The Peri ide^on (On Ideas) is the only work in which Aristotle systematically sets out and criticizes arguments for the existence of Platonic forms. Gail Fine presents the first full-length treatment in English of this important but neglected work. She asks how, and how well, Aristotle understands Plato'stheory of forms, and why and with what justification he favors an alternative metaphysical scheme. She examines the significance of the Peri ide^on for some central questions about (...) class='Hi'>Plato'stheory of forms--whether, for example, there are forms corresponding to every property or only to some, and if only to some, then to which ones; whether forms are universals, particulars or both; and whether they are meanings, properties or both. Fine also provides a general discussion of Plato'stheory of forms, and of our evidence about the Peri ide^on and its date, scope, and aims. While she pays careful attention to the details of the text, she also relates it to contemporary philosophical concerns. The book will be valuable for anyone interested in metaphysics ancient or modern. (shrink)
In several recent issues of this journal, I argued for an account of property possession as strict, numerical identity. While this account has stuck some as being (...) highly idiosyncratic in nature, it is not entirely something new under the sun, since as I will argue in this paper, it turns out to have a historic precedent in Platoâs theory of forms. Indeed, the purpose of this paper is twofold. The first is to show that my account of property possession can be utilized to provide a novel interpretation of Platoâs theory of forms. And the second is to show that once it has been divorced from a variety of implausible doctrines with which it has historically been wedded, Platoâs central insight that all properties possess themselves, far from being of mere historical interest, is independently plausible, ironically enough, even from an empirical point of view. (shrink)
This paper offers an interpretation of self-Predication (the idea that justice is just) in plato, Given that self-Predication is accepted as obvious both by plato and by his audience, Which entails that "all" self-Predications are clearly, Though not trivially, True. More strongly, It is suggested that "only" self-Predications can be accepted as clearly true by plato. This is to deny that plato had at his disposal an articulated notion of predication, And his middle theory of forms, Primarily the (...) relation of participation, Is seen as his attempt to arrive at that notion. It is argued that his metaphysical and semantical views are heavily influenced by eleatic monism. But this monism is incompatible with the very idea of predication. It is only in his later works, Where he attacks parmenides directly, That plato manages to lay the groundwork for what can be considered as the discovery of predication. (shrink)
Scholars of Plato are divided between those who emphasize the literature of the dialogues and those who emphasize the argument of the dialogues, and between those who see a development in the thought of the dialogues and those who do not. In this important book, Russell Dancy focusses on the arguments and defends a developmental picture. He explains the Theory of Forms of the Phaedo and Symposium as an outgrowth of the quest for definitions canvassed in the Socratic (...) dialogues, by constructing a Theory of Definition for the Socratic dialogues based on the refutations of definitions in those dialogues, and showing how that theory is mirrored in the Theory of Forms. His discussion, notable for both its clarity and its meticulous scholarship, ranges in detail over a number of Plato's early and middle dialogues, and will be of interest to readers in Plato studies and in ancient philosophy more generally. (shrink)
The author attempts here to sketch the beginnings of an adequate interpretation of Plato's treatment of the tall and the equal in the "Phaedo". The paper consists of seven sections (roman numerals). In I-II, he (a) argues that any attempt to solve the puzzle stated at "Phaedo" 102 bc within the parameters there set down would "eo ipso" be an attempted theory of relational statements; (b) formulates that puzzle; and (c) shows that Frege solved it by denying its (...) presuppositions. In IV the author proposes an interpretation of Plato's solution: that the "than y" in "x is taller than y" modifies the "is." In V-VI he shows how this theory fits in with and sheds light on other aspects of the theory of forms: the connection to Non-Contradiction, The doctrines of degrees of reality and of immanent characters. Finally in VII he shows that the puzzle of relational statements as formulated in the "Phaedo" need not extend to "equal." the paper also includes (iii) a discussion of H-N Castañeda's interpretation of Plato'stheory. (shrink)
I am pleased to have been able to vindicate Plato from the oft-rehearsed charge of not having distinguished relations from qualities. Not only does Phaedo 102B7-C4 show quite clearly that he did make the proper distinction, but the theory of relations he adumbrated there is logically sound and ontologically viable. Furthermore, it is refreshing to think of relations not as Forms or universals, but as chains of ontologically tied universals.Naturally, now that we have a clear understanding of (...) class='Hi'>Plato's Phaedo theory of relations and relational facts there is plenty of work to do. We must examine the other dialogues for alterations or even preservation of that theory. Moreover, there are those arguments of Aristotle that purport to reduce Plato'sTheory of Forms to absurdity on account of relations. But of this I shall say more at some other time. (shrink)
A review of Plato's Parmenides, The Conversion of the Soul, by Mitchell H. Miller Junior. The Parmenides is seen as offering readers a chance to appropriate fully by critical and conceptual inquiry what was given in the Republic in the modes of image and analogy.
There is a mystery at the heart of Plato’s Parmenides. In the first part, Parmenides criticizes what is widely regarded as Plato’s mature theory of Forms, and in the second, he promises to explain how the Forms can be saved from these criticisms. Ever since the dialogue was written, scholars have struggled to determine how the two parts of the work fit together. Did Plato mean us to abandon, keep, or modify the theory of Forms, (...) on the strength of Parmenides’ criticisms? Samuel Rickless offers something that has never been done before: a careful reconstruction of every argument in the dialogue. He concludes that Plato’s main aim was to argue that the theory of Forms should be modified by allowing that forms can have contrary properties. To grasp this is to solve the mystery of the Parmenides and understand its crucial role in Plato’s philosophical development. (shrink)
Translated by the noted classical scholar Francis M. Cornford, this edition of two masterpieces of Plato's later period features extensive ongoing commentaries by Cornford that provide helpful background information and valuable insights.
Translated by the noted classical scholar Francis M. Cornford, this edition of two masterpieces of Plato's later period features extensive ongoing commentaries by Cornford that provide helpful background information and valuable insights. The Theatetus offers a systematic treatment of the question, "What is knowledge?" with most of the dialogue taking place between Socrates and the student Theatetus. Among the answers they explore: knowledge as perception; knowledge as true belief; knowledge as true belief plus an account (i.e., a justified true (...) belief); as well as variations on each of these answers. The Sophist, a related dialogue, follows Socrates' cross-examination of a self-proclaimed true philosopher, the Stranger from Elea, on the distinction between philosophers, statesmen, and sophists. (shrink)
Origins of language. It is asserted that the work reveals an issue crucial to his philosophy, namely his ambiguous response to language. Plato's most basic assertion is that words are mere imitations of reality and cannot be trusted to be an accurate mode of transmitting knowledge. Plato refuses to take a systematic position towards language by mingling the divine with the human and the conventional with the natural. The easily proven ambiguity of plato'stheory of language is (...) shown to be the basis of many of the problems in his metaphysics, epistemology, and aesthetics. (shrink)
I discuss the division of the soul in plato's "republic". i concentrate on the arguments and illustrative examples given in book iv, but i treat the descriptions of different types of person in viii-ix and elsewhere as further constituents of a single, coherent theory. on my interpretation plato distinguishes three basic kinds of motivation which he claims all human beings regularly experience in some degree. reason is itself the immediate source of certain desires. in addition, there are appetitive (...) and also--quite distinct from either of the other two--competitive motivations. (shrink)
This book is an attempt "to give a systematic account of the development of plato'stheory of knowledge" (page vii). thus it focuses on the dialogues in which epistemological issues come to the fore. these dialogues are "meno", "phaedo", "symposium", "republic", "cratylus", "theastetus", "phaedrus", "timaeus", "sophist", "politicus", "philebus", and "laws". issues discusssed include the theory of recollection, perception, the difference between belief and knowledge, and mathematical knowledge. (staff).
The theory of forms makes a very poor theory of universals. It-or at least the "phaedo's" version of it-makes excellent sense as a theory of the elemental stuffs from which everything is made. This is shown by a detailed examination of all that this "phaedo" has to say about forms.
There is no full-fledged definition of art in plato's writings. If one looks for the beginnings of a theory of art in plato, i argue that one can find hints of an expression theory as easily as one can find hints of a mimetic theory. If we are to fully understand what plato thought about art, we must attend to the first sort of hints atleast as carefully as to the second. This is especially needed to (...) understand plato's criteria of good and bad art. (shrink)