Self-predication or anaxagorean causation in Plato

Apeiron 9 (2):15 - 23 (1975)
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Since gregory vlastos resurrected "self-predication" there justifiably has been considerable interest in "self-predication," and the interpretation of this notion is crucial for understanding plato's metaphysics. I am in agreement with vlastos in thinking that plato's degrees-of-reality ontology and his conception of forms as paradigms implies "self-predication." Nevertheless, many of plato's "self-predicational" statements (e.g., "the beautiful is beautiful," "justice is just," etc.) Arise, i believe, from a different source. Plato, at times, accepts an anaxagorean account of causation: a cause must have the quality that it produces in something else. I argue that anaxagorean causation lies behind the apparently "self- predicational" statements at "parmenides" 131 c-e, "euthydemus" 301b, "hippias major" 292e, "protagoras" 330 c,e, and "phaedo" 100c. These statements are, i believe, on a par with an ethical motif of the dialogues– that a man (or the demiurge) must have the quality that he produces in another; e.g., Only a just man can make another man just



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Plato's Early Theory of Knowledge.David Loram Conroy - 1974 - Dissertation, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke and Smith Colleges

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