Synthese 165 (1):31-51 (2008)

Though acknowledged by scholars, Plato’s identification of the Beautiful and the Good has generated little interest, even in aesthetics where the moral concepts are a current topic. The view is suspect because, e.g., it is easy to find examples of ugly saints and beautiful sinners. In this paper the thesis is defended using ideas from Plato’s ancient commentators, the Neoplatonists. Most interesting is Proclus, who applied to value theory a battery of linguistic tools with fixed semantic properties—comparative adjectives, associated gradable adjectives, mass nouns, and predicate negations—all with a semantics that demand a privative scale of value. It is shown how it is perfectly possible to interpret value terms Platonically over privative Boolean algebras so that beautifuland good diverge while at higher levels other value terms are coextensional. Considerations are offered that this structure conforms to actual usage.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy of Language   Metaphysics   Epistemology   Logic
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-007-9231-4
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References found in this work BETA

A Natural History of Negation.Laurence Horn - 1989 - University of Chicago Press.
Polar Opposition and the Ontology of 'Degrees'.Christopher Kennedy - 2001 - Linguistics and Philosophy 24 (1):33-70.
The Comparative Revisited.Pietera M. Seuren - 1984 - Journal of Semantics 3 (1-2):109-141.

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Citations of this work BETA

Lukasiewicz's Many-Valued Logic and Neoplatonic Scalar Modality.John N. Martin - 2002 - History and Philosophy of Logic 23 (2):95-120.
Colloquium 3: Why Beauty is Truth in All We Know: Aesthetics and Mimesis in Neoplatonic Science1.Marije Martijn - 2010 - Proceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium of Ancient Philosophy 25 (1):69-108.
Malebranche’s Neoplatonic Semantic Theory1.John N. Martin - 2014 - International Journal of the Platonic Tradition 8 (1):33-71.

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