The Rejection of the Doctrine that the Form is not an F Thing

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 Rejection of the Doctrine that the Form is not an F Thing

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This chapter rejects four versions of Thesis A, the position that the F itself is not an F thing at all, statements of self-predication being given analyses which preclude positing an (ideal) entity itself to be characterized as (an) F. Thesis A, therefore, renders the Theory of Forms invulnerable to the Third Man Argument (TMA). The four versions of Thesis A are: A(i) Plato's concepts of homonymy and eponymy show that the ‘F’ in ‘F-ness is F’ functions as a proper name; A(ii) the Form is a particular and a standard, but Wittgenstein has taught us that such a standard cannot be described as an instance of the property of which it is the standard; A(iii) the Form is only a general essence and not an F thing; A(iv), or Pauline predication, the ‘F’ in ‘F-ness is F’ is to be attributed (in the ordinary sense of ‘attribution’) to things falling under the Form, but not to the Form itself.

Keywords: Wittgenstein; Forms; Thesis A; Theory of Forms; Third Man Argument

Chapter.  11251 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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