View that where one or more objects are of a certain kind or have a certain property, this is to be explained by postulating a non-material abstract entity to serve as a paradigm of which they are copies; in other words, universals (see Platonism) are to be regarded as (or replaced by) paradigms.
The term usually refers to one way of looking at Plato’s theory of forms, a way exemplified particularly by his Republic ยงยง596a-7e and Timaeus 27d-29d, 48d-52d. It is this feature of Plato’s forms that seems to give rise to the third man argument.
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