Rethought Forms: How Do They Work?

Arctos: Acta Philologica Fennica 48: 25–55 (2014)
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This paper is a critical evaluation of Holger Thesleff’s thinking on Plato’s Forms, especially of his “rethinking” of the matter, as he puts it in the title of his most recent contribution. It lays out a broadly sympathetic perspective through dialectical engagement with the main lines of his interpretation and reconstruction of Plato’s world. The aim is to launch the formal academic reception of that reconstruction (rethinking), which Thesleff cautiously and modestly presents as a “proposal” — his teaser to elicit a reaction, positive or negative. The exegetical focus is on tracing the inspiration and reasoning behind his “two-level” model of Plato’s ontology, which, in turn, supports his tripartite classification of Forms. The critical focus is on identifying potential areas of misunderstanding and supplying any explanations, analyses, or arguments that may enhance the clarity of the respective positions.

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Necip Fikri Alican
Washington University in St. Louis (PhD)


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