On Ideas: Aristotle's Criticism of Plato's Theory of Forms

Clarendon Press
Free sample

The Peri ideon (On Ideas) 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, and why and with what justification he favours an alternative metaphysical scheme. She also examines the significance of the Peri ideon for some central questions about Plato's theory of forms - whether, for example, there are forms corresponding to every property or only to some, then to which ones; whether forms are universals, particulars, or both; and whether they are meanings, properties, or both. In addition to discussing the Peri ideon and its sources in Plato's dialogues, Fine also provides a general discussion of Plato's theory of forms, and of our evidence about the date, scope, and aims of the Peri ideon. While she pays careful attention to the details of the text, she also relates the issues to current philosophical concerns. The book will be valuable for anyone interested in metaphysics ancient or modern.
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Publisher
Clarendon Press
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Published on
Apr 29, 1993
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Pages
416
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ISBN
9780191519512
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Language
English
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Genres
Literary Collections / Essays
Literary Criticism / Ancient & Classical
Philosophy / Epistemology
Philosophy / History & Surveys / Ancient & Classical
Philosophy / Metaphysics
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This content is DRM protected.
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In the long history of philosophy and literature, few have been so widely read and admired as the great thinkers of Greece and Rome. For modern audiences, this eBook bundle—which collects the Modern Library editions of three classics: Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations, Selected Dialogues of Plato, and The Basic Works of Aristotle—is the perfect introduction to the foundation of modern knowledge. Accompanied by insightful, accessible commentary from some of today’s top scholars, including Gregory Hays, Hayden Pelliccia, and C.D.C. Reeve, this is a collection of ideas that changed the world—and have truly stood the test of time.
 
MEDITATIONS
 
Marcus Aurelius succeeded his adoptive father as emperor of Rome in A.D. 161—and Meditations remains one of the greatest works of spiritual and ethical reflection ever written. The Meditations have become required reading for statesmen and philosophers alike, while generations of readers have responded to the straightforward intimacy of the leader’s style. In Gregory Hays’s seminal translation, Marcus’s thoughts speak with a new immediacy: Never before have they been so directly and powerfully presented.
 
SELECTED DIALOGUES OF PLATO
 
In this volume, Hayden Pelliccia has revised five of Benjamin Jowett’s translations of Plato—classics in their own right—to produce a fresh, modern take that Library Journal calls “a needed and welcome addition to the translations of the Dialogues.” Here are Ion, Protagoras, Phaedrus, and the famous Symposium, which discuss poetry, the Socratic method, rhetoric, psychology, and love. Most dramatically, Apology puts Socrates’ art of persuasion to the ultimate test—defending his own life.
 
THE BASIC WORKS OF ARISTOTLE
 
Preserved by Arabic mathematicians and canonized by Christian scholars, Aristotle’s works have shaped Western thought, science, and religion for nearly two thousand years—and Richard McKeon’s edition has long been considered the best available one-volume Aristotle. Here are selections from the Organon, On the Heavens, The Short Physical Treatises, Rhetoric, among others, and On the Soul, On Generation and Corruption, Physics, Metaphysics, Nicomachean Ethics, Politics, and Poetics in their entirety.
Frank A. Lewis presents a closely argued exposition of Metaphysics Zeta—one of Aristotle's most dense and controversial texts. It is commonly understood to contain Aristotle's deepest thoughts on the definition of substance and surrounding metaphysical issues. But people have increasingly come to recognize how little Aristotle says in Zeta about his own theory of (Aristotelian) form and matter. Instead, he spends the bulk of the book examining 'received opinions', often as filtered through his own Organon, but including above all the views of Plato, who is at times friend, and at times foe. For much of the time, we are left to reconstruct Aristotle's finished views, subject to the constraint that they survive the critique he directs in Zeta at the philosophical tradition. In this book, Lewis argues that in giving his actual conclusion to Zeta in its final chapter, 17, Aristotle drops his earlier, largely critical engagement with received views, and turns approvingly to his own Posterior Analytics. The result is a causal view of (primary) substance, representing the property of being a (primary) substance (or the substance of a thing) as, in modern dress, the second-order functional property of (Aristotelian) forms, that they be the cause of being for different compound material substances. The property of being the cause of being for a thing is a role property, and it is realized in different forms and the sets of causal powers associated with them, matching the variety of things that have a form as their substance. Meanwhile, the failure of previous attempts at definition in earlier chapters leaves Aristotle's own definition standing as the 'best explanation' for the views proprietary to the theory of form and matter. The point that (Aristotelian) forms are the primary substances is not the main conclusion to Zeta, but rather a result his definition must give, if the definition is to be acceptable.
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