The Third Man

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 Third Man

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This chapter undertakes some observations of the Third Man Argument (TMA). Although the two basic assumptions upon which the TMA rests are inconsistent — for by Non-Identity the Form is not an instance of itself and by Self-Exemplification it is — it is argued that the TMA need not be presented as an argument with inconsistent premisses, but may be seen as generating an unending regress through requiring, for each move, an additional move in order to avoid inconsistency. It is stressed that Non-Identity is logically independent of transcendence and has to hold for most, but not all, Forms.

Keywords: Third Man Argument; inconsistency; Non-Identity; Self-Exemplification; Forms

Chapter.  2478 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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