Aristotle on Protagoras and the Theaetetus
In Metaphysics G5, Aristotle tries to figure out what kind of underlying philosophical convictions would make it tempting to believe that contradictions can be true together. One such opinion is the idea that everything can be characterized by opposites (i.e., that everything is both F and not-F), another is Protagoras’ measure doctrine, and a third is the idea that everything can be characterized by constant and total flux. Each of these ideas can lead one to deny the principle of non-contradiction, and also to conclude that it is futile to search for the truth. Aristotle argues separately against each of these ideas, and at the same time tries to identify the root cause of the problem: he thinks that, at bottom, each of these ideas is based on the conviction that only what is perceptible is real.
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