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The Setting of the Parmenides

The Setting of the Parmenides - The Objections to the...

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The Setting of the Parmenides A. A discussion involving “the young Socrates” and the two Eleatics, Zeno and his teacher Parmenides. B. The Eleatics argued for monism , the view that reality is one : a permanent and unchanging unity. In their view, pluralism , the view that there are many real things, is false. C. Socrates offers the Theory of Forms as an alternative to Eleatic monism. It is put forward as a variety of pluralism that does not give rise to the absurdities that the Eleatics find in pluralistic theories. D. Parmenides and Zeno’s reply is to attack the Theory of Forms, to show that it leads to puzzling consequences of its own.
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Unformatted text preview: The Objections to the Theory of Forms A. The Extent of the World of Forms What things are there Forms for? 1. Moral and aesthetic ideals: “just, beautiful, good” 2. Natural kinds: “human being” 3. Natural stuffs: “fire, water” [Socrates expresses uncertainty about groups (2) and (3).] 4. “Undignified” things: “hair, mud, dirt.” [Socrates denies Forms for things in group (4), but Parmenides says that when he gets older he’ll learn not to be so fastidious. This is clearly a point where there is a conflict between the role of Forms as (morally or aesthetically pleasing) paradigms and their role as universals .]...
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