On Ideas: Aristotle's Criticism of Plato's Theory of Forms

Journal of the History of Philosophy 34 (1):137-138 (1996)
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BOOK REVI~WS 137 Gail Fine. On Ideas: Aristotle's Criticism of Plato's Theory of Forms. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994. Pp. xiv + 4oo. Cloth, $55.oo. To many readers it will no doubt seem odd at first that an author could spend over four hundred printed pages discussing a portion of a treatise comprising just a scant five pages of Greek text, even supposing that the work faithfully reports Aristotelian doctrine. However, in working through Fine's book , one comes to see that it contains not only a thorough treatment of the first book of the Peri Ide0n, but also comprehensive interpretations of the metaphysical systems of Socrates, Plato , and Aristotle, and the parallels and differences among these systems. The book also contains clearheaded and instructive accounts of so-called "Third Man" arguments, and critical discussion of some influential interpretive hypotheses put forward in the writings of G. E. L. Owen. In the end, it is actually something of a marvel..



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Michael Ferejohn
Duke University

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