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A Long Lost Relative in the Parmenides? Plato’s Family of Hypothetical Methods

Evan Rodriguez
From the journal Apeiron

Abstract

The Parmenides has been unduly overlooked in discussions of hypothesis in Plato. It contains a unique method for testing first principles, a method I call ‘exploring both sides’. The dialogue recommends exploring the consequences of both a hypothesis and its contradictory and thematizes this structure throughout. I challenge the view of Plato’s so-called ‘method of hypothesis’ as an isolated stage in Plato’s development; instead, the evidence of the Parmenides suggests a family of distinct hypothetical methods, each with its own peculiar aim. Exploring both sides is unique both in its structure and in its aim of testing candidate principles.


Corresponding author: Evan Rodriguez, Department of English and Philosophy, Idaho State University, Pocatello, Idaho, USA, E-mail:

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Published Online: 2020-12-07
Published in Print: 2022-01-27

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