DIMwit - Part III

seddon's picture
Submitted by seddon on Tue, 2012-09-18 10:35

In this post I want to challenge Peikoff’s identification of Plato as Misintegrator and Aristotle as Integrator. I want to suggest that Plato is the Integrator and Aristotle the Disintegrator! The context in which I will show this is the highest reaches of metaphysics, the issue of Being. In the Sophist, the Stranger tells us that Being is the highest or the most important form. And everything else, forms and non-forms participate either directly or indirectly in Being. Being is the highest genus. This has been the manner in which the tradition has referred to this position.

Aristotle, on the other hand, denies that Being is the highest genus. He disintegrates Being. He writes in Book III, 998b22, “it is not possible for . . . Being to be a single genus of things.” (Cf. Posterior Analytics, 92b14) One of his favorite expressions is Being is meant in many ways. Book V, ch. 7 of the Metaphysics gives a list of all the various meanings of being. Speaking of Book V, Aristotle “disintegrates” 30 different terms in that book. So maybe Peikoff’s classification is incorrect, at least in this particular.


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seddon's picture

"BTW, where is part II?"

It's on the post. On my computer, it comes between III an I. Good luck.



Leonid's picture

Both Plato and Aristotle integrate. Aristotle integrates concretes into concepts by using non-contradictory identification ( logic). Plato views concepts as given ( or recollected) and integrates them into Forms, that is-higher concepts which exist outside of the realm of human consciousness as concepts-objects which implies contradiction ( A is non A)

From the Peikoff's point of view a valid integration is a necessary non-contradictory connection.

" If the object of knowledge as Objectivism holds, is reality, identified as nature, then metaphysically , a valid integration is one based on and pertaining to facts, facts of Nature...epistemologically, a valid integrations one reached by the logical conceptualization of percepts" ( DIM pg 17)

One obviously can disagree with Peikoff on his definition, but within the framework of his premises, Plato's philosophy is invalid integration or misintegration.

BTW, where is part II?


seddon's picture

"I haven't read it, I was asking for a pointer."

Ah, I see said the blind man. Feel free to ask anything else. It gives me a chance to re-read portions of the book. I did enjoy the book.



gregster's picture

I haven't read it, I was asking for a pointer.


seddon's picture

"could you show where Leonard Peikoff identifies "Plato as Misintegrator"

Sure. On p. 28 Peikoff writes, "Plato took the first, hugh step. Judging by the Objectivist definition of 'validity,' however, the step was fatally flawed. Plato's method of integration is the the archetype of INVALID INTEGRATION. [Peikoff's emphasis] It rejects one element of validity (the senses), and detaches from Nature--supernaturalizes--the other two; logic and concepts."

On p. 70 he has a chart. He identifies Plato as "M2: One without the Many" (M = misintegration)

In chapter 11 on the Middle Ages he identifies Literature as M2, (234) science as M2, (237) Education as M2 (240) and politics as M2, (245).

"You're a worry." Only if you haven't read the book with the requisite care.


Seddon, you misintegrate

gregster's picture

Fred, could you show where Leonard Peikoff identifies "Plato as Misintegrator and Aristotle as Integrator." Thanks.

Pg 32;

Valid integration, I repeat, is only one type of integration. However one evaluates his ideas, Plato no less than Aristotle worked methodically all his life to grasp the connections within reality by conceptual means. As integrators, Plato and Aristotle are the peerless masters of the millenia.

Plato was the greater of the two, because he was the first to discover the existence and the importance of the conceptual level of thought. But from another perspective, Aristotle was the greater, because he was the first to bring thought back to earth. No error of either can diminish these achievements.

"I want to suggest that Plato is the Integrator and Aristotle the Disintegrator!"

Did Leonard not just suggest that Plato was an Integrator in the above? You're a worry.

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