The Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy Newsletter

Document Type


Publication Date



I attempt to show that the 'Large' argument of Parmenides 132 must be understood as part of the attempt to clarify Socrates' response to Zeno. The threat to that response is to the requirement that each form be one and not many. But it is also a threat to the very idea of having a share of a form. In context, the argument is underbrush clearing, getting an unworkable idea out of the way.


Robert Turnbull presented “The Third Man Argument and the Text of the Parmenides” at the annual meeting of the Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy with the Society for the Study of Islamic Philosophy and Science in 1983. A later version was published in John P. Anton & Anthony Preus, eds. 1989. Essays in Ancient Greek Philosophy, Vol. III: Plato, State University of New York Press, 203-226. Many of the ideas were incorporated into Turnbull's The Parmenides and Plato’s Late Philosophy, University of Toronto Press, 1998.

Robert G. Turnbull was Professor of Philosophy at The Ohio State University.