Essays on Being
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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1 The Greek Verb To Be and the Concept of Being 1966
2 On the Terminology for Copula and Existence 1972
3 Why Existence Does Not Emerge as a Distinct Concept in Greek Philosophy 1976
4 Some Philosophical Uses of To Be in Plato 1981
5 A Return to the Theory of the Verb Be and the Concept of Being 2004
6 The Thesis of Parmenides 1969
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Abelard absolute analysis ancient argument åríÆØ Aristotle Aristotle’s assertion aVairs being-so clause concept of existence construed context contrast copula copula construction deWned deWnite dichotomy discussion distinction diVerent doctrine einai Eleatic elven Essay esti eVect example existential expression extralinguistic fact ﬁrst formula function G. E. L. Owen grammatical Greek philosophy Greek verb Hence Heraclitus Homer identiWcation íïåEí imply interpretation inXuence ïPóßÆ knowledge KóôØ KóôØí Kóôß Küí language linguistic locative logical meaning metaphysical modern monism Not-Being notion of existence notion of truth noun ôå object ŒÆd ontology ôØ óôØí ousia Parmenidean Parmenides participle passage Phaedo philosophical Phronesis Plato poem predicative construction proem propositional Protagoras question reading reality reference reXects seems semantic sense Socrates speciWed statement suggest syntactic syntax term Theaetetus theory theory of Forms thesis things thought true truth claim Type usage verb veridical veridical construction what-is what-is-not Wrst Wrst-order