The Extent of Self-Predication in the Earlier Dialogues

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:
The Extent of Self-Predication in the Earlier Dialogues

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This chapter considers and rejects two views which propose that self-predication is implicitly pervasive in Plato's earlier writings. The first is the Causal Principle which states that a cause must have the property it produces in its effect and, hence, F-ness is an F thing because it is the cause of the many particulars being F. The second is the doctrine of Alexander Nehamas, who reads ‘F-ness is F’ as ‘F-ness is what it is to be F’. In each case doubts are raised concerning the particular passages adduced in support of these theses. The chapter concludes that both attempts have failed to establish self-predication as a general feature of the Forms of the earlier dialogues.

Keywords: F; self-predication; Forms; early dialogues; Causal Principle; Alexander Nehamas

Chapter.  3745 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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