Now on to negative assertions and Plato


My interpretation of Plato’s doctrine of negative assertions (or “not-being) in the Sophist at (roughly) 257e

 

Plato’s doctrine of negative assertions:

 

Stranger: May we not say that the existence of the not-beautiful is constituted by its being marked off from a single definite kind among existing things and again set in contrast with something that exists?

Theaetetus: Yes.

Stranger: So it appears that the not-beautiful is an instance of something that exists being set in contrast to something that exists.

Theaetetus: Perfectly.

Stranger: What then? On this showing has the not-beautiful any less claim than the beautiful to be a thing that exists?

Theaetetus: Just as much

Stranger: And we must also put the not-just on the same footing as the just with respect to the fact that the one exists no less than the other.

 

 

The existence of the not-A (the form not-A?) is constituted

(a) by its being separated from a single (definite) Form among existing things (particulars)

AND

(b) by its being separated from something that exists (form or particular??)

 

If and only if not-A then (p) A is distinguishable from a single definite form F among existing F-particulars and (q) A is distinguishable from other non-F particulars and/or non-F forms

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