Van Gorcum (1989)

Rick Benitez
University of Sydney
This study consists of a series of essays on the metaphysics and epistemology of Plato's Philebus. My chief aim is to determine to what extent Plato maintains the theory of Forms in that dialogue. Because it is generally thought to be a late dialogue, the Philebus is a key to setting a long-standing debate about Plato's philosophical development. Scholars disagree on whether the theory of Forms is maintained in Plato's late dialogues. Most recent interpretations of the Philebus claim that it is incompatible with the theory of Forms. My study shows, however, that the Philebus reaffirms the ontological and epistemological claims of that theory. To secure my thesis I make extensive comparisons with Plato's middle dialogues, particularly the Phaedo, Symposium, Phaedrus, Republic, and Cratylus. This sort of comparison is crucial because Plato's actual descriptions of Forms differ in significant ways from standard accounts of his theory. I show that the distinctions between being and becoming and between knowledge and opinion, which were essential to the theory of Forms in the middle dialogues, are reaffirmed in the Philebus. As in the middle dialogues, Forms in the Philebus are the prime bearers of the attributes their names describe. Forms are logical causes of the attributes of sensibles, and each Form is a unit having many sensible participants. Plato's reaffirmation of the essential features of the theory of Forms in the Philebus shows that he did not substantially revise that theory in dialogues after the Parmenides
Keywords Plato   Form
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La justa medida: entre Político y Filebo.María Isabel Santa Cruz - 2009 - Signos Filosóficos 11 (22):75-100.
Colloquium 5: Plato’s Anti-Hedonism.Gunter Figal - 2008 - Proceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium of Ancient Philosophy 23 (1):187-204.

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