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Plato on Parts and Wholes
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Plato on Parts and Wholes: The Metaphysics of Structure

Verity Harte


This book is an examination of Plato's treatment of the relation between a whole and its parts in a group of Plato's later works: the Theaetetus, Parmenides, Sophist, Philebus, and Timaeus. Plato's discussions of part and whole in these texts fall into two distinct groups: a problematic one in which he explores, without endorsing, a model of composition as identity; and another in which he develops an alternative to this rejected model. Each model is concerned with the nature of composition of a whole from its parts, such that a whole is an individual, rather than a mere collection or heap. Ac ... More

Keywords: composition, Verity Harte, history of philosophy, identity, metaphysics, objects of science, ontology, Parmenides, parts, Philebus, Plato, Sophist, Theaetetus, Timaeus, wholes

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2002 Print ISBN-13: 9780198236757
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003 DOI:10.1093/0198236751.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Verity Harte, author
King's College London
Author Webpage