Signs and Arguments in Parmenides B8

Richard McKirahan

in The Oxford Handbook of Presocratic Philosophy

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780195146875
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199892112 | DOI:


Signs and Arguments in Parmenides B8

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David Sedley recently complained that despite the enormous amount of work on Parmenides in the past generation, the details of Parmenides' arguments have received insufficient attention. It is universally recognized that Parmenides' introduction of argument into philosophy was a move of paramount importance. It is also recognized that the arguments of fragment B8 are closely related. At the beginning of B8, Parmenides asserts that what-is has several attributes; he offers a series of proofs that what-is indeed has those attributes. This article undertakes a close analysis of fragment B8, teasing out the structure of the arguments, and showing what parts of the traditional and new interpretations of Parmenides those arguments do (or do not) support. It presents some surprising conclusions and opens up spaces for new interpretations.

Keywords: David Sedley; Parmenides; philosophy; fragment B8; new interpretations

Article.  21987 words. 

Subjects: Classical Philosophy

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