Plato's Parmenides : A Principle of Interpretation and Seven Arguments

Journal of the History of Philosophy 34 (2):167-192 (1996)
Abstract
Plato's Parmenides: A Principle of Interpretation and Seven Arguments SANDRA PETERSON PART I. A PRINCIPLE OF INTERPRETATION 1. THE EVIDENT STRUCTURE OF THE PARMENIDES PLATO'S Parmenides falls naturally into halves. In the first half, which is a conversation between Socrates and Parmenides initiated by the young Socra- tes' reaction to arguments of Zcno's, Socrates shows confusion as he tries to answer Parmenides' questions about forms. The second half consists of about 195 short, initially strange-looking, arguments given by Parmenides to a youngster, Aris- totle, as respondent. In between the two halves, at 135d2- 3, Parmenides admires Socrates' "fine" and "divine" passion for arguments. But Parmenides has noticed, even in a conversation of Socrates with Aristotle previous to the setting of the Parmenides, that Socrates is trying to define too soon. Parmenides then recommends to Socrates some exercise. The second half of the Parmenides illustrates it. What is the manner of exercise, Parmenides? he asked. The one you heard from Zeno, he replied. Except for this: I admired you also when you said to him that you would not allow inquiry to wander among the things we see, nor even in their domain, but rather in the field of those things which one would most especially grasp by reasoning and would..
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