Parmenides Fragment 3

By Ryan Smith

3.1 For it is the same thing that can be thought of and that can be.

This fragment has traditionally been used to justify numerous accounts of Parmenides as a logician who dabbled in semiotics. One classical interpretation goes so far as to assert that Parmenides intended to bar us from speaking of things that have no empirical existence, but are purely objects of the imagination (such as unicorns and fairies).[1] In my opinion, it is not easy to see the philosophical value of such an assertion even if it had been Parmenides’ meaning (which it is not). ...

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