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The Theory of Forms is a thread that runs through nearly all of Plato’s intellectual career, being variously elaborated, nudged, and tweaked along the way. The project summarized in this poster argues that there is a serious ambiguity underlying the entire theory, an ambiguity that Plato himself never really noticed; at different times he was pursuing two different understandings of the Forms: as archetypes on the one hand, and as essences on the other. Each of these understandings has serious drawbacks.


This poster was presented at the Arts & Humanities Research Day, Western University, 2019

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