19 - Parmenides: Stage 2 After establishing his central...

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Parmenides: Stage 2 After establishing his central thesis, that it is impossible to think or talk about what does not exist , Parmenides attempts to deduce from this thesis the following conclusions: 1. There is no coming into existence or ceasing to exist. 2. There is no alteration or change. 3. There is no movement. 4. There is no plurality. How did Parmenides get from his central thesis to these extraordinary conclusions? 1. Suppose you say that something, x , comes into existence. That means that you are committed to saying that there was a time when x did not exist. So you are committed to talking about what does not exist. But you can’t do that. So you can’t say (i.e., it makes no sense to say) that anything comes into existence. (Parallel argument for the impossibility of ceasing to exist.) Given that there can be no coming into existence or going out of existence, important consequences follow. Parmenides seems to have thought that it followed that there could
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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.

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19 - Parmenides: Stage 2 After establishing his central...

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