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Additional resources for A Crisis of the Weimar Republic: A Study of the German Referendum of 20 June 1926 (Memoirs of the American Philosophical Society)

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In a sense, deduction is a response to the question of how to explain the whole variety and multiplicity of things from as few principles as possible, the question which every philosopher in antiquity, beginning with the so-called Presocratics (or “physiologists”), had in mind. That Plato was concerned with the deduction of the existent is confirmed both in his texts and in the doxographic tradition. Thus, in the Laws (894A1–5) we find a clear distinction between the ontological levels of being, established in a movement from the beginning, through an intermediate stage, to sensible things.

Where Zeno sees an opposition between the one (ἕν), which is being, and the many (πολλά), which is non-being, Plato (in his Parmenides) sees a disjunction of the one and being. Such an interpretation of Plato fits thoroughly with the inner-Academic doctrine of the two principles: if the one is opposite PLATO: TESTIMONIA ET FRAGMENTA 37 to being, and not just its predicate, then being is associated with the many. Hence, one should speak about a whole plurality, of many beings (ὄντα) that constitute the realm of the intelligible or ideas.

Similarly to unit in numbers, point is the indivisible limit of divisible geometrical figures. , is located in geometrical space (ἡ μὲν ἄθετος μονάς, ἡ δὲ θετὸς 32 THE OTHER PLATO στιγμή] [Aristotle, Met. 6, 1016b30–31]; τὰ δὲ σημεῖα εἶναι μονάδας θέσιν ἔχουσας [Aristotle, De bono, fr. 2 Ross]). The second principle of otherness and multiplicity, the “great-andsmall” or ἀόριστος δυάς, to which the dimensional reduction leads as well, is differently represented at different stages or levels of the reduction.

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