What is the relation between a whole and its parts? Is a whole identical to its parts, or is there some other relation of composition? These questions are much discussed in modern philosophy; but Plato's rich discussion of composition has been neglected. Verity Harte provides the first sustained examination of this Platonic discussion and explains its relations to modern debates. She reveals how, in several late works, Plato criticizes the view that a whole is identical to its parts. She then goes on to discuss the intriguing alternative conception of wholes he offers in its place. This book is an invaluable resource both for scholars of Plato and for modern metaphysicians. For scholars of Plato, Harte's careful textual analysis provides fresh insights into some of his most difficult works. For modern metaphysicians, she illuminates the contemporary debate by placing it within an historical context.
Publisher: Oxford University Press