Parmenides' modal fallacy

Phronesis 54 (1):1-8 (2009)
In his great poem, Parmenides uses an argument by elimination to select the correct "way of inquiry" from a pool of two, the ways of is and of is not , joined later by a third, "mixed" way of is and is not . Parmenides' first two ways are soon given modal upgrades - is becomes cannot not be , and is not becomes necessarily is not (B2, 3-6) - and these are no longer contradictories of one another. And is the common view right, that Parmenides rejects the "mixed" way because it is a contradiction? I argue that the modal upgrades are the product of an illicit modal shift. This same shift, built into two Exclusion Arguments, gives Parmenides a novel argument to show that the "mixed" way fails. Given the independent failure of the way of is not , Parmenides' argument by elimination is complete.
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DOI 10.1163/156852808X375228
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