The “Indeterminate Dyad”

in Encounters & Reflections

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print February 2003 | ISBN: 9780226042787
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226042770 | DOI:
The “Indeterminate Dyad”

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  • History of Western Philosophy


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This chapter is a conversation among three students—Michael, Ronna, and Robert—and their professor Seth Benardete at the University of Chicago, who talks about the importance of the limit (peras) and the unlimited (apeiron) in the Philebus, a famous dialogue by Plato. Benardete thought that the way in which Plato dealt with the internal structure of eidos (idea) could be worked out. However, there is an argument which shows that it is not possible to move to the “ideas” because there is an intermediary level on which it turns out that the eidos has a structure to it. There is an internal tension within an eidos, which Benardete called the “indeterminate dyad.” Plato never used that formula; it was only Aristotle who did.

Keywords: indeterminate dyad; Seth Benardete; eidos; apeiron; Philebus; Plato

Chapter.  7787 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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