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not necessitate a "two worlds" hypothesis, is this "better" argument. I will not follow Fine's methodology of simply ascertaining the "best" argument. I want to understand the conditions for making a conclusive judgement on this issue, if this is possible. I intend to argue that both the existential and predicative readings are consistent with the text, given the ambiguity of einai and the content of Plato's description of the objects of opinion: sensibles; and also that, given this ambiguity, we are not justified in advancing any consistent reading over another.
8This paper follows Vlastos' "A Metaphysical Paradox" Proceedings 39 (1966): 5-19. Rpt in Vlastos, G. Platonic Studies. New York: Princeton University Press, 1973: 43-57; and "Degrees of Reality in Plato." New Essays in Plato and Aristotle. Ed. R. Bambrough. (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1965) 1-19.
9W. D. Ross, Plato's Theory of Ideas 37.
10F. M. Cornford, The REPUBLIC of Plato, Cf. 181.
11Some scholars would object to this characterization of Bk. V. Gail Fine refers to the view that Plato "distinguishes knowledge and belief by reference to their objects" as the two worlds theory (TW). She claims that "the best arguments consistent with the to support TW." But she also admits that the text can be read as supporting TW. Fine's position on TW follows from her argument for the veridical interpretation of Republic V, which, she argues, is "better." Whether it is or not is controversial. Suffice it to say that I disagree with Fine's methodology of equating the "best possible argument" with the "best reading." Given this, we will maintain the TW theory for purposes of a discussion and exposition of the problem of the interpretation of Bk. V. As Fine indicates, the literature favors the TW interpretation. Our discussion will then center on questions of interpretation given the assumption of TW.
12Cornford, Plato's Theory of Knowledge 6. The phrase "degrees of reality" can be found in many scholarly interpretations. Vlastos' "A Metaphysical Paradox" and "Degrees of Reality in Plato." Cornford describes this as "a distinct order of realities."
13Cf. Ross 37.
14Vlastos, "A Metaphysical Paradox" 43-57.
15R. 477a.
16R. 477a-478d.
17Cf. Bk. X for another expression of the degrees of reality theory. We will be limiting ourselves to a discussion of R. Bk. V.
18Ross 79. Ross actually uses "Ideas" instead of "Forms," which we will use for the sake of consistency.
19Ross 80.
20R. 479e: Knowledge is set over "the things themselves that are always the same in every respect." Grube's Translation. Plato notoriously claims that knowledge is only possible of fixed, 'perfect' objects, i.e. Forms. The difficulties associated with this claim will not be treated.
21R. 477a. Grube's Translation.
22N. P. White, "Plato's Metaphysical Epistemology," The Cambridge Companion. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992) 227-310: "[Plato's] views about what there is are largely controlled by ideas about how knowledge can be accounted for, and his thinking about what knowledge is takes its character from convictions about what there is that is knowable," 9.
23Cf. H. F. Cherniss 1-12. "The essential characteristic of knowledge cannot be explained by any theory which takes phenomena to be the objects of intellection." Then later: "the theory of Ideas is a necessary hypothesis for the solution of the problems of epistemology," 7.
24R. 477b.
25R. 478d.
26Cherniss 6: "In the Republic the proof that knowledge and opinion are different faculties is conclusive evidence for the fact that the objects with which they are concerned must be different."
27R. 476c-e.
28This is obviously not an attempt at formality. It merely shows the general progression of the argument.
29R. 477a. Italics are my own.
30R. 478d. Italics are my own.
31R. 478e. Italics are my own.
32Cf. Ross 38: "The sights and sounds which have already been identified with the objects of opinion are therefore consigned to the status of semi-reality." Plato explicitly states this conclusion at R. 479d.
33Cornford, "Platos Theory of Knowledge" 7.
34I do not read Greek, so this analysis must follow Vlastos' "Degrees of Reality."
35Vlastos, "Degrees of Reality" 1.
36Owen 69.
37Following Owen's analysis: "Aristotle on the Snares of Ontology," 69.
38This does not exhaust the usage. "Is" may be used as an identity sign, or may preface a locative. Later we will see how these complications bear on the current analysis.
39Used by Vlastos, "A Metaphysical Paradox," Ryle, "Systematically Misleading Expressions," and Carnap, "Empiricism, Semantics, and Ontology."
40Used by Vlastos, "A Metaphysical Paradox."
41Vlastos, "Degrees of Reality in Plato" 3.
42Vlastos, "A Metaphysical Paradox" 45.
43The viewpoint elaborated in the previous paragraph.