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Rafael Ferber
University of Zürich
  1. Is the Idea of the Good Beyond Being? Plato's "Epekeina Tês Ousias" Revisited.Rafael Ferber & Gregor Damschen - 2015 - In Debra Nails, Harold Tarrant, Mika Kajava & Eero Salmenkivi (eds.), SECOND SAILING: Alternative Perspectives on Plato. Wellprint Oy. pp. 197-203.
    The article tries to prove that the famous formula "epekeina tês ousias" has to be understood in the sense of being beyond being and not only in the sense of being beyond essence. We make hereby three points: first, since pure textual exegesis of 509b8–10 seems to lead to endless controversy, a formal proof for the metaontological interpretation could be helpful to settle the issue; we try to give such a proof. Second, we offer a corollary of the formal proof, (...)
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  2.  17
    Deuteros Plous, the Immortality of the Soul and the Ontological Argument for the Existence of God.Rafael Ferber - 2018 - In Gabriele Cornelli, Thomas M. Robinson & Francisco Bravo (eds.), Plato's Phaedo.Selected papers from the eleventh Symposium Platonicum. Baden Baden: Academia Verlag. pp. 221-230.
    The paper deals with the "deuteros plous", literally ‘the second voyage’, proverbially ‘the next best way’, discussed in Plato’s "Phaedo", the key passage being Phd. 99e4–100a3. The second voyage refers to what Plato’s Socrates calls his “flight into the logoi”. Elaborating on the subject, the author first (I) provides a non-standard interpretation of the passage in question, and then (II) outlines the philosophical problem that it seems to imply, and, finally, (III) tries to apply this philosophical problem to the "ultimate (...)
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  3.  16
    Le Bien de Platon et le Problème de la transcendance du Principe: Encore une Fois L' EPEKEINA TÊS OUSIAS de Platon.Rafael Ferber - 2018 - CHORA : Revue d'Études Anciennes Et Médiévales 15:31-34.
    The article treats again the question of whether «the Idea of the Good is a Reality in the Universe, or beyond it. Is it immanent or transcendent ?» (Rufus Jones, 1863 1948). Plato scholars such as Matthias Baltes (1940 2003) and Luc Brisson have defended the thesis that Plato’s Idea of the Good is, on the one hand, beyond being (epekeina tês ousias) in dignity and power, but on the other, is nevertheless not transcendent over being. The article delivers first (...)
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  4. Sokrates: Tugend ist Wissen.Rafael Ferber - 1991 - Elenchos 12:39-66.
    The article examines the Socratic principle that (1) virtue is knowledge and its corollary that (2) nobody errs voluntarily (nemo sua sponte peccat). It tries to show (I) that both principles are paradoxa, i.e. from a phenomenological point of view, they seem to be false; (II) that nevertheless the platonic Socrates accepts both principles as true; and finally (III) that these principles are analytical truths a priori which can only be understood if a person (soul) finds them in him- or (...)
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  5. Goodness.Rafael Ferber - 2012 - In Associate Editors: Francisco Gonzalez Gerald A. Press (ed.), The Continuum Companion to Plato. pp. 177-179.
    This is a short overview of Plato’s „greatest thing to be learned“ or the „greatest lesson“ – the Idea of the Good.
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  6.  10
    André Höhn: Beobachtungen zur Formung des Sokratesbildes im platonischen 'Symposion'. [REVIEW]Gregor Damschen & Rafael Ferber - 2014 - Gnomon 86 (7):644-646.
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  7. Notizen Zu Platos Höhlengleichnis.Rafael Ferber - 1981 - Freiburger Zeitschrift für Philosophie Und Theologie 28:393-433.
    The paper puts forward a new interpretation of the image of the Cave, that is the image on human paideia (education) and apaideusia (lack of education). The cause of the apaideusia (R.514a) is identified as a separation from the origin. (1) First, the relation between the Cave, the analogy of the Linie and the Sun is shown not to be a strict parallelism, but a resemblance, which implies sameness and difference between Sun, Line and Cave. (2) Second, the author argues (...)
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  8. Was jede Seele sucht und worumwillen sie alles tut.Rafael Ferber - 2013 - Elenchos 34 (1):5-31.
    The article first (i) gives an exegesis of the famous passage in the Republic, 505d11-506a2. Attention is drawn to the fact that the principle that every soul does everything for the Good (panta prattei) can be translated in two ways: Every soul does everything for the sake of the Good, or goes to all lengths for the sake of the Good. Depending on the different translations, we have a different picture of the platonic Socrates in the Republic, an intellectualistic Socrates (...)
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  9. Ist die Idee des Guten nicht transzendent oder ist sie es doch? Nochmals Platons ΕΠΕΚΕΙΝΑ ΤΗΣ ΟΥΣΙΑΣ.Rafael Ferber - 2005 - In Damir Barbaric (ed.), Platon über das Gute und die Gerechtigkeit / Plato on Goodness and Justice / Platone sul Bene e sulla Giustizia. Königshausen & Neumann. pp. 149-174.
    Plato scholars such as Matthias Baltes (1940-2003) and Luc Brisson have defended the thesis that Plato‘s Idea of the Good is on the one hand beyond being (epekeina tês ousias) in dignity and power, but is nevertheless not transcendent over being. The article gives first (I.), an introduction into the status questionis. Second (II.), it delivers the most important arguments for the thesis of Baltes and Brisson. Third (III.), it gives two counterarguments against the thesis. Fourth (IV), it deals with (...)
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  10. Plato as Teacher of Socrates?Rafael Ferber - 2016 - In International Plato Studies. St. Augustin: Academia Verlag. pp. 443-448.
    What distinguishes the Socrates of the early from the Socrates of the middle dialogues? According to a well-known opinion, the “dividing line” lies in the difference between the Socratic and the Platonic theory of action. Whereas for the Platonic Socrates of the early dialogues, all desires are good-dependent, for the Platonic Socrates of the middle dialogues, there are good-independent desires. The paper argues first that this “dividing line” is blurred in the "Symposium", and second that we have in the "Symposium" (...)
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  11. Plato's "Side Suns" : Beauty, Symmetry and Truth. Comments Concerning Semantic Monism and Pluralism of the "Good" in the "Philebus".Rafael Ferber - 2010 - Elenchos: Rivista di Studi Sul Pensiero Antico 31 (1):51-76.
    Under semantic monism I understand the thesis “The Good is said in one way” and under semantic pluralism the antithesis “The Good is said in many ways”. Plato’s Socrates seems to defend a “semantic monism”. As only one sun exists, so the “Good” has for Socrates and Plato only one reference. Nevertheless, Socrates defends in the Philebus a semantic pluralism, more exactly trialism, of “beauty, symmetry and truth” . Therefore, metaphorically speaking, there seem to exist not only one sun, but (...)
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  12. Zeno's Metrical Paradox of Extension and Descartes' Mind-Body Problem.Rafael Ferber - 2010 - In Stefania Giombini E. Flavia Marcacci (ed.), Estratto da/Excerpt from: Il quinto secolo. Studi di loso a antica in onore di Livio Rossetti a c. di Stefania Giombini e Flavia Marcacci. Aguaplano—Of cina del libro, Passignano s.T. 2010, pp. 295-310 [isbn/ean: 978-88-904213-4-1]. pp. 205-310.
    The article uses Zeno’s metrical paradox of extension, or Zeno’s fundamental paradox, as a thought-model for the mind-body problem. With the help of this model, the distinction contained between mental and physical phenomena can be formulated as sharply as possible. I formulate Zeno’s fundamental paradox and give a sketch of four different solutions to it. Then I construct a mind-body paradox corresponding to the fundamental paradox. Through that, it becomes possible to copy the solutions to the fundamental paradox on the (...)
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  13.  21
    Le Bien de Platon et le problème de la transcendance du Principe. Encore une fois l’ἐπέκεινα τῆς οὐσίας de Platon.Rafael Ferber - 2017 - Chôra 15:31-43.
    The article again treats the question of whether ≪the Idea of the Good is a Reality in the Universe, or beyond it. Is it immanent or transcendent?≫. Plato scholars such as Matthias Baltes and Luc Brisson have defended the thesis that Plato’s Idea of the Good is, on the one hand, beyond being in dignity and power, but, on the other, is nevertheless not transcendent over being. The article delivers first the most important arguments for the thesis of Baltes and (...)
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  14.  7
    Jonathan Barnes Et Al.: Eleatica 2008: Zenone E L’Infinito. [REVIEW]Gregor Damschen & Rafael Ferber - 2014 - Gnomon 86 (1):71-73.
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  15. Review of: Eugen Fink: Grundfragen der antiken Philosophie, Würzburg 1985. [REVIEW]Rafael Ferber - 1985 - Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 41 (1):694-696.
    This is a review of lectures given by Eugen Fink at the University of Freiburg im Breisgau in the winter term of 1947/48, “Fundamental Questions of Ancient Philosophy,” edited by Franz A. Schwarz.
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  16. Das Normative "Ist".Rafael Ferber - 1988 - Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 42 (3):371 - 396.
    Despite the fact that Aristotle and Frege/Russell differ in how to understand the ambiguity in the meaning of the word “is”, their theories share a common feature: “is” does not have a normative meaning. This paper, however, (I) shows (a) that there is a normative meaning of “is” (and correspondingly a constative meaning of the word “ought”) and (b) that the ambiguity of “is” is itself ambiguous. Furthermore, it proposes (c) a performative criterion for making a distinction between constative and (...)
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  17. Perché Platone nel Timeo torna a sostenere la dottrina delle idee.Rafael Ferber - 1997 - Elenchos: Rivista di Studi Sul Pensiero Antico 18 (1):5-28.
    In the whole Corpus Platonicum, we find in principle only one "direct argument" (Charles Kahn) for the existence of the ideas (Tim.51d3-51e6). The purpose of the article is to analyse this argument and to answer the question of why Plato in the Timaeus again defended the existence of the ideas despite the objections in the Parmenides. He defended it again because the latent presupposition of the apories in the Parmenides, the substantial view of sensibles, is removed through the introduction of (...)
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  18.  70
    In Memoriam Martina Stemich.Rafael Ferber - 2005 - In .
    This is an obituary notice in memoriam Martina Stemich.
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  19.  61
    Ho de Diôkei Men Hapasa Psychê Kai Toutou Heneka Panta Prattei.Rafael Ferber - 2013 - In .
    The article first gives an exegesis of the famous passage in the "Republic", 505d11-506a2. Attention is drawn to the fact that the principle that every soul does everything for the Good can be translated in two ways: Every soul does everything for the sake of the Good, or goes to all lengths for the sake of the Good. Depending on the different translations, we have a different picture of the platonic Socrates in the Republic, an intellectualistic Socrates for whom irrational (...)
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  20.  81
    Was und wie hat Sokrates gewusst.Rafael Ferber - 2007 - Elenchos: Rivista di Studi Sul Pensiero Antico 28 (1):5-39.
    The first part of the paper (p. 10-21) tries to answer the first question of the title and describes a set of seven "knowledge-claims" made by Socrates: 1. There is a distinction between right opinion and knowledge.2. Virtue is knowledge. 3. Nobody does willingly wrong. 4. To do injustice is the greatest evil for the wrongdoer himself. 5. An even greater evil is if the wrongdoer is not punished. 6. The just man is happy; the unjust person is unhappy. 7. (...)
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  21.  55
    Was Ist der Mensch? Teil 1.Rafael Ferber - unknown
    This is an introductory blog to the question: "What is a human being?".
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  22.  49
    Was Ist der Mensch? Teil 2.Rafael Ferber - unknown
    Continuing the introductory blog to the question: "What is a human being?", that is “What is a zôon logon echôn?“, this blog tries to answer the question by unfolding the meaning of the expression “logos“.
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  23.  82
    Der Grundgedanke des Tractatus als Metamorphose des obersten Grundsatzes der Kritik der reinen Vernunft.Rafael Ferber - 1984 - Kant-Studien 75 (1-4):460-468.
    The paper puts forward that the basic principle of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus (4.0312) transforms the supreme principle of all synthetic judgments a priori in Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason (A158/B197) from a level of reason to the level of language. Both philosophers, Kant and Wittgenstein, put forward a transcendental principle and both hold a formal identity true, Kant an identity between the form of experience and the form of the object of experience, Wittgenstein an identity between the form of a sentence (...)
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  24.  50
    Der Ursprung der Wissenschaft bei Anaximander von Milet.Rafael Ferber - 1986 - Theologie Und Philosophie 61 (4):551-561.
    The paper deals with the beginning and the main properties of the science of nature (he peri physeos historiê). According to Themistius (DK 12 A 7), the founder of this kind of Ionic philosophy is Anaximander of Miletus because he was the first who wrote about nature (especially a cosmography and a cosmogony) and developed three main principles of nature: 1. Nature has a mathematical structure (Arist. De coelo I3 295b10-14.32); 2. nature has a physical structure (DK 12 A 10-11); (...)
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  25.  24
    Der Grundgedanke des "Tractatus" Als Metamorphose des Obersten Grundsatzes der "Kritik der Reinen Vernunft".Rafael Ferber - 1986 - Freiburger Zeitschrift für Philosophie Und Theologie 33:129-139.
    The paper puts forward that the basic principle of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus (4.0312) transforms “the supreme principle of all synthetic judgments a priori” in Kant’s “Critique of Pure Reason” (A158/B197) from a level of reason to the level of language. Both philosophers, Kant and Wittgenstein, put forward a transcendental principle and both hold a formal identity true, Kant an identity between the form of experience and the form of the object of experience, Wittgenstein an identity between the form of a sentence (...)
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  26. Wittgenstein Und Spengler.Rafael Ferber - 1991 - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 73 (2):188-207.
    In his Vermischte Bemerkungen 43, Wittgenstein notices that he was also influenced by Oswald Spengler. The paper deals with the question of in which way Spengler influenced Wittgenstein’s late works and if it really was influence or only a coincidence of ideas. It is put forward that Spengler’s rather unknown philosophy of language influenced Wittgenstein’s philosophy of language, especially the concepts of family resemblance, antiessentialism, and language-game (Sprachspiel). A picture of the famous Neapolitan gesture of “negation” which motivated Wittgenstein to (...)
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  27.  27
    Moral Judgments as Descriptions of Institutional Facts.Rafael Ferber - 1994 - In Georg Meggle & Ulla Wessels (eds.), Analyomen 1, Proceedings of the 1st Conference ”Perspectives in Analytical Philosophy. Berlin: de Gruyter. pp. 719-729.
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  28.  52
    "The origins of objectivity in communal discussion" : einige Bemerkungen zu Gadamers und Davidsons Interpretationen des "Philebos".Rafael Ferber - 2010 - In Christopher Gill & François Renaud (eds.), Hermeneutic Philosophy and Plato: Gadamer's Response to the Philebus. Academia. pp. 211-242.
    The first chapter, "Der Hintergrund von Gadamers 'Phänomenologischen Interpretationen' in Sein und Zeit" traces the origins of Gadamer’s interpretation of the Philebus in Sein und Zeit. Especially important is that Dasein is, thanks to speech , already outside of itself in the world. The second chapter "Gadamers Dialektische Ethik" gives a short summary of the main points of Gadamer's interpretation of the Philebus. The third chapter "Davidsons reinterpretation of von Gadamer's Dialektischer Ethik" 222-231), points especially to the fact that Davidson (...)
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  29.  37
    "M. Hossenfelder:" Die Philosophie der Antike 3. Stoa, Epikureismus und Skepsis. [REVIEW]Rafael Ferber - 1989 - Studia Philosophica 48:200.
    This is a book review of “Malte Hossenfelder: Die Philosophie der Antike 3, Stoa, Epikureismus und Skepsis”.
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  30.  58
    Introduction to "Sophistae".Rafael Ferber - 2014 - In Fulvia de Luise & Alessandro Stavru (eds.), Socratica III. Academia Verlag. pp. 201-203.
    Plato’s “Apology of Socrates” is a masterpiece of the philosophical literature. The question remains as to how much it has been influenced by earlier works, e.g. of Gorgias of Leontinoi and Euripides. Nevertheless, comparative studies on Hippolytus’ defense in Euripides’ tragedy of the same name, on Gorgias’ “Defense of Palamedes” and on Plato’s “Apology” do not exist. The short paper gives an introduction into the status quaestionis.
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  31.  42
    Alle Menschen Streben von Natur Nach Wissen.Rafael Ferber - 2014 - Studia Philosophica:167-183.
    The article is the revised version of an inaugural lecture given at the University of Lucerne on 8 November 2001. In part (I), I give an interpretation of the first sentence of the Aristotelian Metaphysics: ‘All men desire by nature to know’. In part (II), I show how, for Aristotle, this desire to know constitutes a continuum from knowledge given by sense perception to knowledge of the first principles. In part (III), I compare this Aristotelian conception to Plato’s more ‘existentialist’ (...)
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  32.  86
    Nachruf auf Henri Lauener.Rafael Ferber - 2003 - Kant-Studien 94 (4):403-404.
    This is an obituary notice on Henri Lauener (1933-2002).
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  33.  15
    Was Und Wie Hat Sokrates Gewusst.Rafael Ferber - 2007 - Elenchos 28 (1):5-40.
    The first part of the paper (p. 10-21) tries to answer the first question of the title and describes a set of seven “knowledge-claims” made by Socrates: 1. There is a distinction between right opinion and knowledge. 2. Virtue is knowledge. 3. Nobody willingly does wrong. 4. To do injustice is the greatest evil for the wrongdoer himself. 5. An even greater evil is if the wrongdoer is not punished. 6. The just person is happy; the unjust person is unhappy. (...)
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  34.  35
    Moral Judgments as Descriptions of Institutional Facts.Rafael Ferber - 1994 - In Analyomen / Analyomen: Proceedings of the 1st Conference. De Gruyter. pp. 719-729.
    This is the abbreviated and slightly revised English version of my paper “Moralische Urteile als Beschreibungen institutioneller Tatsachen. Unterwegs zu einer Theorie moralischer Urteile“, in: Archiv für Rechts- und Sozialphilosophie 79, 1993, 372-392. It deals with the question of what a moral judgment is. On the one hand, a satisfactory theory of moral judgments must take into account the descriptive character of moral judgments and the realistic language of morals. On the other hand, it must also meet the non-descriptive character (...)
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  35.  26
    Marion Ledwig, God's Rational Warriors. The Rationality of Faith Considered.Matthias Vonarburg & Rafael Ferber - 2011 - Philosophisches Jahrbuch 118 (1):161.
    This is a review of: God's Rational Warriors: The Rationality of Faith Considered.
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  36.  51
    II Symposium Platonicum. Grüdung der Internationalen Platon-Gesellschaft.Rafael Ferber - 1991 - Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 45 (1):138 - 141.
    This is a report on the II Symposium Platonicum, which took place in Perugia, Italy, September 1-6, 1989, and on the founding of the International Plato Society, which took place in Bevagna, Province of Perugia, Umbria, Italy, September 3, 1989.
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  37.  13
    Wilhelm Vossenkuhl, Die Möglichkeit des Guten. Ethik Im 21. Jahrhundert.Rafael Ferber & Matthias Vonarburg - 2008 - Philosophisches Jahrbuch 115 (1):230.
    This is a review of: Wilhelm Vossenkuhl. Die Möglichkeit des Guten. Ethik im 21. Jahrhundert, München. C. H. Beck 2006.
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  38.  22
    Die Unwissenheit des Philosophen, Oder, Warum Hat Plato Die "Ungeschriebene Lehre" Nicht Geschrieben?Rafael Ferber - 1991
    The debate over Plato’s “ so called unwritten doctrines”, which he communicated only to a small circle of trusted disciples, has caused a stir among philosophers in recent decades. Rafael Ferber assumes a differentiated position in this controversy. He is convinced that the unwritten doctrines did exist, but that Plato, for reasons inherent in the process of gaining knowledge, was unable to communicate these doctrines even to his closest disciples. In this book, Ferber outlines the discussion and summarizes the standpoints (...)
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  39. Key Concepts in Philosophy: An Introduction.Rafael Ferber - 2015 - St. Augustin: Academia Verlag.
    The book is an english translation with revisions and updates of the "Philosophische Grundbegriffe 1" and provides an introduction to six key concepts in philosophy - philosophy, language, knowledge, truth, being and good. At the same time, it aims to initiate its readers into the process of philosophical thinking. The book is addressed to students and laypeople, but also contains new ideas for specialists. It is written in a clear, accessible and engaging style, and its author 'shares, and manages to (...)
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  40. Philosophische Grundbegriffe.Rafael Ferber - 2008 - Munich: C. H. Beck.
    The book (1994, revised and enlarged 8th edition 2008) provides an introduction to six key concepts in philosophy – philosophy, language, knowledge, truth, being and good. At the same time, it aims to initiate its readers into the process of philosophical thinking. The book is addressed to students and laypeople, but also contains new ideas for specialists. It is written in a clear, accessible and engaging style, and its author ‘shares, and manages to convey, something of Plato's own commitment to (...)
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