Another possibility is that Parmenides is not caught in a modal confusion

Another possibility is that Parmenides is not caught in a modal confusion

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Another possibility is that Parmenides is not caught in a modal confusion; he is quite self- consciously asserting (ii). His line of reasoning might go like this: Suppose something does not exist. How, then, would it be possible for it to exist? Can it come into existence? No, for there is nothing for it to come into existence from. So if it doesn’t now exist, it’s never going to come into existence, and it couldn’t possibly exist. This line of reasoning has a certain plausibility, and it would certainly have appealed to Parmenides (cf. fr. 8: “For what birth will you seek for it? How and from where did it grow?”). But it is clearly defective, for two reasons: i. For x to be a possible existent, we don’t have to come up with an account of how x might come into existence. E.g., an eternal God might be
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Unformatted text preview: possible , but we could not explain how such a Being might come into being. God (if God exists) was not born . ii. Parmenides seems to assume that a thing can come into existence either (a) from being or (b) from not-being . He would rule out (a) on the grounds that a thing cant come into being from itself; he would rule out (b) on the grounds that nothing comes from nothing. But Parmenides has overlooked the possibility that a thing can come into existence from something else . This would be neither from itself, nor from nothing; since it would be from a different being, it would, in a way, be both from a being and from a not-being. It would come into existence from a different being, and from not having itself previously existed. [This is a possibility that Aristotle pursues.]...
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This note was uploaded on 11/14/2011 for the course PHI PHI2010 taught by Professor Jorgerigol during the Fall '09 term at Broward College.

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