The Argument from Relatives
Fine (Gail)
Source: Fine - On Ideas - Aristotle's Criticism of Plato's Theory of Forms, Chapter 10
Paper - Abstract

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Oxford Scholarship Online Abstract

    Fine begins to examine the so-called ‘More Accurate’ arguments, beginning with the Argument from Relatives. The Argument from Relatives is important for two reasons; it is the only argument that follows Plato in distinguishing between predicates like ‘equal’ and those like ‘man’; and it is the only argument that Aristotle ascribes to the Platonists, apart from the Metaphysics I passages that mention some kind of change. Fine has already argued that when Aristotle says that Plato introduced forms because of change, we should, if possible, take him to mean that Plato introduced forms not because of succession but because of compresence. The notion of homonymy is crucial to the Argument from Relatives, because the argument takes various properties, e.g. the notion of ‘equal’, to be non-homonymous or synonymous; but for epistemological and metaphysical reasons, and not for semantic reasons. Fine also argues that, while the Argument from Relatives takes forms to be self-predicative paradigms, this does not mean that the forms are particulars; the argument can be taken to conceive forms as properties, i.e. universals1.

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