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Existence, Negation, and Abstraction in the Neoplatonic Hierarchy1

History and Philosophy of Logic 16 (2):169-196 (1995)
The paper is a study of the logic of existence, negation, and order in the Neoplatonic tradition. The central idea is that Neoplatonists assume a logic in which the existence predicate is a comparative adjective and in which monadic predicates function as scalar adjectives that nest the background order. Various scalar predicate negations are then identifiable with various Neoplatonic negations, including a privative negation appropriate for the lower orders of reality and a hyper-negation appropriate for the higher. Reversion to the One can then be explained as the logical inference of hyper-negations from mundane knowledge. Part I develops the relevant linguistic and logical theory, and Part II defends Wolfson and the scalar interpretation against the more traditional Aristotelian understanding of Whittaker and others of reversion as intensional abstraction
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