Deciphering the argument in fragments 2, 3, 6, and 8 a. The argument as it appears in the text: 1. There are only two ways (or “roads”) of inquiry: (a) “it is,” or (b) “it is not.” 2. The second way, (1b), is “completely unlearnable.” 3. For “you may not know that which is not, nor may you declare it.” 4. For “the same thing is for thinking and for being.” 5. “That which is there to be spoken and thought of must be. For it is possible for it to be, but not possible for nothing to be.” 6. “There is still left a single story of a way, that it is.” b. On the existential interpretation, a first stab at interpreting the argument looks like this: 1. If something is inquired into, i.e., thought about, then either: (a) it exists, or (b) it does not exist. 2. The second alternative is impossible (“completely unlearnable”). What follows is an argument against the second alternative (1b): 3. For it is impossible to think about (“know”) or speak about (“declare”) what does not exist.
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This note was uploaded on 01/31/2011 for the course PHILOSOPHY 101 taught by Professor Markelwin during the Summer '09 term at UC Davis.