From time to time, I review my notebooks to see what projects I started and never finished or may never finish. One such project is what I have called (for lack of a better term) "divine exemplification theory." I might one day go forward with work on this idea, concept or theory, but what I am trying to figure out is how one can intelligibly and accurately talk about forms or abstract concepts without being a Platonist of one stripe or the other.
Concepts or properties like treeness, rockness, doghood or humanity seem fairly "easy" to discuss intelligibly or coherently. But where the waters become rough is when one discusses justice, goodness, courage and wisdom (inter alia). Aside from the difficulties that come from trying to define these terms (as anyone who has read Plato can attest to), a problem also resides in trying to explain the primordial locus of these concepts/properties/attributes.
Are the aforementioned "qualities" Forms that "exist" in some transcendent realm of Being (Plato)? Do putative "Forms" like justice obtain in acts performed by free agents rather than in some intelligible sphere of Being? Or do the Forms reside in God's mind (Philo, Augustine). Or should one say that the Forms have their locus in the human mind?
I humbly submit--more work needs to be done here--that what have been called "Forms" do not reside in some intelligible (i.e. noetic) realm nor do they reside in the mind of God. But the "Forms" (especially things like justice or wisdom and beauty) reside and have been everlastingly exemplified by God Himself. Notice, I am not limiting the Forms to the mind of God. Nor do I think they are immutable, even though they are everlasting. I am suggesting that the so-called Forms like justice or goodness have been everlastingly exemplified by God in his actions and eternal purpose. They have not just resided in the mind of God. Hence, the name, Divine exemplification theory.