Perfect Change in Plato's Sophist

Tushar Irani
Wesleyan University
This paper examines how Plato’s rejection of the friends of the forms at 248a–249b in the Sophist is continuous with the arguments that he develops shortly after this part of the dialogue for the interrelatedness of the forms. I claim that the interrelatedness of the forms implies that they are changed, and that this explains Plato’s rejection of the friends of the forms. Much here turns on the kind of change that Plato wants to attribute to the forms. I distinguish my view of the sort of change that the forms experience from other kinds of change—such as ‘Cambridge change’—that scholars have believed Plato has in mind in rejecting the friends of the forms. On the view that I advance, a form experiences a change (which I call ‘perfect change’) in its association with another form that distinguishes it as the distinctive being that it is—that is, through its possession of its distinctive properties.
Keywords Plato  metaphysics  forms  kinds  change  kinēsis  relations  predication  nous  knowledge
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