Platonic notes

-It doesn’t make much sense to posit something common to some multitude, and then say that it is, in fact, a multitude. Things are alike because alike in form. Fine. But if there are many forms these are alike too. We simply rest the earth on another turtle.

-One doesn’t explain X by invoking X. This is question begging or, at best, instrumental or accidental causality, like when we say one hot thing made another thing hot. If forms are many, however, we only explain particulars and multitudes by positing more particulars and multitudes.

-How does “a form in the thing” make any more sense than “a form outside a thing”? In either case, one is localizing form in space, that is, giving it qualities that belong only to accidents (like quantity) and matter (that gives bulk). We all recognize it is nonsense to conclude that a six foot tall man has a six foot tall soul. But why should “interior form” make any more physical sense than the six foot soul?

– One can’t have it both ways: either “first substance” is the prime analogate of being or God is, and it is nonsense in Aristotle’s thought to try to unify the two.


1 Comment

  1. February 19, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    Wouldn’t Aristotle defend himself by saying that, unlike Plato, he does not posit form not “what is common to some multitude”, but rather as what comes to be in change?

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