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The Metaphysics of Relations$
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Anna Marmodoro and David Yates

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198735878

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198735878.001.0001

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Relations as Plural Predications in Plato

Relations as Plural Predications in Plato

(p.19) 2 Relations as Plural Predications in Plato
The Metaphysics of Relations

Theodore Scaltsas

Oxford University Press

Plato was the first philosopher to discuss the phenomenon of plural-subjects and plural-predication, e.g. you and I are two, but neither you, nor I are two. In this chapter it is argued that Plato devised an ontology for plural-predication through his Theory of Forms, namely, plural-partaking in a Form. Plato, it is argued, used plural-partaking to offer an ontology of related individuals without reifying relations. It is further argued that Plato’s theory of plural-relatives has evaded detection in the exegetical literature because his account of plural-subjects through the Theory of Forms has not been recognized for what it is. It is concluded that Plato’s handling of related individuals through plural-predication is not only a ‘first’ in philosophy, but also an ‘only’, having remained a unique account in the metaphysics of relations, and that Plato’s account suggests a fresh approach for contemporary debates on the subject.

Keywords:   Plato, plural predication, Theory of Forms, relatives, reductionism

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