Is the Idea of the Good Beyond Being? Plato's "epekeina tês ousias" Revisited

In Debra Nails, Harold Tarrant, Mika Kajava & Eero Salmenkivi (eds.), SECOND SAILING: Alternative Perspectives on Plato. Wellprint Oy. pp. 197-203 (2015)
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The article tries to prove that the famous formula "epekeina tês ousias" has to be understood in the sense of being beyond being and not only in the sense of being beyond essence. We make hereby three points: first, since pure textual exegesis of 509b8–10 seems to lead to endless controversy, a formal proof for the metaontological interpretation could be helpful to settle the issue; we try to give such a proof. Second, we offer a corollary of the formal proof, showing that not only self-predication of the form of the Good, but of any form is not possible, that is: no form of F has the form of F. Third, we apply Spinoza’s distinction between an ens imaginarium and a chimaera to Plato’s Idea of the Good.

Author Profiles

Gregor Damschen
University of Oldenburg
Rafael Ferber
University of Zürich


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