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My intention in this paper is to explore some of the implications of the fact that the fifth century sophistic thinker Antiphon entitled his main "sophistic" treatise, published in two books. Truth (Alêtheia). As in the case of Protagoras' treatise of the same name, this title may be understood as an indication that Antiphon is responding to Parmenides' "Way o f Truth" and is affirming his own view of the truth about the world, that physis is more real or truer than nomos, or in other words, statements are true if and only if they correspond to physis, but not to nomos. I have no quarrel with seeing Antiphon's Truth as in some respect a response to Parmenides, but I think the relationship between the works of these thinkers is more complex, and these titles raise fundamental questions about what each author, and their contemporaries, understood by "truth."


Michael Gagarin presented “The truth of Antiphon’s truth” to the Society at its meeting with the American Philological Association in Chicago in 1991. A revised version was published in Anthony Preus, ed. Before Plato (Essays in Ancient Greek Philosophy VI, State University of New York Press 2001, 171-185. A further revised version became Chapter 3 of his Antiphon the Athenian. University of Texas Press. 2002.

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