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Plato Parmenides and the Third Man Argument

Plato Parmenides and the Third Man Argument Plato ‘s Parmenides and the Third Man Argument Plato ‘s permutation of the infinite regress named by Aristotle as the “Third Man Argument ” is presented in Parmenides . The intellectual model exists as a critique of Plato ‘s Theory of Forms and is espoused by way of dialectical reasoning through dialogue . The basic idea of the “Third Man Argument ” is that the concept of forms allows for an infinite regress and therefore is not an adequate articulation of ontological reality . In the “Third Man Argument ” Plato begins by recognizing that the idea of forms coexists with the specific name individual example of a form , that is “The term “man ‘ can apparently be applied to both Socrates and the Form Man , so we need a third “man ‘ to explain what these have in common . The term “man ‘ will then apply to this third entity , and so we shall need a fourth , and so on (Lacey 352 ) obviously moving toward infinite regress . Plato ‘s example in Parmenides utilizes the concept of largeness as an example of the potential for infinite regress . In Parmenides he writes “I presume you believe that in each case there is one form [ .] whenever you think several things to be large , perhaps you think ,looking at them all , that there is some idea , one and the same hence you suppose that the large is one (Plato 61 ) and he goes on to express how then the over-encompassing idea of largeness must manifest in a form which has “come to be and the things that participate in it and over all these again another , by which all these will be large and thus you will no longer have one of each form , but an indefinite plurality (Plato 61 . The key to the infinite regress is that while what makes large things connected identically is the quality of largeness which exists in many forms however , if it “it turns out that we need a similar requirement for that large thing , then nothing can be large , for there would be no justification for the common predication . Thus , if the form is one (under the current hypothesis , it must be not just divisible , but indefinitely many . But it cannot be both one and many : it must be either absolutely one or absolutely many (Plato 62 ) so it would seem , there is an inherent paradox in the Theory of Forms , or at least an irrefutable duality in the nature of the perception of forms . The duality relative to universals and particulars is of great importance to ontological inquiry at all levels , but perhaps no more than at the level of theological metaphysics , an in particular within those fields of philosophical inquiry which attempt to elucidate and , in fact , prove or demonstrate the nature and true existence of a Divine power . Christian philosopher and Creation Theory apologist , J . P .Moreland , for example , has embraced the duality present in Plato ‘s “Third Man Argument ” not an unsolvable…

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