- The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine. Vol. I: The Emergence of the Catholic Tradition (100-600) (review)
- Journal of the History of Philosophy
- Johns Hopkins University Press
- Volume 10, Number 3, July 1972
- pp. 358-359
- View Citation
- Additional Information
358 HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY the dialogues are not in terms of genus et differentia. And of those that appear to be so, it may be that they are not quite in terms of genus et differentia, for often they do not have all the properties that, according to Aristotle, definitions of this kind must have. It seems doubtful that Socrates or Plato were clear about definitions in terms of genus et differentia. As Allen sees (pp. 87 ft.) Plato and Socrates quite often think in terms of the relation of part to whole. Thus at Protagoras 329c justice, temperance, etc. are considered to be parts of virtue, as bits of gold are parts of a whole or as eyes, ears, etc. are parts of the face. Now part-whole talk is not easily squared with genus et differentia talk, despite Alien's efforts to do so. In any case, one wants to ask here: Why must real definition be in terms of genus et differentia? Can't it be otherwise? A last word about the difference between the "ontological status" of the Forms in the Early and in the Middle dialogues. I am not clear what "ontological status" means here, 3 but Allen's point seems to be that: Forms in the early dialogues are separated from their instances, in that they are not identical with them and ontologically prior to them. 4 This remains true later on. But the middle dialogues expand this separation into a new view of the universe, involving a doctrine of Two Worlds, separated by a gulf of deficiency and unreality. (p. 154) But 'separation', as between those groups of dialogues, has different senses. Forms are separate in the early dialogues as being distinct from and prior to their instances. They are separate in the middle dialogues as being fully real Exemplars of which their instances are deficient and less real examples. (p. 157) Now, if Alien's point is that in the Middle Dialogues Plato came to hold that the instances of Forms are in some way deficient, then the difference in "ontological status" --whatever this is--is between the instances of Forms in the Early Dialogues and in the Middle Dialogues, and not between the Forms! GEORGIOS ANAGNOSTOPOULOS University of California, San Diego The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine. Vol. I: The Emergence of the Catholic Tradition (100-600). By Jaroslav Pelikan. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1971. Pp. xxiii+ 394. $15) This is the first volume of a projected five detailing the history of Church doctrine from the second century up to the contemporary period. The project is a monumental 3 Allen tells us: "It will be observed that the question of existence and the question of ontological status are two questions, not one. The first question is prior to the second, in that it must be answered affirmatively before the second can be raised; to ask the ontological status of a thing agreed not to exist is to ask a nonsense question. Again, the first question is independent of the second, in that while the second does not arise if there is a negative answer to the first, an affirmative answer to the first is compatible with any consistent to the second. In short, it is possible to assume an answer to the question of whether Forms exist without assuming an answer to the question of how they exist, or what their ontological status is" (pp. 158-159). 4 Allen means to say here that the Forms are not identical with their instances and are ontologically prior to them. This is the main thesis of his essay, but he states it at several places (pp. 145, 147, 154) in such way that the scope of "not" (usually) governs the whole phrase "identical with and ontologically prior to their instances." Also, various typographical errors occur on pp. ix, 80, 114, 121, 133, 159, 164. BOOK REVIEWS 359 one, especially for a single scholar. It is clearly a labor of love for one of the most gifted and respected men in the field. Pelikan defines his topic narrowly. Thus in the opening chapter, "Some Definitions ," he defines his topic...