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date: 17 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines Plato’s metaphysics by narrowing the topic to Plato’s ontology itself in order to locate his metaphysical theorizing within his own immediate tradition. For, unlike metaphysics as such, ontology—understood as the rational investigation of what there is or of being—is a branch of study for which Plato could find obvious precursors in his philosophical predecessors, perhaps most notably, the Eleatic philosopher, Parmenides, in whose Way of Truth one finds an account of a subject identified only as “being” (in Greek: to eon), which attributes to being many of the characteristics that Plato would subsequently ascribe to Forms. In Plato’s works, Forms themselves are identified most generally as “the beings” (in Greek: ta onta, or at least in many places apparently equivalently: ousiai). The chapter focuses on Plato’s place in this tradition.

Keywords: metaphysics, ontology, Plato, dialogues, philosophy

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