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date: 17 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter considers Aristotle’s criticisms of Plato. Among these are (1) Aristotle raises doubts about and rejects aspects of Plato’s theory of Forms, (2) Aristotle dismisses Plato’s soul-body dualism, and (3) Aristotle expresses severe reservations about the tenability of Plato’s political philosophy. In an effort to come to appreciate some otherwise easily overlooked problems in Plato’s theory of Forms, the chapter focuses on one of Aristotle’s criticisms of Plato, one that seems initially intended to land Plato in a straightforward and inescapable contradiction. In the process of determining the actual force of Aristotle’s criticism, it is shown that this is less straightforward than it initially appears, and that Plato need hardly be bowed before it. By understanding Aristotle’s criticisms of his teacher in the context of their mutual association in the Academy, we will thus also come to appreciate that Aristotle has much of consequence to teach us about Plato.

Keywords: Plato, Aristotle, dialogues, philosophy, theory of forms

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