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One and ManyA Comparative Study of Plato's Philosophy and Daoism Represented by Ge Hong$
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Ji Zhang

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780824835545

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824835545.001.0001

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Plato’s Doctrine of Forms

Plato’s Doctrine of Forms

(p.79) Chapter 4 Plato’s Doctrine of Forms
One and Many

Ji Zhang

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter presents a complex system of Forms that categorizes reality in a linear hierarchy and defines ontology in degrees, which subsequently becomes one of the most influential categorizations in Western metaphysics. The main passages for the discussion of Plato's ontology come from the Republic: the Divided Line, the Simile of the Sun, and the Simile of the Cave. Whereas the Timaeus provides the background of Plato's cosmology and gives breadth to his Forms. The chapter asks to what extent this system of Forms has reshaped the landscape of the “one and the many” debate, and whether it is possible to compare the two ontological systems of Ge Hong and Plato, which increasingly diverge in content.

Keywords:   Plato, Forms, ontology, Western metaphysics, the Republic, Timaeus, Simile of the Sun, Simile of the Cave

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