John Malcolm

in Plato on the Self-Predication of Forms

Published in print June 1991 | ISBN: 9780198239062
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191679827 | DOI:

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This introductory chapter begins by setting out the purpose of this book, which is to investigate the scope and import of the self-predication of the Forms as found in Plato's early and middle dialogues. The term ‘self-predication’ was introduced by Gregory Vlastos to designate a certain assumption of the Third Man argument (Parmenides 132ab), that where the Form is taken to be an instance of itself. But, given the increasing number of divergent analyses of statements of the form ‘The F (itself) is F’ or ‘F-ness (itself) is F’, the book uses ‘self-predication’ in a wider sense to include any such statements regardless of their particular interpretation. Such cases of self-predication as are understood to be asserting that the general property, F-ness, is itself an F thing, an entity characterized by this very F-ness, will be termed cases of self-exemplification. An overview of the subsequent chapters is presented.

Keywords: Plato; self-predication; Forms; early dialogues; middle dialogues

Chapter.  3662 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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