In most of the Socratic dialogues, Socrates professes to inquire into some virtue. At the same time, he professes not to know what the virtue in question is. How, then, can he inquire into it? Doesn't he need some knowledge to guide his inquiry? Socrates' disclaimer of knowledge seems to preclude Socratic inquiry. This difficulty must confront any reader of the Socratic dialogues; but one searches them in vain for any explicit statement of the problem or for any explicit solution (...) to it. The Meno, by contrast, both raises it explicitly and proposes a solution. (shrink)
Plato on Knowledge and Forms brings together a set of connected essays by Gail Fine, in her main area of research since the late 1970s: Plato's metaphysics and epistemology. She discusses central issues in Plato's metaphysics and epistemology, issues concerning the nature and extent of knowledge, and its relation to perception, sensibles, and forms; and issues concerning the nature of forms, such as whether they are universals or particulars, separate or immanent, and whether they are causes. A specially written introduction (...) draws together the themes of the volume, which will reward the attention of anyone interested in Plato or in ancient metaphysics and epistemology. (shrink)
The Peri ide^on 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's theory 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 Plato's theory 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's theory 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)
According to David Charles, in the Meno Socrates fleetingly distinguishes the signification from the essence question, but, in the end, he conflates them. Doing so, Charles thinks, both leads to Meno's paradox and prevents Socrates from answering it satisfactorily. I argue that Socrates doesn't conflate the two questions, and that his reply to Meno's paradox is more satisfactory than Charles allows.
ABSTRACTAt least in some dialogues, Plato has been thought to hold the so-called Two Worlds Theory, according to which there can be belief but not knowledge about sensibles, and knowledge but not belief about forms. The Phaedo is one such dialogue. In this paper, I explore some key passages that might be thought to support TW, and ask whether they in fact do so. I also consider the related issue of whether the Phaedo argues that, if knowledge is possible at (...) all, we can have it only when discarnate. (shrink)
This series aims to bring together important recent writing in major areas of philosophical inquiry, selected from a variety of sources. The editor of each volume contributes an introductory essay on the items chosen and on the questions with which they deal. A selective bibliography is appended as a guide to further reading.
At the end of Republic 5, Plato distinguishes epistêmê from doxa, knowledge from belief. In Posterior Analytics 1.33, Aristotle provides his own distinction between epistêmê and doxa. I explore his way of distinguishing them and compare it with Plato's.