Preliminary questions Before we proceed, we must answer the following questions: a. When Parmenides says “It is” or “It is not,” what is “it”? What is the subject of these assertions? b. What is the sense of “is” here? c. What does Parmenides mean when he says that something “is there to be spoken of” or “is there to be thought of” [fr. 6]. The most plausible answers are: a. Many suggestions have been made (“being,” “what can be known,” “whatever exists,” among others). But the most straightforward and best suggestion is that the subject is any putative object of inquiry . When you inquiry into something, you must make an assumption about the object of your inquiry: either it is, or it is not. b. What do these assumptions amount to? We must decide what “is” means here. It is notorious that “is” has a number of different senses. The leading candidates here are the existential
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