On Ideas - Introduction
Fine (Gail)
Source: Fine - On Ideas - Aristotle's Criticism of Plato's Theory of Forms, Chapter 2
Paper - Abstract

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Oxford Scholarship Online Abstract

    Fine begins by delineating precisely what is at issue in such questions as ‘Are forms universals1 or particulars?’. Fine argues that Plato's forms are not meanings, as they would be on a semantic conception of universals2; and neither are they particulars: rather Plato, like Aristotle, has a realist conception of universals3. They both conceive universals4 as explanatory properties of things, and both agree that such universals5 are the basic object of knowledge: however, for Plato the forms are self-predicative and separate, while Aristotle denies this of his universals6. Fine lists the five arguments for the existence of forms that Aristotle sets out in the Peri Idēon and divides them into the ‘less accurate’ and the ‘more accurate’ arguments. Fine concludes with some remarks on Aristotle as a critic of Plato, in which she argues that, on a proper understanding of Aristotle's argumentative strategy, it is possible to deny that Plato's theory of forms is vulnerable to Aristotle's criticisms, while also denying that Aristotle is guilty of misinterpretation.

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