The Doctrine of Forms under Critique

Michel Crubellier

in Aristotle's Metaphysics Alpha

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199639984
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191743337 | DOI:

Series: Symposia Aristotelia

The Doctrine of Forms under Critique

Show Summary Details


The second part of Chapter 9 has no exact parallel in Book M, but its subject-matter, as well as many of its arguments, may be found in Books M and N. Moreover, there is no real cut at 991b8-9, and the discussion is continuous. Chapter 9 as a whole is constituted by a list of objections, some of them stated in a very compressed way, to the theory of Forms. These objections seem to have belonged to a comprehensive context of discussions and perplexities about the doctrine of Forms (although this is not crucial for the understanding of each arguments, it is assumed here that the particular state of the doctrine which is discussed in this chapter was Plato's own one). The first subsection of this section considers the problems raised by the concept of Forms as causes, more specifically in relation to the notion that they were, in some way or other, mathematical or quasi-mathematical objects. At lines 992a24 - b18, an intermediary conclusion recapitulates all the difficulties created by the causality of Forms. The very last part of the chapter turns on the general notion of a universal science, in relation to the beginnning of Book A as well as to the theory of science that we know from the Posterior Analytics.

Keywords: Academy - causality and explanation - doctrine of Forms - (philosophy; of) mathematics - mathematical objects - metaphysics (or ‘wisdom’ or; ‘first philosophy’) - Plato - science – Speusippus

Chapter.  18596 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.