Plato on Knowledge and Forms

Plato on Knowledge and Forms : Selected Essays

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Plato on Knowledge and Forms brings together a set of connected essays by Fine, written over a period of twenty-five years, on Plato's metaphysics and epistemology. It also includes a previously unpublished introductory essay, which pulls together connected threads, responds to some criticisms of the original essays, and revises or modifies some of her earlier views. The essays cover a broad range of Plato's works, from the Meno to the Theaetetus. Fine discusses his views on the nature of knowledge; on how knowledge differs from belief and from true belief; and on the extent of knowledge (whether, for example, knowledge is restricted to forms ). She also asks whether forms are particulars and/or universals; whether they are separate and/or immanent; and whether they are causes. Several essays consider connections between Plato's metaphysics and epistemology; and some essays compare Plato's metaphysics with Aristotle's. She also addresses some issues in philosophy of language, such as Plato's views on the correctness of names in the Cratylus. The result is a synoptic view of some of Plato's most basic and enduring ideas about knowledge and reality. This volume showcases a quarter century of work by one of the most respected scholars in this field, and will reward the attention of anyone interested in Plato or in ancient metaphysics and epistemology.

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Product details

  • Paperback | 460 pages
  • 157.5 x 233.7 x 27.9mm | 657.72g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Clarendon Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • bibliography, index
  • 0199245592
  • 9780199245598
  • 1,410,116

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Review quote

Prof. Gail Fine has investigated [the] epistemological and metaphysical dimensions of Forms with care, insight, and tenacity for over a quarter century - with the result that she has forced us to rethink our basic understanding of Forms from the ground up... Several of her papers have acquired classic status and many more are widely read and discussed in the professional literature on Plato. Christopher Shields, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews This welcome anthology collects together fifteen of her published papers, some of them lightly touched up for clarity and scholarly accuracy, but mainly as they appeared originally... Also welcome is a full, clear, and mildly polemical Introduction, in which Fine traces the main themes of her work and responds selectively to her critics. The Introduction is a model of its kind: Fine addresses her critics with the same care and intensity she displays in analyzing Platonic texts, with the result that those not already versed in the intricacies of Platonic exegesis may be brought swiftly up to speed, at least as regards the topics of special concern to Fine. Because these topics include most of those central to Platonic metaphysics and epistemology, the Introduction will prove of special value to advanced students first immersing themselves in the contemporary scholarly literature on Plato. Christopher Shields, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

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