Definition - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Philosophy

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Essentialism

Plato

Models and Copies

Plato's analogy between definitions and empirical descriptions—an analogy upon which all E-type theories of definition rest—is supplemented by a second analogy between the relation of a model to a copy and the relation of a definition to an individual predication. This analogy was suggested by Socrates when he asked for "a standard to which I may look and by which I may measure actions." Plato describes the process of coming to know as if it were like the procedure of a craftsman producing a piece of sculpture or a house. The sculpture is a "copy" of the subject who models for it; the house is in one sense a "copy" of the architect's blueprint, in a somewhat different sense a "copy" of a small-scale model, and in still a third sense a "copy" of the idea in the mind of...

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This section contains 10,516 words
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Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Definition from Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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