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On IdeasAristotle's Criticism of Plato's Theory of Forms$
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Gail Fine

Print publication date: 1995

Print ISBN-13: 9780198235491

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198235496.001.0001

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Plato and the Arguments from the Sciences

Plato and the Arguments from the Sciences

Chapter:
(p.89) 7 Plato and the Arguments from the Sciences
Source:
On Ideas
Author(s):

Gail Fine (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0198235496.003.0007

Fine has argued that Aristotle's objections are good against the Arguments from the Sciences, if forms are understood as non‐sensible, everlasting, separate, and perfect paradigms. In this chapter, however, Fine argues that Plato would accept some, but not all, of the premisses of the Arguments from the Sciences. Drawing upon Republic 5, Fine identifies narrow compresence of opposites as a salient feature of a more general sort of imperfection that Plato relies upon to establish the existence of forms. This ‘imperfection argument’ (i.e. if a group of things are each imperfectly F, then they are F in virtue of a perfect form of F) does not imply separate or everlasting forms, as Aristotle thinks it does. However, Fine argues that this is not a misinterpretation by Aristotle of Plato; rather, it is indicative of Aristotle's general interpretative strategy, i.e. not to give opponents premisses that they do not formulate precisely.

Keywords:   Arguments from the Sciences, Aristotle's interpretative strategy, compresence, imperfection argument, Republic

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