Platonist Ontological Priority

Michail Peramatzis

in Priority in Aristotle's Metaphysics

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780199588350
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191728877 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Aristotle Studies Series

Platonist Ontological Priority

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Chapter 9 discusses an argument advanced in the Eudemian Ethics, 1217b10–15, which claims that Platonist Forms are thought to be ontologically prior to their perceptible instances. It is shown that Aristotle understands Platonist ontological priority as asymmetric existential independence. Platonist Forms are conceived as ontologically prior to their perceptible instances in that they exist (or can exist) without their perceptible instances existing but not the other way about. If this is correct, Aristotle cannot be favouring the existential construal of ontological priority. Hence, Aristotle's own notion of ontological priority, the one which applies to his substantial forms, must be distinct from the Platonist, existential construal of this notion.

Keywords: Plato; Platonist Forms; perceptibles; instances of forms; asymmetric independence; existential priority; ontological priority

Chapter.  3538 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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