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Ancient Editions (Important for the history of the reconstruction of the Poem of Parmenides)

Parmenides claimed that the truth cannot be known through sensory perception. Only Logos will result in the understanding of the truth of the world. This is because the perception of things or appearances the doxa is deceptive. Genesis-and-destruction, as Parmenides emphasizes, is illusory, because the underlying material of which a thing is made will still exist after its destruction. What exists must always exist. And we arrive at the knowledge of this underlying, static, and eternal reality aletheia through reasoning, not through sense-perception.

The structure of the cosmos is a fundamental binary principle that governs the manifestations of all the particulars: "the aether fire of flame" B 8. The structure of the cosmos then generated is recollected by Aetius II, 7, 1 :. For Parmenides says that there are circular bands wound round one upon the other, one made of the rare, the other of the dense; and others between these mixed of light and darkness. What surrounds them all is solid like a wall. Beneath it is a fiery band, and what is in the very middle of them all is solid, around which again is a fiery band.

The most central of the mixed bands is for them all the origin and cause of motion and becoming, which he also calls steering goddess and keyholder and Justice and Necessity. The air has been separated off from the earth, vapourized by its more violent condensation, and the sun and the circle of the Milky Way are exhalations of fire. The moon is a mixture of both earth and fire. The aether lies around above all else, and beneath it is ranged that fiery part which we call heaven , beneath which are the regions around the earth.

The traditional interpretation of Parmenides' work is that he argued that the every-day perception of reality of the physical world as described in doxa is mistaken, and that the reality of the world is 'One Being' as described in aletheia : an unchanging, ungenerated, indestructible whole. Under the Way of Opinion , Parmenides set out a contrasting but more conventional view of the world, thereby becoming an early exponent of the duality of appearance and reality.

For him and his pupils, the phenomena of movement and change are simply appearances of a static, eternal reality. Parmenides' philosophy is presented in the form of poetry. The philosophy he argued was, he says, given to him by a goddess, though the "mythological" details in Parmenides' poem do not bear any close correspondence to anything known from traditional Greek mythology:. Mourelatos, Charles H. It has been claimed that previous scholars placed too little emphasis on the apocalyptic context in which Parmenides frames his revelation.

Parmenides, Greek fragments and Burnet's English translation

As a result, traditional interpretations have put Parmenidean philosophy into a more modern, metaphysical context to which it is not necessarily well suited, which has led to misunderstanding of the true meaning and intention of Parmenides' message. The obscurity and fragmentary state of the text, however, renders almost every claim that can be made about Parmenides extremely contentious, and the traditional interpretation has by no means been abandoned.

Parmenides' considerable influence on the thinking of Plato is undeniable, and in this respect Parmenides has influenced the whole history of Western philosophy , and is often seen as its grandfather. Even Plato himself, in the Sophist , refers to the work of "our Father Parmenides" as something to be taken very seriously and treated with respect.

In the Parmenides , the Eleatic philosopher, which may well be Parmenides himself, and Socrates argue about dialectic. In the Theaetetus , Socrates says that Parmenides alone among the wise Protagoras , Heraclitus , Empedocles , Epicharmus , and Homer denied that everything is change and motion. Parmenides is credited with a great deal of influence as the author of an "Eleatic challenge" that determined the course of subsequent philosophers' enquiries. For example, the ideas of Empedocles , Anaxagoras , Leucippus , and Democritus have been seen as in response to Parmenides' arguments and conclusions.

Parmenides made the ontological argument against nothingness, essentially denying the possible existence of a void. According to Aristotle , this led Leucippus to propose the atomic theory , which supposes that everything in the universe is either atoms or voids, specifically to contradict Parmenides' argument. Aristotle himself, proclaimed, in opposition to Leucippus, the dictum horror vacui or "nature abhors a vacuum". Aristotle reasoned that in a complete vacuum, motion would encounter no resistance, and thus infinite speed would be possible, something which Aristotle would not accept.

A shadow of Parmenides' ideas can be seen in the physical concept of Block time , which considers existence to consist of past, present, and future, and the flow of time to be illusory. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem.

Return to Book Page. Preview — Parmenides by Plato. Parmenides by Plato ,. Keith Whitaker Goodreads Author Translator. This is an English translation of one of the more challenging and enigmatic of Plato's dialogues between Socrates and Parmenides and Zeno of Elea, that begins with Zeno defending his treatise of Parmenidean monism against those partisans of plurality.

Focus Philosophical Library translations are close to and are non-interpretative of the original text, with the notes and a This is an English translation of one of the more challenging and enigmatic of Plato's dialogues between Socrates and Parmenides and Zeno of Elea, that begins with Zeno defending his treatise of Parmenidean monism against those partisans of plurality. Get A Copy.

Paperback , 96 pages. Published January 1st by Focus first published More Details Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Parmenides , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Jul 28, Manny rated it it was ok. I am interested to discover that the doctrine of the One is still alive. It is now going by the name of blobjectivism , and is being met with the usual uninformed derision.

Only fifteen minutes ago, Matt cruelly dismissed it in the following terms : I opened the link and closed it right away. Ah, Matt, if only Parmenides of Elea were still with us! He'd put you in your place and tell you that all you need to do is switch the coding to Windows You I am interested to discover that the doctrine of the One is still alive. You can find his sage advice near the end of the famous dialogue with Aristoteles no relation , but for some reason very few people read that far.

View all 5 comments. May 26, Trevor rated it it was amazing Shelves: philosophy. In part, this dialogue was simply too hard for me. I find I quickly get lost with many philosophical arguments — Sartre does this to me too, which is annoying, because other things he writes make complete sense to me. This one is again one of those dialogues that is reported from a long time before — much like The Symposium — but this one goes right back to when Socrates was a very young man.

That 'real' world would be without contradiction and it would therefore be composed of perfect that is, unchanging forms. The problem is just what would those forms be?


Would there be, for instance, only perfect forms for abstract concepts, like beauty, truth, honour, justice, knowledge? Or would there also be perfect forms for objects in the world — the prefect table, chair, and so on?

And what about measures, like big or small? And so it goes. He seems to be trapped. Hegel is perhaps a solution here — that is, to think of the world as being about change and to see change as necessary in its movement — that is, rather than being afraid of the paradoxes and contradictions that are inevitably a part of accepting that things are in motion, to accept this as the essence of becoming and therefore the truth of our world.

Something impossible, of course, for either Socrates or Parmenides to believe. But, onward and upward… View all 3 comments. Parmenides is the most intriguing of plato's dialogues. I like this dialogue for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the usual roles are reversed. Socrates here is a young and inexperienced lad and he is the one to be cross examined. Secondly it features Parmenides, whose metaphysics is very interesting.

First part of the dialogue deals with the internal inconsistencies and the incompleteness of the theory of forms. Here Plato criticises his own theory through Parmenides by reductio ad absurdum argumen Parmenides is the most intriguing of plato's dialogues. Here Plato criticises his own theory through Parmenides by reductio ad absurdum arguments.

He deals with the problems that arise with the properties like Self predication and uniqueness of forms. Reminded me of the paradox that comes with a set of all sets that are not members of themselves. I can only assume that this dialogue was intended as an epistemological and metaphysical work to challenge our basic assumptions of knowledge.

Or probably as a dialogue to make us better understand the forms, by showing the properties like uniqueness, purity and self predication to be false. View 2 comments. Aug 20, Gary Beauregard Bottomley rated it it was amazing. I think there are three ways to see "The One". The ultimate Good and the source of all reality, our consciousness for when we think, and literally the number '1', each are different ways for how we understand the nature of existence being.

We think about being either by our understanding, our experience, our ideas, our contemplation or our lack of contemplation Heidegger, e. Each is equally valid in its on way. I've recently read Hegel's Phenomenology and that led me to his "Science of Logic" and that led me to this book.

Parmenides of Elea (Late 6th cn.—Mid 5th cn. B.C.E.)

Hegel borrows heavily from this book. Hegel puts in his movement dialectic but he mostly insists that we need to understand the painting as the whole before we can understand the pieces of the painting just as Parmenides would say actually as Parmenides does say in this dialog. It is almost as if this book doesn't belong in the works of Plato's Socratic dialogs. So much really shouts out against what Socrates says elsewhere in Plato's dialogs. The 'forms' from our 'ideas' fall under assault by Parmenides. Opposites don't exist proof by contradiction are used without mercy against much of what Socrates held to be true.

Socrates needs the absolute in order to defeat the sophisticated Sophists and therefore needs a starting point in order to get his negation all determinations are negations , but he doesn't have it. Our being and becoming, the void and matter, motion and stillness, existence and nothing all need an absolute negation and Parmenides takes that away in this incredibly clever dialog.

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Kant has to have his intuition categories in order to get the universal. Parmenides gives only "the one". Heidegger will start with Being dasein, "understanding ones own understanding about ones understanding" and builds a complicated world structure always in threes: past, present, and future and ends in Temporarlity as if he wished to have started with time instead. What is the proper ontological foundation? Being or time? Parmenides will put 'The One" outside of time temporally just as the God of an Evangelical will most often be and in my opinion Spinoza does the same but many if not most readers of Spinoza seem to disagree.

This is an incredibly important little book which seems to relate to most of the books I've recently have been reading and I wish I had read it before reading some of the others I've recently read Hegel, Heidegger, Spinoza, Wittgenstein, Gadamer, and Sartre. It's not a hard to follow book and I actually re-listened to parts of it to make sure I was understanding it correctly.

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May 09, Victoria rated it liked it Shelves: st-john-s-reads. I read this dialogue and was exhausted by its repetitive and confusing arguments. Only now that I've had time to step away from it and discuss it with others has the true beauty of The Parmenides' message struck me. This book allowed me to see everything as unified in a way I could never conceive of before.

Everything: humans, love, mud, table, and injustice are one. It is only because of this connection that we can afford to think of ourselves as separate entities; I can call myself "I" in a co I read this dialogue and was exhausted by its repetitive and confusing arguments. It is only because of this connection that we can afford to think of ourselves as separate entities; I can call myself "I" in a conversation because I know that in our interaction we exist as a whole "we" that gives us common ground to understand one another.

For some reason, I really love this idea that all people and things are connected, whether we acknowledge it or not.