Plato and the Arguments from the Sciences

Gail Fine

in On Ideas

Published in print August 1995 | ISBN: 9780198235491
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597398 | DOI:
Plato and the Arguments from the Sciences

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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

Chapter.  6853 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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