What is philosophy and what were its origins in Ancient Greece? Plato’s Theaetetus is primarily a study of knowledge, but that main theme also weaves through several sub-themes, including the question of teaching philosophy in schools, and a question that lurks behind that one: How did (or does) philosophy begin? Socrates offers two mythical references to the beginning of philosophy, one of them imagining Ocean, first cause of the world for Homer, as philosophy’s first subject; the other equating philosophy with Iris, goddess of the rainbow. But why should Iris represent philosophy? Looking into this riddle generates a final surprising suggestion about where Plato thinks Socrates belongs in the philosophical tradition.
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