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The Dialectic of Essence : A Study of Plato's Metaphysics - Allan Silverman

The Dialectic of Essence

A Study of Plato's Metaphysics

Paperback

Published: 8th December 2002
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"The Dialectic of Essence" offers a systematic new account of Plato's metaphysics. Allan Silverman argues that the best way to make sense of the metaphysics as a whole is to examine carefully what Plato says about "ousia" (essence) from the "Meno" through the middle period dialogues, the "Phaedo" and the "Republic," and into several late dialogues including the "Parmenides," the "Sophist," the "Philebus," and the "Timaeus." This book focuses on three fundamental facets of the metaphysics: the theory of Forms; the nature of particulars; and Plato's understanding of the nature of metaphysical inquiry.

Silverman seeks to show how Plato conceives of "Being" as a unique way in which an essence is related to a Form. Conversely, partaking ("having") is the way in which a material particular is related to its properties: Particulars, thus, in an important sense lack essence. Additionally, the author closely analyzes Plato's idea that the relation between Forms and particulars is mediated by form-copies. Even when some late dialogues provide a richer account of particulars, Silverman maintains that particulars are still denied essence. Indeed, with the "Timaeus's" introduction of the receptacle, there are no particulars of the traditional variety. This book cogently demonstrates that when we understand that Plato's concern with essence lies at the root of his metaphysics, we are better equipped to find our way through the labyrinth of his dialogues and to better appreciate how they form a coherent theory.

"A significant, substantial and original addition to Platonic scholarship... [It] provides a coherent and approachable explanation of the development of Plato's metaphysical system."--S.A. Burgess, Bryn Mawr Classical Review

Prefacep. ix
Abbreviationsp. xi
Introductionp. 1
The Dialectic of Essencep. 4
Preacute;cis of the Chaptersp. 9
An Overview of Latonic Metaphysicsp. 13
The Philosophical Backgroundp. 13
Formsp. 14
Particularsp. 17
Metaphysics and Epistemologyp. 22
Socratic Metaphysics?p. 28
Socratesp. 28
The Craft Analogyp. 30
Socratic Propertiesp. 32
Metaphysical Conjecturesp. 36
The Menop. 41
The Emergence of Formsp. 49
Section Onep. 49
The Phaedop. 50
The Final Argumentp. 57
Section Twop. 65
Te Republicp. 65
Book VIIp. 70
Section Threep. 78
Being and Participationp. 78
Refining the Theory of Formsp. 104
Section Onep. 104
Overviewp. 104
The Parmenidesp. 105
The First Partp. 108
The First Two Hypothesesp. 112
Section Twop. 121
Separationp. 121
Forms and Languagep. 137
Overviewp. 137
Background to the Argument of the Sophistp. 145
The Sophistp. 148
The Interweaving of Formsp. 162
Not-Beingsp. 182
Overviewp. 182
Not-Being in the Sophist: The Background to 255ep. 184
Sophist 255e8-257a7p. 187
Sophist 257a8-259b5p. 189
Sophist 263a-263d4p. 201
Collection and Divisionp. 207
The Nature of Material Articularsp. 218
Section Onep. 218
Overviewp. 218
The Philebusp. 221
The Mixed Lifep. 228
The Fourfold Ontology (23c-27c)p. 230
The End of the Philebusp. 240
Section Twop. 246
The Timaeusp. 246
Talk of Phenomena in Fluxp. 257
Necessity and Matterp. 265
The Two Theoriesp. 273
Conclusionp. 282
Conclusionp. 285
Appendixp. 299
Notesp. 311
Bibliographyp. 367
Index Locorump. 379
General Indexp. 387
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780691091792
ISBN-10: 069109179X
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 408
Published: 8th December 2002
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.2  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.6