Editor's note: After blind peer review, this paper was selected for reading at the University of Dayton's 10th annual Philosophy Colloquium, held Feb. 27-28, 1981.
In the final argument of the first part of the Parmenides, Plato raises an objection to the separate existence of Forms. This argument, which I shall call the "Two Worlds Argument" (TWA), takes up more space than any of the other arguments against the Theory of Forms (TF), occupying almost two Stephanos pages (133a-134e). It is, moreover, the only argument in the series about which Plato permits Parmenides to offer an editorial comment, the comment being that the argument is the most serious objection to the TF, but that it can be answered. In spite of this assessment, which I believe represents Plato's own view, the TWA has not received the attention of its more celebrated relative, the Third Man Argument (TMA); and such attention as it has received has not been favorable. Thus, the TWA has not been taken by scholars to have the importance Plato ascribes to it, and has not been treated as a turning point in Plato's thought.
Prior, William J.
"The Two-Worlds Argument and the Development of Plato’s Metaphysics,"
University of Dayton Review: Vol. 16:
1, Article 6.
Available at: https://ecommons.udayton.edu/udr/vol16/iss1/6