© 1995

Inquiry, Forms, and Substances

A Study in Plato’s Metaphysics and Epistemology


Part of the Philosophical Studies Series book series (PSSP, volume 62)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-viii
  2. Thomas A. Blackson
    Pages 1-25
  3. Thomas A. Blackson
    Pages 26-63
  4. Thomas A. Blackson
    Pages 64-98
  5. Thomas A. Blackson
    Pages 99-132
  6. Thomas A. Blackson
    Pages 133-170
  7. Thomas A. Blackson
    Pages 171-179
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 180-229

About this book


i. Introductory remarks 1 Plato, but not Socrates, concluded that the Forms are substances. Whether the Forms are substances is not an issue that Socrates had in mind. He did not deny it, but neither did he affirm it. If Socrates were asked a series of questions designed to determine whether he believed that the Forms are substances, he would admit that he had no opinion about this philosophical issue. Unlike Plato, Socrates was not a metaphysician. The same, of course, would not have always been true of Plato. Unlike Socrates, he was a metaphysician. At some point in his career, and at least by the time of the Phaedo and the Republic, Plato did what Socrates never thought to do. Plato considered the question and concluded that the Forms are substances. Although this development occurred more than two thousand years ago, time has not eclipsed its importance. It is one of the most seminal events in the history of the philosophy. With his defense of Socrates's method of intellectual inquiry, and the development of his Theory of Forms, Plato caused a now familiar cluster of metaphysical and epistemological issues to become central to philosophy.


Aristotle Heraclitus Plato Socrates ancient philosophy epistemology knowledge metaphysics ontology philosophy sophists

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyTemple UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Inquiry, Forms, and Substances
  • Book Subtitle A Study in Plato’s Metaphysics and Epistemology
  • Authors Thomas Blackson
  • Series Title Philosophical Studies Series
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-0-7923-3275-6
  • Softcover ISBN 978-94-010-4124-9
  • eBook ISBN 978-94-011-0281-0
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages VIII, 229
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Classical Philosophy
  • Buy this book on publisher's site