The logical and dialogical form of the Third Man Argument (TMA) in Plato's 'Parmenides'


In this article I compare the most important formal reconstructions of the TMA in Parm.132b by Fine, Sellars and Kutschera within a single formal framework.

I then consider whether Aristotle's account of the TMA helps to decide which reconstruction is to be favoured.

I conclude that Plato is not threatened by the TMA and that his conscious use of the words au and allos shows that he knew he wasn't (only if these words are confused, the TMA gets off the ground).

In the last section I argue that the TMA text in the 'Parmenides' can be read as a kind of parody on the ascent to the realm of forms in Symposium 210.


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