Essays on Being (Google eBook)

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Oxford University Press, Feb 19, 2009 - Literary Criticism - 240 pages
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This volume presents a series of essays published by Charles Kahn over a period of forty years, in which he seeks to explicate the ancient Greek concept of Being. He addresses two distinct but intimately related problems, one linguistic and one historical and philosophical. The linguistic problem concerns the theory of the Greek verb einai, 'to be': how to replace the conventional but misleading distinction between copula and existential verb with a more adequate theoretical account. The philosophical problem is in principle quite distinct: to understand how the concept of Being became the central topic in Greek philosophy from Parmenides to Aristotle. But these two problems converge on what Kahn calls the veridical use of einai. In the earlier papers he takes that connection between the verb and the concept of truth to be the key to the central role of Being in Greek philosophy. In the later papers he interprets the veridical in terms of a more general semantic function of the verb, which comprises the notions of existence and instantiation as well as truth.
  

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Contents

Introduction
1
1 The Greek Verb To Be and the Concept of Being 1966
16
2 On the Terminology for Copula and Existence 1972
41
3 Why Existence Does Not Emerge as a Distinct Concept in Greek Philosophy 1976
62
4 Some Philosophical Uses of To Be in Plato 1981
75
5 A Return to the Theory of the Verb Be and the Concept of Being 2004
109
6 The Thesis of Parmenides 1969
143
7 Being in Parmenides and Plato 1988
167
8 Parmenides and Plato Once More 2002
192
Postscript on Parmenides 2008
207
Bibliography
219
Index of Names
227
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