On the Meaning of Name in Plato’s Cratylus Dialogue and the Epic Tales of Dede Korkut

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Taşdelen V.

Journal of Arts and Humanities, vol.4, no.12, pp.71-81, 2015 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 4 Issue: 12
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Journal Name: Journal of Arts and Humanities
  • Journal Indexes: Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Page Numbers: pp.71-81
  • Yıldız Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Being given a name and giving a name are the most basic features of human being. He gives a name to himself as well as other entities in the universe he lives; recognizes them with names and provides introduction; establishes a relationship with them over the names. Everything manifesting itself to human consciousness in the universe and having a relationship with people have a name. From this perspective, giving a name is a problem with language and the origin of language. Asking the origin of names is to ask the origin of language; asking the relationship between names with regard to objects is to ask the relationship between language and reality and increasingly truth. The first work on names hence the philosophy of language was of Plato. Cratylus dialogue among his age of maturity dialogues where he developed his idealistic philosophy was the first work on names and hence the philosophy of language.  In this dialogue, two points of view face each other. One of them is conventionalist approach of Hermogenes and the other is naturalist approach of Cratylus.  

In this frame, the answer will be sought to the following questions: In Tales of Dede Korkut, (1) What is the function of names? (2) How many correct names does a thing/object have? (3) What kind of relationship can be achieved between objects and names? (4) Who gives the names?