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- Arthur O. Lovejoy (1964) , 《The Great Chain of Being: A Study of the History of an Idea》, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, ISBN 0-674-36153-9
- "This idea of a great chain of being can be traced to Plato's division of the world into the Forms, which are full beings, and sensible things, which are imitations of the Forms and are both being and not being.
- Edward P. Mahoney, "Lovejoy and the Hierarchy of Being", Journal of the History of Ideas Vol. 48, No 2, pp. 211-230.