Chapter

The One Over Many Argument: Forms and Predication

Gail Fine

in On Ideas

Published in print August 1995 | ISBN: 9780198235491
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597398 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198235496.003.0008
The One Over Many Argument: Forms and Predication

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The one over many argument is that there are separated, everlasting forms corresponding to every general term truly predicated of groups of things. Aristotle's objections are that (1) if successful, then it would prove too many forms, including forms of negations, which is absurd on his and the Platonists’ view; and (2) it is not a valid argument for forms. In this chapter, Fine examines the One over Many Argument and Aristotle's objections; in particular, she attempts to trace the Argument to the dialogues, and considers whether Plato is committed to the existence of forms of negations. Fine argues that Aristotle is right to say that the Argument is invalid, and to deny that the argument implies separation; but she does not think that Plato is vulnerable to the objection that forms are posited for every property name, and furthermore she denies that Plato countenances negative forms. Again, however, Fine argues that Aristotle is not misinterpreting Plato; rather, his strategy is to focus attention on Plato's failure to spell out his views in detail and with clarity.

Keywords: everlasting forms; forms of negations; One over Many Argument; predication; separation

Chapter.  8560 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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