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Pursuing the GoodEthics and Metaphysics in Plato's Republic$
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Douglas Cairns and Fritz-Gregor Herrmann

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780748628117

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748628117.001.0001

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Is Plato’s Conception of the form of the Good Contradictory? 

Is Plato’s Conception of the form of the Good Contradictory? 

(p.168) 8 Is Plato’s Conception of the form of the Good Contradictory?
Pursuing the Good

Gerhard Seel

Edinburgh University Press

Wanted posters normally contain a certain number of characteristic features of the individual being looked for. And if these features taken together are sufficiently specific, there should be – in the ideal case – only one individual who corresponds to the given description. However, imagine that the characteristics the police have at their disposal are not consistent. In this case they have no chance of running a successful investigation. This seems to be the exact situation we find ourselves in when we start our investigation of Plato's Form of the Good, or so some scholars in the field believe. In order to see whether there is such a contradiction in Plato's characterization of the Form of the Good, this chapter begins with a summary of these characteristics. It then shows that Plato's conception of the Form of the Good is not contradictory, and that it makes sense as a philosophical theory.

Keywords:   Plato, Form of Good, wanted posters, philosophical theory

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