Referent: an element that joins structures, breaking their internal symmetry.
I mean the symmetry among elements, but equivalently and more fundamentally for my purposes, the symmetry that allows cross-type identification between element and function. The major metaphysical-interpretive question here is whether this mixing of the forms is itself the fall toward existence, or whether an additional existential stratum must be posited. (Which is to say, is there one problem of participation or two – forms with each other and forms with ‘particulars’.) I’m inclined to go for dual aspects of the same problem: no additional theoretical problem, but an existential/ethical difference between the aspects. Structural points In the dialogues in favor of one problem:
1) the other/s of form as forms, however paradoxical
2) neglected early remarks (e.g. Rep. 5) that seems to treat these as aspects of a singly-posed problem
Of course, we don’t experience these differences as the same, but Platonic ontology is not required to respect the theory which saturates ordinary experience if it can show its form – show, that is, that it has a form and that there’s a compelling alternative. Again, that’s the work of the astonishing Republic 5 and 6 – the discovery of the logic of the image, of the difference of sense and reference, and of the world-constituting syndrome of their conflation, the function of the Divided Line in making the commonsense ontology we’re in proximately and for the most part visible as a determinate and therefore questionable thesis.