Print this page

Observations placeholder

Plato - Cratylus - On weaving



Type of spiritual experience


Some are only able to make perceptions, but there are a few true co-creators able to make 'names' create new things - entities


A description of the experience

Plato - Cratylus

 SOCRATES: Suppose that I ask, 'What sort of instrument is a shuttle?'
And you answer, 'A weaving instrument.'


SOCRATES: And I ask again, 'What do we do when we weave?'--The answer is, that we separate or disengage the warp from the woof.

HERMOGENES: Very true.

SOCRATES: And may not a similar description be given of an awl, and of instruments in general?

HERMOGENES: To be sure.

SOCRATES: And now suppose that I ask a similar question about names: will you answer me? Regarding the name as an instrument, what do we do when we  name?

HERMOGENES: I cannot say.

SOCRATES: Do we not give information to one another, and distinguish things according to their natures?

HERMOGENES: Certainly we do.

SOCRATES: Then a name is an instrument of teaching and of distinguishing natures, as the shuttle is of distinguishing the threads of the web.


SOCRATES: And the shuttle is the instrument of the weaver?

HERMOGENES: Assuredly.

SOCRATES: Then the weaver will use the shuttle well--and well means like a weaver? and the teacher will use the name well--and well means like a teacher?


SOCRATES: Then, Hermogenes, not every man is able to give a name, but only a maker of names; and this is the legislator, who of all skilled artisans in the world is the rarest.


The source of the experience


Concepts and Symbols used in the text or image