On Ideas: Aristotle's Criticism of Plato's Theory of Forms by Gail Fine

By Gail Fine

The Peri ideôn (On Ideas) is the one paintings during which Aristotle systematically units out and criticizes arguments for the lifestyles of Platonic kinds. Gail effective provides the 1st full-length remedy in English of this significant yet missed paintings. She asks how, and the way good, Aristotle is aware Plato's concept of kinds, and why and with what justification he favors an alternate metaphysical scheme. She examines the importance of the Peri ideôn for a few relevant questions about Plato's idea of forms--whether, for instance, there are types similar to each estate or in simple terms to a couple, and if purely to a couple, then to which of them; no matter if varieties are universals, details or either; and whether or not they are meanings, houses or either. high-quality additionally presents a basic dialogue of Plato's concept of types, and of our facts concerning the Peri ideôn and its date, scope, and goals. whereas she can pay cautious recognition to the main points of the textual content, she additionally relates it to modern philosophical matters. The publication may be beneficial for an individual attracted to metaphysics historic or modern.

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Extra resources for On Ideas: Aristotle's Criticism of Plato's Theory of Forms

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I shall also say something (more briefly) about what the Peri ideon reveals about Aristotle's understanding of and alternative to Plato. 4 But he is vague about the precise range and characteristics of forms. For example, it is often thought that in Rep. 5 But elsewhere Plato says that forms 'carve at the natural joints' (Phdr. 26501-2; cf. Pol. 26aab), and not every predicate does that. The argument from compresence adverted to in, for example, Rep. 1 (523~5) does not even seem to yield forms for every predicate that carves at the natural joints.

Forms might be universals and/or particulars, properties and/or meanings, on some of these usages but not on others. It will therefore be useful if I begin by saying something about how the key terms are used; about how I use them here and why I so use them; and about Aristotle's understanding of them. What follows is by no means a thorough discussion of these notions; I restrict myself to the main uses involved in some of the central discussions about forms, and even here I shall be brief. 3. 10 On this view, not every meaningful predicate denotes a universal, since not every meaningful predicate denotes an explanatory property.

But since i. 6 ascribes the flux argument to Plato, we are entitled to assume that 'they' includes him. 36 He then mentions several other arguments about forms; and then, towards the end of his discussion, he mentions the Phaedo (13. 5, io8oai). It is true that at i079bi8-23 he mentions Eudoxus' account of immanent forms. But nowhere else in 13. 4-5 does he suggest that he is suddenly shifting away from Plato's arguments to arguments defended only by others in the Academy. The structure of 13. 4-5 thus suggests that, except when Aristotle names another source (as in the case of Eudoxus), he is considering the initial phases of Plato's theory of forms.

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