Parmenides Grand Deduction: A Logical Reconstruction of the Way of Truth

Hardcover | October 30, 2014

byMichael V. Wedin

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Michael V. Wedin presents a new interpretation of Parmenides' Way of Truth: the most important philosophical treatise before the work of Plato and Aristotle. The Way of Truth contains the first extended philosophical argument in the western tradition - an argument which decrees that there canbe no motion, change, growth, coming to be, or destruction; and indeed that there can be only one thing. These severe metaphysical theses are established by a series of deductions and these deductions in turn rest on an even more fundamental claim, namely, the claim that it is impossible that therebe something that is not. This claim is itself established by a deduction that Wedin calls the Governing Deduction. Wedin offers a rigorous reconstruction of the Governing Deduction and shows how it is used in the arguments that establish Parmenides' severe metaphysical theses (what Wedin calls the Corollaries of the Governing Deduction). He also provides successful answers to most commentators who findParmenides' arguments to be shot through with logical fallacies. Finally, Wedin turns to what is currently the fashionable reading of Parmenides, according to which he falls squarely in the tradition of the Ionian natural philosophers. He argues that the arguments for the Ionian Interpretation failbadly. Thus, we must simply determine where Parmenides' argument runs, and here there is no substitute for rigorous logical reconstruction. On this count, as our reconstructions make clear, the argument of the Way of Truth leads to a Parmenides who is indeed a severe arbiter of philosophicaldiscourse and who brings to a precipitous halt the entire enterprise of natural explanation in the Ionian tradition.

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Michael V. Wedin presents a new interpretation of Parmenides' Way of Truth: the most important philosophical treatise before the work of Plato and Aristotle. The Way of Truth contains the first extended philosophical argument in the western tradition - an argument which decrees that there canbe no motion, change, growth, coming to be, ...

Michael V. Wedin is Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Davis. He is the author of Mind and Imagination in Aristotle (Yale University Press, 1989), and Aristotle's Theory of Substance: The Categories and Metaphysics Zeta (OUP, 2000).

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Paperback|Sep 5 2002

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.98 inPublished:October 30, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198715471

ISBN - 13:9780198715474

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Table of Contents

IntroductionPart I: The Governing Deduction and Parmenides' Master Argument1. Parmenides' Canonical Paths of Inquiry2. Path II and the Governing Deduction3. Path I and the Corollary to the Governing Deduction4. Modal Extension and the Third Path5. A Covert Fallacy in the Governing Deduction?6. Self-Defeat and the Second-Order Defense of the Governing Deduction7. The Ionian Interpretation of Fr. 68. Does Parmenides Argue for the Existence of Something?9. A Remark on Quantification and the Subject of estinPart II: The Deductive Consequences of the Governing Deduction10. Consequence (A): That what is is uncreated and imperishable (8, 5-21)11. Against an Emendation and a Proposal about the Subject of (A1)12. Consequence (B): That what is is indivisible and continuous (8, 22-25)13. Monism and Deductive Consequence (B)14. Consequence (C): That what is is motionless (8, 26-31)15. Consequence (D): That what is is complete (8, 32-49)16. A Causal Theory of Thought and Fact-Monism (8, 34-41)17. Fact-Monism and Godel's Slingshot18. Parmenides' Anomalous Sphere: D3 (8, 42-49)19. The Eleatic Inference Ticket20. The Perils of Prescription: the Deductive Consequences at RiskPart III: Critical Reflections21. Four Proposals that Won't Save the Governing Deduction22. Was Parmenides an Identity Theorist? On einai and noein in Fr. 323. More on Miscasting Parmenides as an Ionian Philosopher24. Plato's Response to ParmenidesAppendix: Articulated Text of the Way of TruthBibliographyIndex