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The Ambiguity of the ‘One’ in Plato’s Parmenides

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image of Méthexis

This paper examines how the exercises offered to the young Socrates in the Parmenides can be understood as an educational practice, or a gymnastic that is prior to and instrumental for defining forms. To this end, I argue that the subject of the exercises given to Socrates can be understood as an open and indeterminate ‘one’, rather than a form per se. I show that the description of the gymnastic exercises, the demonstration of the hypotheses themselves, and the language concerning the ‘one’, are consistent with an indeterminate subject ‘one’.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Classics, University of Groningen, the Netherlands


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