The Arguments from the Sciences: Forms and Knowledge
Fine (Gail)
Source: Fine - On Ideas - Aristotle's Criticism of Plato's Theory of Forms, Chapter 5
Paper - Abstract

Paper Summary


Oxford Scholarship Online Abstract

    Fine begins the examination of the Peri Idēon's arguments for the existence of forms. The first argument, the Arguments from the Sciences, is a group of three arguments, according to which the existence of the Sciences, or the branches of knowledge, requires the existence of forms. The Arguments from the Sciences are the only arguments that try to establish forms on the basis of an appeal to considerations about knowledge. On Fine's interpretation, the central thread of these arguments is that, since the nature of F-ness cannot be explained with reference to particular Fs, hence there must be forms as the basic objects of knowledge. The arguments are valid, insofar as they establish that there must be non-sensible universals1; but Aristotle objects that they are invalid as arguments for the existence of forms—the universals2 they establish are not necessarily separate, perfect paradigms.

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