection, it emerges that Plato’s Theatetus is all about the above-mentioned questions, so that trying to piece together one of these puzzles amounts to trying to piece together the other.
Our task is to deal with this twofold puzzle.