Self-Predication in the <i>Hippias Major</i> and the <i>Protagoras</i>

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:
Self-Predication in the Hippias Major and the Protagoras

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This chapter first stresses that the Form of the Beautiful, the general characteristic featured in the Hippias Major, may in itself be understood as a beautiful thing, thus giving a straightforward case of self-exemplification. One need not appeal to the Causal Principle in order to account for Beauty as self-exemplified at 292e. It then examines self-predication in the Protagoras, where Justice is just at 330C and Holiness is holy at 330e. It begins by indicating that there are problems with trying to apply either Nehamas' account or the Causal Principle to the context in which self-predication is presented in the Protagoras. It then undertakes a fairly extensive analysis in order to show that the grounds which Vlastos offers for interpreting self-predication in the Protagoras as Pauline predication are unconvincing. After defending the position that we may view the various ‘virtue-terms’ in that dialogue as denoting universals and not merely psychic states, the chapter offers a reading of ‘being holy’ and ‘being just’ in virtue of which the general characteristics Justice and Holiness may intelligibly be said themselves to be just and holy.

Keywords: Vlastos; Form of the Beautiful; Hippias Major; Protagoras; Holiness; Justice

Chapter.  9902 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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