The Parmenides Philosophy 190: Plato Fall, 2014 Prof. Peter Hadreas Course website: .

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The Parmenides Philosophy 190: Plato Fall, 2014 Prof. Peter Hadreas Course website: http://www.sjsu.edu/people/peter.hadreas/ courses/Plato
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Transcript of The Parmenides Philosophy 190: Plato Fall, 2014 Prof. Peter Hadreas Course website: .

  • Slide 1
  • The Parmenides Philosophy 190: Plato Fall, 2014 Prof. Peter Hadreas Course website: http://www.sjsu.edu/people/peter.hadreas/courses/Plato
  • Slide 2
  • Overview of main differences of the Parmenides as compared with other dialogues 1 Socrates is very young (127C5) in the Parmenides, somewhere between fifteen and nineteen years old. Unlike other dialogues of question and answer form, in which Socrates typically questions others who contradict themselves, Parmenides questions Socrates and Socrates contradicts himself. Parmenides argues with Socrates and wins the arguments regarding the forms. Forms such as justice itself and good itself are mentioned. The older Socrates of the other dialogues presents Forms as central to his philosophy. The question arises as to whether this dialogue signals Platos revision of the Theory of Forms. The Parmenides is the only dialogue in which forms are the main topic. The dialogues second part, 137C-166C, is the longest passage of unrelenting argument in Platos writings and its arguments are his most puzzling. 1. adapted from Peterson, Sandra, The Parmenides, The Oxford Handbook of Plato, edited by Gail Fine, (Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press, 2011), p. 383.
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  • Parmenides flourished late sixth or early fifth century BCE He was from Elea in Magna Graecia and he was the founder of the Eleatic school of philosophy.
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  • Zeno (c. 490 c. 430 BCE) Part of Eleatic School and principal student of Parmenides. According to the ancient historian of philosophy, Diogenes Laertius, Aristotle said that Zeno invented the dialectic. 1 All the extant works we have Zeno are the result of discussions or quotes from other writers. The paradoxes of which he is best known are related by Aristotle in Physics, 233a and 239b. Proclus in his commentary on Plato's Parmenides states that Zeno produced "not less than forty arguments revealing contradictions 2. Nine of his arguments have survived. Zenos arguments are the first examples we have of indirect proofs or proofs by reductio ad absurdum. Plutarch, who usually is a fairly careful historian, says that Zeno tried to kill the tyrant Demylus. He couldnt do so, so "with his own teeth bit off the tyrants tongue and spit it in the tyrants face. 3 1. Diogenes Lartius, 8.57, 9.25 2. Proclus, Commentary on Plato's Parmenides, p. 293. 3. Plutarch, Against Colotes.
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  • Zeno shows the Doors to Truth and Falsity (Veritas et Falsitas). Fresco in the Library of El Escorial, Madrid.
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  • Proposed interpretation of the frame of the Parmenides: The Republic begins with a character named Cephalus and the main characters are Socrates and Platos full brothers Adeimantus and Glaucus. Adeimantus and Glaucus retain a sincere interest in the conversations as they arise in the Republic. The Parmenides begins also with a character named Cephalus, but its a different Cephalus from the Republic. In the Parmenides he is from Clazomenae, the home of Anaxagoras. In the Republic he is presumably from Piraeus. Platos half brother, Antiphon, is sought in the Parmenides. Hes given up philosophy, now he devotes most of his time to horses. (p. 361, 126C) But before he gave up philosophy, he memorized, after much practice, the conversation that took place between Socrates, Zeno, Parmenides and others that make up the dialogue. Proposal: In the Parmenides Plato is suggesting that the results of the Parmenides are more distantly related to his own teaching and, if taken at their face value, dissuade people from applying philosophy to their lives.
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  • Is the Aristotle of Platos Parmenides an allusion to Aristotle the philosopher? There would seem to be no connection. It is probable that the Parmenides was written before Aristotle joined the Academy in 367 or 366 BCE at about the age of seventeen. Aristotles early writings indicate that for years afterwards Aristotle was, as we should expect, a faithful adherent of the theory of Forms under the overwhelming influence of his master. The objections to the theory in the Parmenides are advanced by Parmenides, not by Aristoteles, who has nothing to say of himself. Argument adapted from Cornford, Francis MacDonald, Plato and Parmenides, (Bobbs-Merrill, Indianapolis) p. 109, n. 1.
  • Slide 9
  • The character of the teenage Socrates at the beginning of the Parmenides Socrates treats Zeno rather condescendingly. Hes brash, maybe rude. 1 Perhaps what wed expect from a very bright teenager. Consider the way he sums up the combination of Parmenides and Zenos cooperative work, 128B, p. 362: Parmenides, Socrates said, I understand that Zeno wants to be on intimate terms with you not only in friendship, but also in his book. He has in a way written the same thing as you, but by changing it round he tries to fool us into thinking he is saying something different. You say in your poem that all is one, and you give splendid and excellent proofs for that; he, for his part, says it is not many and gives a vast array of very grand proofs of his own. So with one of you saying one, and the other not many, and with each of you speaking in a way that suggests youve said nothing the same although you mean practically the same thing what youve said you appear to have said over the heads of us. 1. Sandra Peterson makes a similar point in The Parmenides, The Oxford Handbook of Plato, edited by Gail Fine, (Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press, 2011), p. 383-4.
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  • In the initial conversation with Parmenides and Zeno, Socrates summarizes a typical argument of Zeno at 127E, p. 362-3 1 Zeno, what do you mean by this: If things are many, they must be both like and unlike, But that is impossible, because unlike things cant be like like and unlike things likes? That what you say, isnt it? It is, said Zeno. But as Socrates will later say, obviously things can be unlike and unlike or many and one, 129D, p. 363: He will say, when he wants to show that I am many, that my right side is different from my left, and my front from my back, and likewise my upper and lower parts since I take it I do partake in multitude. But when he wants to show that Im one, he will say that I am one person among the seven of us, because I also partake of oneness. Thus he shows both are true.
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  • The teenage Socrates already has an interest in and admires a philosophy that takes seriously a theory of forms. p. 363, 129B &E SOCRATES: If some showed that the likes themselves come to be unlike or the unlike like that I think would be marvel; but if he shows that things that partake of both of these have properties, there seems to be nothing strange about this, Zeno But if someone first distinguishes as separate the forms, themselves by themselves, of the things I was talking about a moment ago for example, likeness and unlikeness, multitude and oneness, rest and motion, and everything of that sort and then shows that in themselves they can mix together and separate, I for my part he said, would be utterly amazed, Zeno.
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  • Six Properties of the Forms as collected from Parmenides 129B-130D i 1. Causality. Things take on a property by virtue of participating or partaking in a Form. .. things that partake of both of these [likeness and unlikessness] have both properties. 129B, p. 363. 2. Separation. A form is itself by not being identical with the things that partake in it. But if some first distinguishes as separate the form, themselves by themselves, 129D, p. 363 3. Purity: Forms cannot have contrary properties. And its the same with all the others [Forms]: if he could show that the kinds and forms themselves have in themselves these opposite properties, that would call for astonishment. 129C, p. 363 4. Uniqueness: There is only one Form with a perfection of a certain property. And what about these? asked Parmenides. Is there a form, itself by itself, of just, and beautiful, and good, and everything of that sort? Yes, he [Socrates] said. 130B, p. 364. i. This list follows Ricklesss analysis: Rickless, Samuel, "Plato's Parmenides", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2012 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL =.
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  • Properties of the Forms 1 [continued] 5. Self-Predication: Any Form has the property which itself is. If someone showed that the likes of themselves come to be unlike or the unlikes like that, I think, would be a marvel; but if he shows that things that partake of both of these have both properties, there seems to be nothing strange about that Zeno 129C, p. 363. 6. Oneness: Something that can be counted as a necessarily homogenous. But if someone first distinguishes as separate the forms, themselves by themselves... and then shows that in themselves they can mix together and separate, I [Socrates] for my part, he said would be utterly amazed Zeno. 129E, p. 363. NOTE: Oneness is different from Uniqueness. 1. Ibid.
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  • 130A-E Parmenides Criticism of the Theory of the Forms The Extent of the Forms 1 And what about these Socrates? Things that might seem absurd, like hair and mud and dirt or anything else totally undignified and worthless? Are you doubtful whether you should say that a form is separate for each of these too, which in turn is other than anything we touch with our hands. p. 130D. p. 364. 1. Rickless, S. Platos Forms in Transition, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007) pp. 54-55 and Miller, M., Platos Parmenides (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1986) counter-argue. Both justice and mud have self-predication. Justice is just, mud is muddy. But its difficult to see how those things that self-predicate materially, could also be separate from sensible things. So then if there is a Form of mud or hair, it would not be the material self-predicating hairiness and that seems to be what is objectionable. Or perhaps there could not be Forms of such things.
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  • Parmenides Criticism of the Theory of the Forms: Objections to Participation. I (130E-131E) A thing cannot contain either Form as a whole or as a part of it. Samuel Rickless in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article p. 7ff. says this presumes what he calls the Pie Model of the forms. According to the Pie Model, if the whole is extended to discrete parts the whole will be made into parts. (The whole Form is in things.) NOTE: The Greek terms for the connection of Forms to ordinary things are metalambabein (129A3) which Peterson fairly translates here as together or jointly get instead of the traditional participate; and metechein, 129A8, which she also fairly translates here as together have instead of the usual, share, participate, or partake. 1 1. Peterson, Sandra, The Parmenides, in The Oxford Handbook of Plato, edited by Gail Fine, (Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press, 2011).
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  • Parmenides Criticism of the Theory of the Forms: Objections to Participation. I (130E-131E) Socrates responds to the application of the Pie Model of the Forms: p. 365, 131B. No it wouldnt Socrates said. Not if its like one and the same day. That is in many places at the same time and is none the less not separate from itself. If its like that, each of the forms might be, at the same time one and in all. Notice how day satisfies the six properties of Forms.
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  • Parmenides Criticism of the Theory of the Forms: Objections to Participation. II (130E-131E) Parmenides shift from the daylight to the sail model. A sail can cover things perhaps something like daylight does. But a sail can be a whole and a part. Taking a sail as a model of the relation of a Form to material things, leads to the sort of contradictions we find in the Pie Model of the forms.
  • Slide 18
  • Parmenides Criticism of the Theory of the Forms: Objections to Participation. III: The Third Man Argument 132A-B Note: Plato never refers to the Third Man argument as such. The designation arises with Aristotles criticism of the Theory of Forms. Colin Strang in Plato and the Third Man 1 sees that the conflict enters in between the Unique Thesis (U) The One over Many thesis (OM) and the Non Identity Assumption (NI) 1.Strang, C. Plato in the Third Man, in Vlastos (ed.), Plato I, 184-200.
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  • Strangs concluding paragraph: The more you become aware of and enthralled by the peculiar anatomy of the individual Forms, the fewer and less important become the thing that can be said about Form in general. They remain unchanging if only to be the subject matter of timeless truths. (Parmenides 135C1) They remain single; (Philebus 14E5ff.) but what they do not remain is paradigms. (OM)
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  • Parmenides Criticism of the Theory of the Forms: Objections to Participation. IV: Making a Form into a thought in a Mind does not provide connection to the Form in Itself p. 366. 132B-C If inanimate objects have forms, then presumably we require thought for us to be aware of them. Thus thoughts seem to have a share in forms and thus again a problem arises as to how thoughts can be connected to Forms which are supposed to be in themselves.
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  • Can the objections be met by making the forms patterns or paradeigmata of which there are likeness in things? (132C-133A) Again Parmenides introduces a version of what is later referred to as the Third Man Argument. This time Parmenides formulation is closer Aristotles. If something resembles the form, he [Parmenides] said, can that form not be what has ben modeled on it, to the extent that the thing has been made like it? Or is there any way for something like to be like what is not like it? There is not. And isnt there a compelling necessity for that which is to partake of the same one form of that which is like it?
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  • Further development of Third Man Argument. [continued] (132C-133A) There is not. But if like things are like by partaking of something, wont that be the form itself? Undoubtedly Therefore nothing can be like the form, nor can the form like anything else. Otherwise, alongside the form another form will always make its appearance, and if that form is like anything, yet another; and if the form proves to be like what partakes of it, a fresh form will never cease emerging. Thats very true.
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  • Parmenides Criticism of the Theory of the Forms: Objections to Participation. V : We cannot know the Forms and the gods cannot apply them to us 133A-134E 1.If Forms are just in themselves, they are not in real world. 2. They may have reference to each other, but they will be unknowable to us and, further, gods cannot apply them to us.
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  • Parmenides reintroduces the Forms (135A-5, p. 369) And yet, Socrates, said Parmenides, the forms inevitably involve these objections and a host of others besides if there are those characters for things and a person is to mark off each form as something itself. As a result, whoever hears about them is doubtful and objects that they do not exist, and that, even if they do, they must by strict necessity be unknowable to human nature; and in saying this he seems to have a point; and, as we said, he is extraordinarily hard to win over. Only a very gifted man can come to know that for each thing there is some kind, a being itself by itself; but only a prodigy more remarkable still will discover that and be able to teach someone else who has sifted all these difficulties thoroughly and critically for himself. [empasis added]
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  • Parmenides reintroduces the Forms (135A-5, p. 369) [continued] I agree with you Parmenides, Socrates said. Thats very much what I think too. Yet on the other hand, Socrates, said Parmenides, if someone, having an eye on all the difficulties we have just brought up and others of the same sort, wont allow that there are forms of things and wont mark off a form for each one, he wont have anywhere to turn his thought, since he doesnt allow that for each thing there is a character that is always the same. In this way he will destroy the power of dialectic entirely. But I think you are only too well aware of that.
  • Slide 26
  • A REVIEW OF MAIN ARGUMENTS OF PARMENIDES AND ZENO OUTSIDE OF PLATOS DIALOGUE, PARMENIDES
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  • From Parmenides Poem 1 Fragment 2: Come now, I shall telland convey home the tale once you have heard/just which ways of inquiry alone there are for understanding:/ the one, that [it] is and that [it] is not not to be,/ is the path of conviction, for it attends upon true reality,/ but the other, that [it] is not and that [it] must not be,/ this, I tell you, is a path wholly without report:/ for neither could you apprehend what is not, for it is not to be accomplished,/ nor could you indicate it.... ... but not ever was it, nor yet will it be, since it is now together entire,/ single, continuous; for what birth will you seek of it?/ How, whence increased? From not being I shall not allow/ you to say or to think: for not to be said and not to be thought/ is it that it is not. And indeed what need could have aroused it/ later rather than before, beginning from nothing, to grow?/ Thus it must either be altogether or not at all./ 1. Translations are from Coxon, A. H. 2009. The Fragments of Parmenides: A critical text with introduction, translation, the ancient testimonia and a commentary. Revised and expanded edition with new translations by Richard McKirahan. Las Vegas/Zurich/Athens: Parmenides Publishing.
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  • From Parmenides Poem [continued] Nor ever from not being will the force of conviction allow/ something to come to be beyond it: on account of this neither to be born/ nor to die has Justice allowed it, having loosed its bonds,/ but she holds it fast. And the decision about these matter lies in this:/ it is or it is not; but it has in fact been decided, just as is necessary,/ to leave the one unthought and nameless (for no true/ way is it), and that the one that it is indeed is genuine./ And how could What Is be hereafter? And how might it have been?/ For if it was, it is not, nor if ever it is going to be:/ thus generation is extinguished and destruction unheard of.
  • Slide 29
  • Zenos Four Paradoxes of Motion Two based on Space Achilles and the Tortoise In a race, the quickest runner can never overtake the slowest, since the pursuer must first reach the point whence the pursued started, so that the slower must always hold a lead. Aristotle, Physics, VI:9, 239b15 Dichotomy paradox That which is in locomotion must arrive at the half-way stage before it arrives at the goal.Physics, VI:9, 239b10. The result is that locomotion can never begin. Note: Both these paradoxes presume that the points referred to are part of the whole space to be traversed. If we assume they have no extension in space nor duration in time the paradoxes dissolve.
  • Slide 30
  • Zenos Four Paradoxes of Motion One based onTime The Arrow If everything when it occupies an equal space is at rest, and if that which is in locomotion is always occupying such a space at any moment, the flying arrow is therefore motionless. Aristotle, Physics VI:9, 239b5 Note: This paradox presumes that a whole expanse of time may be divided into parts which are moments during which an object is in a position. If we assume, a position in time has no duration, the paradoxes dissolve. Zeno paradoxes rely upon types of whole/part relations. 2. Parmenides, in his poem, derives the consequences regarding whole/part, single/many, continuous/discrete, generated, increased, etc. from it is. and from it is not being unthinkable. The logic of his poem is analogous to the method of inquiry he proposes in the Parmenides: consequences that befall various fundamental opposites given A and not-A.
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  • Parmenides Proposes How To Investigate Whether and How There Are Forms p. 370, 136-C PARMENIDES: If you like, said Parmenides, take as an example this hypothesis that Zeno entertained: if many are, what must the consequences be both for the many themselves in relation to themselves and in relations to the one, and for the one in relation to itself and in relation to the many? And, in turn, on the hypothesis, if many are not, you must again examine what the consequences will be both for the one and for the many in relation to themselves and in relation to each other. And again, in turn, if you hypothesize, if likeness is or it is not, you must examine what the consequences will be on each hypothesis, both for the things hypothesized themselves and for the others, both in relation to themselves and in relation to each other....
  • Slide 32
  • Problem with Parmenides Plan of Investigation The plan of the Deductions is such that they rely on a condition where the consequence is a denial of a feature and its contrary. If the one is, for example, then it is not the case that it is at rest and it is not the case that it is in motion, etc. But this involves a methodical fallacy of deriving a contradiction by denying contraries. You can get a contradiction by affirming two contraries but not by denying them. Suppose I say that If the number 4 exists, then it is not at rest and it is not in motion. From that I cannot conclude that the number 4 does not exist. 1. Quoted very closely but not verbatim from Rickless, Samuel, "Plato's Parmenides", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2012 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL =.
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  • P roblem with Parmenides Plan of Investigation [continued] Thus there is an error in supposing that the contraries are such that one or the other must be true of the subject. Thus some large part of the features that are used to argue against that the One is, or is not, will not apply to the Forms, because, as for example, with rest and motion, rest and motion do not apply to intellectual objects, but rather only material objects. There are in fact two ways that the denial of contraries does not apply: 1) if there is a middle, Note Plato worries about such in Symposium 202B about state in between gods and mortals, or pleasure and pain in Philebus -- pleasure and pain might have, as Plato but not Aristotle thought, a middle state which is neither pleasurable not painful. 2) the contraries no longer apply to the subject, e. g. odd/even no longer applies to irrational numbers, or rest/motion to intellectual objects.
  • Slide 34
  • Parmenides, Second Part (137C-166C) Survey of the Deductions Hypothesis 1 (137C-142A). General logical form: If the One is, but is not a whole with parts, then it is not F and not the contrary of F. F stands for many features and their contraries, such as being many (contrary, being one); whole (contrary, part) 1 ; limited (contrary, unlimited); shape (contrary, opposite shape); motion (contrary, rest); sameness (contrary, difference); being older (contrary, being younger); knowable (contrary, being unknowable), etc. NOTE #1: This hypothesis was appropriated in Neo-Platonic interpretations. NOTE #2: Platos introduction of the notion of the whole/part dichotomy plays a central role the reductiones ad absurdum in Parmenides II. But Plato would likely deny that the Forms are subject to the whole/part distinction. Even so, Hypothesis I presumes that (i) anything that has parts is many; (ii) a whole is a thing with parts from which no part is missing.
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  • Parmenides, Second Part (137C-166C) The Plan of the Deductions [continued] Hypothesis 2 (142B-155D): In this hypothesis the One is said to be able to partake of Being. Parmenides immediately then derives that the One allows for the part/whole distinction. Even though this contrary would not be allowed in the description of Forms in the Middle dialogues, this hypothesis, where the One would count for concept, types, universals of some sort let alone Forms -- would have to be supported to allow for rational discourse in general. Again, it is assumed that the one has parts and that the one is a whole. PARMENIDES: 142D, p. 376: ... If we state the is of the one that is, and the one of that which is one, and if being and oneness are not the same, but both belong to the same thing that we hypothesized, namely, the one that is, must it not itself, since it is one being, be a whole, and the parts of this whole be oneness and being? NOTE: In The Republic the Form of the Good is beyond Being 509B p. 1130: Therefore, you should also say that not only do the objects of knowledge owe their being known to the good, but their being is also due to it, although the good is not being, but superior to it in rank and power.
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  • The Greater Mysteries in the Symposium 210A-212C, p. 492-4 210E3- 211B6: Original210E3-211B6: (almost) literal translation , , , , , (5) , , , (b.) , , , . neither in relation to the beautiful/good, nor in relation to the ugly/base, neither only at its core the beautiful/good, nor at its core the ugly/base, and not for some people beautiful/good nor for others ugly/base; nor yet will it appear to him beautiful/good such as in a face, nor hands, nor anything else belonging to the body, nor yet some word, nor some knowledge, nor as being in some other thing, such as in an animal, or on the earth, or in the heavens, but itself, according to itself, with itself, always being of one kind, and the other beautiful/good things partake of it in such a manner, that although they come to be and perish, never does it become more nor less, nor yet is ever changed.
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  • Parmenides, Second Part (137C-166C) The Plan of the Deductions Hypothesis 2A, (155E-157B), Appendix to Hypotheses 1 & 2: Consideration of Becoming in Time Becoming is not a feature F and not the contrary of a feature F. Arguments rely on impossibility of change between motion and rest and vice versa. The Appendix purports to show that the Conclusions of Hypothesis 1 & 2 together entail that, for a range of properties F, if the one is, then there is a moment outside of time (the so-called instant) at which the one changes from being F to being con-F. Rickless observes that all of the Arguments of the Appendix depend for their soundness on there being times T1 and T2 such that T1 is distinct from T2 and the one partakes of being at T1 and the one does not partake of being at T2. But this premise depends for its soundness of Hypothesis 1 that the one does not partake of being. And the soundness of the One not partaking in Being depends the Purity condition. So if the Purity condition holds, then all the Arguments of the Appendix become unsound. 1 1. Rickless, Samuel, "Plato's Parmenides", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2012 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL =.
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  • Parmenides, Second Part (137C-166C) The Plan of the Deductions Hypothesis 3 (157B-159B) This hypothesis and the next addresses the majority of arguments that Parmenides has brought to the Socrates early working on the Theory of Forms: the relation possibly their participation -- of other things to the Forms: PARMENIDES: (157B, p. 389) Must we not examine what would be proper for the others to undergo if one is? We must. Are we to say, then, what properties things other than the one must have, if one is? Lets do. Well then since they are other than the one, the others are not the one. For if they were they would not be other than the one. Thats right. And yet the others are not absolutely deprived on the one, but somehow partake of it. In what way? In that things other than the one are surely other because they have parts; for if they didnt have parts, they would be altogether one. Note: Assume that to be other is to have parts, otherwise they would be altogether one. Thus Hypothesis 3 assumes Hypothesis 1.
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  • Parmenides, Second Part (137C-166C) The Plan of the Deductions Hypothesis 4 (159B-160B) PARMENIDES:159B, p. 390, Well, then, suppose we now concede those results as evident and examine again, if one is: Are things other than the also not so; or only so? Of course. Lets say from the beginning what properties things other than the one must have, if one is. Yes. Lets do. Must not the one be separate from the others and the others separate from the one? Why? Because surely there is not something else in addition to them that is both other than the one and other than the others; for all things have been mentioned, since the one and the others are mentioned. -- Yes, all things. Note: Assumes that the one + others = the totality of all things. Seems reasonable unless there are things that are both one and other. Such a consideration would seem to suggest that the elements of Parmenides arguments do not involve entities that may be transcendent.
  • Slide 40
  • Parmenides, Second Part (137C-166C) The Plan of the Deductions (continued) Hypothesis 5 (160B-163B): Note: The alleged contradiction depends upon conceiving non-Being as dependent on becoming, as in Hypothesis 2a. Conclusion: 163C, p. 394 PARMENIDES: Therefore also the one, if it is one, comes to be and ceases to be, if it is altered, and does not come to be or cease to come to be, if it is not altered. And thus the one, if it is not, both comes to be and ceases to come to be, and does not come to be be or cease to come to be. Yes, youre quite right. Note: Of course we need not assume that the one is not altered. If we dont, we are left with a cosmos without Forms and a world of Becoming coming to be and ceasing to come to be. Hardly an impossible conclusion. But the problem remains that if we admit the existence of concepts, types or universals again let alone Forms this hypothesis cannot be supported.
  • Slide 41
  • The Plan of the Deductions (continued) Hypothesis 6 (163B-164B): Given the One is not, and has no sort of being. This hypothesis is the contrary of Hypothesis I and results in the consequence that the One has no character whatsoever. Conclusion: 164A-B, p. 395: What about this? Can the others be related to it, if, necessarily, nothing belongs to it? They cant. So the others are neither like nor unlike it, and they are neither the same nor different from it. No, they arent. And again: will of that, to that, something, this, of this, of another, to another, or time past, hereafter, or now, or knowledge, opinion perception, an account, a name, or anything else that is be applicable to what is not? It will not. Thus one, since it is not, is not in any state at all. At any rate, it seems to be in no state at all. Note: This argument would seem to lead to the conclusion, that if there is to be a world at all some form of oneness, perhaps even as concepts, universals, types, must exist.
  • Slide 42
  • Parmenides, Second Part (137C-166C) The Plan of the Deductions (continued) Hypothesis 7 (164B-165E) Given the One is not, means nothing that is one thing exists, then the Others can only be masses or bulks and will only have appearances of some feature Fs. Note: This would suggest a material cosmos in which, thanks to unavoidable human misperception, we think we see and think about things. But those things are mere appearances. What actually exists are bulks or masses o perhaps bulks and masses of quanta might be exemplified by a current scientistic metaphysical view. But of course however this scientistic view might be supported, it is inconsistent because, quanta, or photons, are understood as a type which would return us to Hypothesis 2.
  • Slide 43
  • Parmenides, Second Part (137C-166C) The Plan of the Deductions (continued) Hypothesis 8 (165E-160B) If the One is not, means no one entity exists, even an entity which is a bulk or a mass, then the Others cannot even appear as having one or many, or any character. So nothing will have any being whatsoever. Therefore, once again one may say this hypothesis leads to not some feature F and the contrary of some feature F, just because there is nothing to have either F or the contrary of F. Rickless notes that: Taken together, Hypothesis 7 and Hypothesis 8 establish that the one is. Its argued that if the one is not, then the others are many. Its also shown that if the one is not, then the others are not many. Thus Hypotheses 7 & 8 show that if the one is not, then the others have contradictory properties. Given that nothing can have contradictory properties, it follows directly that the one is. This reinforces the result previously established in Hypothesis 6. 1 1. Rickless, Samuel, "Plato's Parmenides", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2012 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL =.
  • Slide 44
  • Interpretations of the Parmenides I A Record of Socrates Perplexities about How to Understand the Relation of What Will Later Be Called Universals, Types or Essences to the Multitude of Things. 1 Plato's set out to put forward difficulties for the theory of forms that he himself did not, at least at the time he wrote the dialogue, see a way to resolve. But Parmenides does say as he is proposing his method that a very gifted man should be able defend the existence of the forms, and thereby explain the possibility of dialectic, through the very method Parmenides applies in the second part of the dialogue. 1. see Vlastos (1954, 343); Gill (1996); Allen (1997).
  • Slide 45
  • Interpretations of the Parmenides II Theory of Forms Comes Out in Tact If a Distinction Is Made Between Platos Writing a Phrase Meaning Definitionally True and his Writing a Phrase Meaning Displays a Feature of Being --- The most influential version of this view belongs to Meinwald (1991; 1992) and Peterson (1996; 2000; 2003). According to Meinwald, Plato meant us to recognize the invalidity of Parmenides' criticisms of the theory of forms by having us focus on the in-relation-to qualifications that are supposed to serve as one of the principles of division that explain the fact that the second part takes the shape of eight separate Deductions.
  • Slide 46
  • Interpretations of the Parmenides II These qualifications, properly understood, reveal that subject- predicate sentences (of the form X is F) are ambiguous: to say that X is F is to say either that X is F in relation to itself (i.e., pros heauto) or that X is F in relation to the others (i.e., pros ta alla), where to say that X is F pros heauto is to say that the F is definitionally true of X, and to say that X is F pros ta alla is to say that X displays the feature of being F. As Meinwald argues, if Plato meant us to recognize the existence of such an ambiguity, then he probably meant us to recognize that self-predicational sentences (of the form The F is F) are also ambiguous, and that the ambiguity of such sentences reveals that the Third Man argument and the Greatest Difficulty commit the fallacy of equivocation.
  • Slide 47
  • Interpretations of the Parmenides III The Discerning Reader Would Understand that Parmenides Criticisms are Effective Only on the Mistaken Assumption that Forms are Fundamentally Similar to the Material, Sensible Things that Participate in Them. Miller (1986), for example, argues that the point of the dialogue is to help the discerning reader see the forms for what they really are, transcendent beings that should be accessed by reason rather than with the help of categories drawn from sense experience.
  • Slide 48
  • IV Parmenides II Reveals That Many Features of the Forms Hold Up To the Scrutiny of Parmenides Eightfold Analysis. But Certain Features of Forms Must Be Dismissed. Ricklesss View 1 Whether combined with the Pie Model conception of partaking or with Paradigmatism, Plato's middle period theory of forms is internally inconsistent if taken at face value. However, if three principles are abandoned inconsistencies are eliminated. Causality, Separation, Self-Predication, and Oneness hold up under the test of the analyses in the Parmenides. But Purity, Uniqueness, and No Causation by Contraries must be abandoned. 1. Rickless, Samuel, "Plato's Parmenides", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2012 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL =.
  • Slide 49
  • Platos Timaeus on Fire Itself 51D So heres how I cast my vote: If understanding and true opinion are distinct, then these by themselves things definitely exist-these Forms, the objects not of our sense perception, but of our understanding only. But if as some people think-- true opinion does not differ in any way from understanding, then all the things we perceive through our bodily senses must be assumed to be the most stable things there are. But we do have to speak of understanding and true opinion as distinct, of course, because we can come to have one without the other and the one is not like the other. It is through instruction that we come to have understanding, and through persuasion that we come to have true belief. Understanding always involves a true account while true belief lacks any account. And while understanding remains unmoved by persuasion, true belief gives into persuasion. And of true belief, it must be said, all men have a share, but of understanding, only the gods and a small group of people do.
  • Slide 50
  • Platos Timaeus on Fire Itself 51D Is there such a thing as a Fire by itself? Do all these things of which we always say that each of them is something by itself really exist? Or are the things we see, and whatever else we perceive through the body, the only things that possess this kind of actuality, so that there is absolutely nothing else besides them all? Is our perpetual claim that there exists an intelligible Form for each thing a vacuous gesture, in the end nothing but mere talk? Now we certainly do not do justice to the question before us if we dismiss it, leaving it undecided and unadjudicated, and just insist that such things exist, but neither must we append a further lengthy digression to a discourse already quite long. If, however, a significant distinction formulated in a few words were to present itself, that would suit our present needs best of all.
  • Slide 51
  • References for slides used in this powerpoint Slide#3, bust of Parmenides: http://www.volker- doormann.org/parmenides.htmhttp://platosymposium.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/framing- narrative41.jpghttp://platosymposium.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/framing- narrative41.jpg Slide 4, portrait, Zeno shows the doors to Truth: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeno_of_Elea#mediaviewer/File:Zeno_of_Elea_Tibaldi_or_Carducci_Es corial.jpghttp://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aristophanes#mediaviewer/File:Aristofanes.jpg http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeno_of_Elea#mediaviewer/File:Zeno_of_Elea_Tibaldi_or_Carducci_Es corial.jpghttp://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aristophanes#mediaviewer/File:Aristofanes.jpg