Miller, Mitchell H. 1979. "Parmenides and the Disclosure of Being." Apeiron.A Journal for Ancient Philosophy and Science no. 13:12-35.
"The key to interpretation of Parmenides' "esti" ("... is") is recovery of its specific context. This essay focuses on the imagery of the Proem, especially as its conceptual content
is suggested by parallels with the closing doxa fragments, in order to show how Parmenides discovers and discloses "being". In sum, as "nothing" (" meden") lies hidden as the grounding
contrary for the contraries asserted in traditional dualism, so the "being" of the latter lies hidden as the grounding contrary for the contraries asserted in traditional dualism, so the "being" of
the latter lies hidden as the grounding contrary for "nothing." On this view, Parmenides' final judgment of dualism is much more complex than is usually thought: by thinking to its ground, he reveals
both its partial truth and ultimate limitation together."
———. 2006. "Ambiguity and Transport: Reflections on the Proem to Parmenides' Poem." Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy no. 30:1-47.
"In arguably the seminal thought of the history of philosophy, Parmenides brings being into focus for philosophical reflection. He does this by reversing the
orders of the conspicuous and the inconspicuous in fr. 2, dropping the subject and perhaps the predicate in order to give us the bare "is" and "is not" of the two ways of inquiry. But this ellipsis
is itself conspicuous, challenging us to retrieve the context that the "is" transcends. And in the proem's figures of the traveler's arrival at and passage through "the gates of the ways of night and
day," Parmenides also gives us the resources for this retrieval. In this essay Miller explores (1) the Hesiodic and Anaximandran resonances of Parmenides' image of the gateway, "much-punishing
justice," and the "yawning chasm" made by the gates' opening, (2) the correlation of his depiction of the passage to and through the gateway with the "opinions of mortals" in the Doxa
section of the poem, and (3) three pointed and irresolvable ambiguities in Parmenides' language: whether the journey is a descent to the gates of a Tartaran underworld or an ascent to the upper
bounds of sky and the world-"embracing" Apeiron, whether the "chasm" made by the opening of the gates is "yawning" or "unyawning," and whether the "chasm" is formed by the gates swinging
back together or opening in opposite directions, one swinging forward while the other swings back and vice versa. Holding these ambiguities firmly in mind while granting the gateway and the "chasm"
the thought-content suggested by their resonance and correlation with the "opinions of mortals," Miller seeks to show, is the key to letting the proem serve its purpose of transporting thought to the
"... is ...."."
Montero Moliner, Fernando. 1960. Parménides. Madrid: Editorial Gredos.
Morgan, Kathryn. 2000. Myth and Philosophy from Presocratics to Plato. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
On Parmenides see pp. 67-87.
"A study of the fragments of Parmenides' philosophical poem concerning the possible types of human enquiry provides an opportunity for an in-depth analysis of one suggestive use of
myth in Presocratic philosophy. We have argued that Xenophanes defined his philosophical aspirations by excluding poetic/mythological practice. Herakleitos appropriated and transformed mythological
elements in order to draw attention to the failings of traditional myth as an adequate system of signification. Both philosophers are concerned with the problematic relationship of language and
reality. Yet in both cases poetry and mythology, although important, even crucial targets, are not structuring principles in their philosophy. When one moves to the fragments of Parmenides,
one is in a different world. Although Parmenides' mythology is non-traditional, his search for knowledge is communicated to the reader through familiar motifs of quest and revelation and is attended
by divine mythological beings. His wisdom is expressed in epic hexameters, which, although commonly stigmatised as clumsy and pedestrian, transport us back to the poetic and mythological realm of
Homer and Hesiod. (1) What on earth was Parmenides about?
In this section, I shall characterise the ways in which Parmenides chooses to talk about his insight into the problems of being. Treatments of Parmenides sometimes imply that the
mythological framework of the poem is a veneer that can be stripped away to reveal pure philosophical argument. On the contrary, mythological elements are integrated into the argument, and
interpreting their status is one of the crucial philosophical problems in the poem. Separating Parmenides' mythos from logos he speaks the same tendency we saw in the interpretation
of Xenophanes' literary ethics and theology: the desire to tidy up philosophy (separate mythos from logos) so that it conforms to modern perceptions of its subject matter and
method. The idea that literary presentation might have philosophical import is ignored. There is, however, no dichotomy between logic on the one hand, and metaphor and myth on the other. This is to
argue in terms which would have been foreign to Parmenides. Problems of mythological style and philosophical content are not only parallel, they are expressions of the same difficulty, the
relationship between thought and its expression. Here Parmenides follows in the footsteps of his predecessors as he focuses on the problems of myth as a way of symbolising the difficulties inherent
in all language.
Parmenides wishes to make his audience aware of the non-referentiality of what-is-not. He does this through logical argument and by developing mythological figures of presentation
that transgress the conclusions of his argument. Both argument and literary presentation problematise the status of the audience; there is a paradoxical incoherence between the world in which we live
and the uniqueness and homogeneity of what-is. These difficulties are mirrored in the uncertain relationship of the narrator of the poem (the kouros), Parmenides the author, and the goddess
who reveals the truth. The goddess replaces the Muse, but the source of inspiration is uncertain. Let us first survey the main features of the revelation, emphasising the dose connection between
thought and being, along with the key themes of narrative persuasion and conviction. We will then engage in a dose reading of the mythological framework of the proem to show how it structures and
elaborates the key themes of the rest of the poem. Finally we shall consider the poem as a series of nested fictions that draw attention to problems in the relationship of language and reality,
problems of which the mythological framework is paradigmatic." pp. 67-68
(1) Parmenides may also have included Orphic elements, which would again contribute to a sense of comfortable orientation in a tradition (Mourelatos 1970: 42). For a recent, but
unconvincing, attempt to find Orphism in Parmenides, see Böhme 1986.
Morrison, J.S. 1955. "Parmenides and Er." Journal of Hellenic Studies no. 75:59-68.
"Discusses the relationship between certain aspects of the Platonic myth of Er and Parmenides' philosophy. Questions the justifiability of attributing to Parmenides the idea of the
sphericity of the earth." [N.]
Mosimann, Robert. 2001. "Parmenides. An Ontological Interpretation." Philosophical Inquiry no. 23:87-101.
Mourelatos, Alexander. 1969. "Comments on 'the Thesis of Parmenides'." Review of Metaphysics no. 22:735-744.
About the paper by Charles Kahn (1969).
"The first of the two routes outlined by the Parmenidean goddess in fr. 2 is given this interpretive formulation in Kahn's paper: "It (whatever we can know, or whatever there is to
be known) is a definite fact, an actual state of affairs." (1) Kahn explains that Parmenides intends to assert "not only the reality but the determinate being-so of the knowable object," in other
words, that he posits existence both "for the subject entity" and "for the fact or situation which characterizes this entity in a determinate way" (pp. 712-713) .
As indicated by Kahn's use of the pronoun "whatever," the thesis has the force of universality. (2) Let me condense the formulation into a single proposition:
(1) For all p, if p is known, then p is true iff (3) there actually exists a certain F and a certain x such that Fx.
What should count as the denial of (1) P Presumably either:
(2) It is not the case that for all p, etc. [as in (1)];
or, more explicitly,
(3) There is a p such that: p is known, and p is true even though a certain x does not exist, or a certain F does not obtain.
If (1) is an adequate formulation of Parmenides' first route (which according to Kahn it is), then (3) ought to be the correct formulation of the second route. But Kahn's own
formulation is significantly different. The first of the two "partial aspects" he distinguishes, the aspect of nonexistence of the subject, he formulates as the claim "that an object for cognition
does not exist, that there is no real entity for us to know, describe, or refer to." The second aspect, nonexistence of a certain state of affairs, he expresses as the claim "that there is . . . no
fact given as object for knowledge and true statement: whatever we might wish to cognize or describe is simply not the case" (p. 713). Either aspect could be condensed in either of the following
(4) There is no p such that: p is known, and p is true iff there actually exists a certain F and a certain x such that Fx.
(5) For all p, if p is known, then p is true if a certain x does not exist or a certain F does not obtain.
It should be noticed immediately that (4) and (5) are alternative formulations not of the contradictory of (1) but of its contrary. If anything is clear about the argument in
Parmenides' poem, it is that he intends the two routes as exclusive alternatives, the one a contradiction of the other.' Kahn's analysis thus appears to involve an imprecise formulation of the
opposition between the two Parmenidean routes."
(1) Charles H. Kahn, "The Thesis of Parmenides," pp. 711-712. References to the paper will hereafter be given mostly in the text and by page number only.
(2) The formulation of p. 714 has similar scope: " esti" claims only that something must he the case in the world for there to be any knowledge or any truth." The deflating
expressions "only" and "something" should not mislead; the governing universal quantifier is in the pronoun "any."
(3) The usual abbreviation for "if and only if."
(4) But Kahn says (p. 713) that Parmenides' second route "would deny both assertions" (i.e., both the ascription of existence to x and the ascription of actuality to F). The "both"
seems to be an over-statement not required by Kahn's interpretation.
(5) Kahn recognizes this (p. 706). The point I am making has nothing to do with the fact. that. the modal clauses in the two routes of fr. 2 are related as contraries. Propositions
(1)-(5) are formulations of the nonmodal clauses of the routes.
———. 1970. The Route of Parmenides: A Study of Word, Image, and Argument in the Fragments. New Haven: Yale University Press.
New, revised edition including a new introduction, three additional essays and a previously unpublished paper by Gregory Vlastos, Names of Being in Parmenides, Las Vegas,
Parmenides Publishing, 2008.
Contents: Returning to Elea: Preface and Afterword to the revised and expanded edition (2008) XI-L; Part I. The route of Parmenides: a study of word, image, and argument in the
Fragments: Use of Greek and treatment of philological and specialized topics LIII; Abbreviations used in Part I LVII-LIX; 1. Epic form 1; 2. Cognitive quest and the Route 47; 3. The vagueness of
What-is-not 74; 4. Signposts 94; 5. The bound of reality 115; 6. Persuasion and fidelity 136; 7. Mind's commitment to reality 164; 8. Doxa as acceptance 194; 9. Deceptive words 222; Appendix I.
Parmenides' hexameter 264; Appendix II. Interpretations of the Subjectless esti 269; Appendix III. The meaning of kré and cognates 277; Appendix IV. Text of the Fragments 279;
Supplementary list of works cited in Part I. 285; Part II. Thee supplemental essays; Abbreviations used in Part II 297; 10. Heraclitus, Parmenides, and the naive metaphysics of things 299; 11.
Determinacy and indeterminacy, Being and Non-Being in the Fragments of Parmenides 333; 12. Some alternatives in interpreting Parmenides 350; Part III. The scope of naming: Gregory Vlastos (1907-1991)
on B.38 and related issues (Essay not previously published; "Names" of being in Parmenides, by Gregory Vlastos 367; Indexes to Parts I-III 391-408.
"In the nearly four decades that have passed since the Yale University Press edition, the volume of literature on Parmenides, both books and essays, has exploded. Accordingly, a
thorough and fully updated revision is out of the question. It could only be a total re-writing of the book.
Let me, then, clarify at the outset the scope of "revised and expanded." On its subject, The Route of Parmenides inevitably reflects the status quaestionis of the
mid- and late-1960s. The revisions in the present reissue of the Yale Press book (Part I of this volume) are modest: mostly corrections of misprints; altering or adjusting some misleading
formulations; editing some egregiously dated phrases, such as "X has recently argued," or "in this century [meaning 'in the twentieth']"; and the like. All this was done with care not to change the
arabic-number pagination (except for the Indexes) of the Yale Press edition; for it was my concern not only to keep costs of production low but also to ward off the emergence of inconsistencies in
citations of the book in the literature. (...)
If the revisions are delicate and unobtrusive, the expansion is substantial and obvious. Part II reprints three essays of mine, composed in the mid- and late- 1970s, in which I
sought to supplement, to strengthen, and in some respects also to modify theses that were advanced in the original edition of the book (theses that are still represented here in Part I). As in the
case of the text in Part I, slight adjustments and corrections have been made for the reprinting of the three essays. But the type-setting and pagination in Part II are, of course, new. Part III
consists of a previously unpublished essay by Gregory Vlastos. The rationale of publishing posthumously this essay by Vlastos, as well as that of reprinting my own three previously published essays,
is perhaps best given in the course of a narrative, which immediately follows here, of my engagement with the thought of Parmenides over the years. Additional comments and afterthoughts, ones that
reflect my present views on crucial points of interpretation, will be presented in the course of the narrative and in the closing sections of this Preface."
———. 1971. "Mind's Commitment to the Real Parmenides." In Essays in Ancient Greek Philosophy. Vol. I, edited by Anton, John P. and L., Kustas George, 59-80. Albany: State
University of New York Press.
———. 1973. "Heraclitus, Parmenides, and the Naive Metaphysics of Being." Phronesis.A Journal for Ancient Philosophy:16-48.
Supplementary vol. I: Exegesis and Argument. Studies in Greek Philosophy Presented to Gregory Vlastos, Edited by E. N. Lee, A. P. D. Mourelatos, R. M. Rorty - Assen, Van
———. 1976. "Determinacy and Indeterminacy: Being and Non-Being in the Fragments of Parmenides." In New Essays on Plato and the Pre-Socratics, edited by Shiner, Roger and
King-Farlow, John, 45-60. Guelph: Canadian Association for Publishing in Philosophy.
Canadian Journal of Philosophy (Supplementary volume 2).
"The argument in the "truth" part of Parmenides' cosmological Poem relies not on an assumption that negative statements fail to refer to actual entities or to actual states of
affairs (as in the interpretations by Owen, Furth, Kahn, and Furley), but on an assumption that statements of the form "x is not f" are incorrigibly vague or indeterminate. The latter assumption
reflects a "naive metaphysics of things" dominant in early Greek philosophy. the article develops further, and in certain respects modifies, an interpretation offered by the author in The route
of Parmenides (1970)."
———. 1979. "Some Alternatives in Interpreting Parmenides." Monist no. 62:3-14.
"Influential studies find the basis of Parmenides' argument in a fusion of copulative and existential uses of "einai", "to be." As an alternative to this line of interpretation, the
article continues and buttresses the author's thesis ("The route of Parmenides", 1970) that the various forms of "einai" are copulative in all key passages. Parmenides' argument is, in effect, a
critique of the "is" statements that are constitutive of the "doxa": "... is light," "... is night," "... is light and night." Parmenides' monistic conclusion is based on a rejection of contrariety.
Dialectical connections with Heraclitus and Anaximander are briefly explored."
———. 1979. "'Nothing' as 'Not-Being': Some Literary Contexts That Bear to Plato." In Arktouros. Hellenic Studies Presented to Bernard M. W. Knox on the Occasion of His 65th
Birthday, edited by W., Bowersock Glen, Walter, Burkert and C.J., Putnam Michael, 319-329. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.
Reprinted in: John P. Anton, Anthony Preus (eds.) - Essays in Ancient Greek Philosophy. Vol. II: Plato - Albany, State University of New York Press, 1983, pp. 59-69.
———. 1981. "Pre-Socratic Origins of the Principle That There Are No Origins from Nothing." Journal of Philosophy no. 78:649-665.
———. 1999. "Parmenides and the Pluralists." Apeiron.A Journal for Ancient Philosophy and Science no. 32:117-129.
"The article discusses -- both appreciatively and critically -- Patricia Curd's The Legacy of Parmenides (1998). Among the interpretive claims I dispute is that Parmenides
advocates "Predicational monism," the thesis that the reality of things cannot be constituted by complementary opposites; also that Parmenides' metaphysics is largely compatible with the pluralist
cosmologies of his successors. I differentiate her position from that developed in my own Parmenides studies of the 1970s; I offer a new translation for B1.31-32; I conjecture " eirgon" for
the lacuna at B6.3; and I correct a frequent error in translations of B42-43."
Muller, Robert. 1987. "Euclide De Mégare Et Parménide." In Études Sur Parménide. Tome Ii. Problèmes D'interprétation, edited by Aubenque, Pierre, 274-276. Paris: Vrin.
"Pour être bref (...) l'élement le plus propre à justifier le rapprochement avec les Éleates nous paraît être le refus mégarique de ce non-être relatif qu'est l'alterité (cfr.
[ Die Megariker] fr. 27 [ed. Döring], et par suite de la relation en général."
Nehamas, Alexander. 1981. "On Parmenides Three Ways of Inquiry." Deucalion no. 33/34:97-111.
Reprinted in: A. Nehamas - Virtues of authenticity. Essays on Plato and Socrates - Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1999, pp. 125-137.
"We often take Parmenides to distinguish three "ways of inquiry" in his poem: the way of being, that of not being, and the way which combines being and not being; and to hold that
of these only the first is to be followed.
This approach, originating in Reinhardt, (1) is now canonical (2). G.E.L. Owen, for example, writes that Parmenides aims
to rule out two wrong roads which, together with the remaining right road, make up an exhaustive set of possible answers to the question estin e ouk estin;... The right
path is an unqualified yes. The first wrong path is an equally unqualified no... There is no suggestion that anyone ever takes the first wrong road... It is the second, the blind alley described
in... B6, that is followed by 'mortals'. . To take this well-trodden path... is to say, very naturally, that the question estin e ouk estin; can be answered either yes or no (3).
The text of B6. 1-5 (...) can be translated as:
What is for saying and for thinking must be; (4) for it can be,
while nothing cannot; I ask you to consider this.
For, first, I hold you back from this way of inquiry,
and then again from that, on which mortals, knowing nothing, wander aimlessly, two headed...
Simplicius' manuscript, where this fragment is found, contains a lacuna after dizesis in line 3. Diels supplied eirgo and took lines 4ff. to follow directly
afterwards. (5) Thus, the goddess scents to proscribe two ways of inquiring into being. This text, however, exhibits certain peculiarities which suggest that this view awes serious difficulties. The
purpose of this paper is to present these peculiarities, discuss the difficulties, and to suggest, if cautiously, an alternative to the text and to the view it engenders."
(1) Karl Reinhardt, Parmenides and die Geschichte der Griechischen Philosophie, (reps. Frankfurt A.M., 1959) pp. 18-32.
(2) David J. Furley, "Notes on Parmenides", in E.M. Lee et al., Exegesis and Argument: Studies in. Greek Philosophy Presented to Gregory Vlastos (Assen, 1973), pp. 1 - 15;
W.K.C. Guthrie, A History of Greek Philosophy, vol. II (Cambridge, 1965); G.S. Kirk and J.E. Raven, The Presocratic Philosophers (Cambridge, 1957); A.P.D. Mourelatos, The Route
of Parmenides (New Haven, 1970); G.E.L. Owen, "Eleatic Oiteslions", Classical Quarterly, N.S. vol. 10 (1960), pp. 85 - 102; Michael C. Stokes, One and Many in Presocratic Philosophy
(Cambridge, Mass., I 971.
(3) Owen, pp. 90-91.
(4) For this construction, see Furley, p. 11.
(5) See Diels' comment in his apparatus to the Prussian Academy edition of Simplicius' commentary on Aristotle's Physics (Berlin, 1882), p. 117.
———. 2002. "Parmenidean Being / Heraclitean Fire." In Presocratic Philosophy. Essays in Honour of Alexander Mourelatos, edited by Caston, Victor and Graham, Daniel W.,
45-64. Aldershot: Ashgate.
"The facts are these.
Parmenides and Heraclitus lived at about the same time, at opposite ends of the Greek- speaking world. Parmenides constructed a rigorously abstract logical argument in vivid verse.
Heraclitus composed a series of striking paradoxes in obscure prose. They are both difficult to understand. They are both arrogantly contemptuous of their predecessors as well as their
contemporaries, to whom they usually refer as 'the many' or 'mortals.(1) They have been taken to stand at opposite philosophical extremes: Parmenides is the philosopher of unchanging stability;
Heraclitus, the philosopher of unceasing change.
The rest is speculation.
That is not a criticism. Most of the speculation is not idle: it is interpretation, based partly on the texts and partly on a general sense of the development of early Greek
philosophy. But interpretation it is and, as such, each of its aspects affects and is, in turn, affected by every other. One of these is the idea that, though close contemporaries, Heraclitus and
Parmenides wrote successively and that whoever wrote later criticizes the other: either Heraclitus denounces Parmenides (2) or Parmenides attacks Heraclitus.(3) Testimony to the continuing influence
of the ancient diadoche-writers, that assumption bears directly on the interpretation of both philosophers. In particular, if, as most people today believe, Parmenides is answering Heraclitus, we
need to find in Heraclitus views that Parmenides, in turn, explicitly rejects in his poem.(4)
I want to question this assumption - not necessarily to reject it, but to show exactly how it affects our interpretation of both Parmenides and Heraclitus.(5) I would also like to
outline, in barest form, an alternative understanding of their thought which takes them to write in parallel and not in reaction to one another. (6)"
(1) Heraclitus also names some of the targets of his criticisms (for example, B 40, B 42, B 56, B 57, B 81, B 106, B 129).
(2) That is the view of Reinhardt, 1916.
(3) A notable exception is Stokes, 1971, pp. 109-23, who believes that each can be understood quite independently of the other. For full references to the debate, see Daniel W.
Graham, ' Heraclitus and Parmenides' (in this volume, pp. 27-44). Graham offers a strong defense of Patin's thesis to the effect that Parmenides is directly concerned with criticizing
Heraclitus in his poem.
(4) More cautiously, we need to assume that Heraclitus must at least have appeared to have held views which Parmenides rejects in his poem.
(5) It is an assumption that is important to two of the best recent studies of Parmenides and Heraclitus: Curd, 1998 and Graham, 1997, as well as to the latter's 'Heraclitus and
Parmenides.' Both, not incidentally, are as deeply indebted to A. P. D. Mourelatos as I am in my own inadequate celebration of his work, which this essay constitutes.
6 My view of the relationship between Parmenides and Heraclitus is similar to that of Stokes 1971, though the implication I draw from it for my interpretation of their views differ
from his in many ways.
Neumann, Gunther. 2006. "Sein Und Logos. Heideggers Frühe Auseinandersetzung Mit Parmenides." In Heidegger Und Die Logik, edited by Alfred, Denker and Zaborowski, Holger,
65-87. Amsterdam: Rodopi.
———. 2006. Der Anfang Der Abendländischen Philosophie. Berlin: Duncker & Humblot.
Eine vergleichende Untersuchung zu den Parmenides-Auslegungen von Emil Angehrn, Günter Dux, Klaus Held und dem frühen Martin Heidegger
O'Brien, Denis. 1980. "Temps Et Intemporalité Chez Parménide." Études Philosophiques no. 35:257-272.
———. 1987. "L'être Et L'éternité." In Études Sur Parménide. Tome Ii. Problèmes D'interprétation, edited by Aubenque, Pierre, 135-164. Paris: Vrin.
"Sommaire: I. Le problème de l'intemporalité; II. «Il n'est pas» III. «Il ne sera pas»; IV. «Il n'était pas»; V. L'inengendré; VI. L'impérissable; VII. La preuve de l'immortalité;
VIII Les deux emplois du «maintenant»; IX. L'éternel (1)
LE PROBLÈME DE L'INTEMPORALITÉ
Le sens d'« éternité»
Au fr. VIII, l-2, la déesse déclare: «Il ne reste plus qu'une seule parole, celle de la voie énonçant: 'est'». Elle désigne ainsi la Voie de l'existence, annoncée au fr. II, 3.
Cette Voie est «chemin de persuasion, car la persuasion accompagne la vérité» (fr. II, 4). C'est donc au fr. VIII que la déesse accomplira la promesse faite dans le prologue (fr. I, 29): le disciple
s'instruira du «coeur de la vérité persuasive ...» (2).
Quelle est cette «vérité», exposée dans la Voie de l'existence?
En ouvrant cette Voie, la déesse affirme que l'objet de son discours est «inengendré» et «impérissable» (fr. VIII, 3). Elle précise, deux vers plus loin (v. 5): «II n'était pas à un
moment, ni ne sera à un moment, puisqu'il est maintenant». Pour la majorité des exégètes, Parménide aurait évoqué dans ce dernier vers, pour la première fois dans l'histoire de l'Occident, le
concept d'éternité. Mais de quelle «éternité» s'agit-il? En quel sens prend-on ici ce terme? Le plus souvent, les formules adoptées par les commentateurs laissent perplexe." pp. 135-136)
(1) Le chapitre que l'on va lire repose sur les conclusions dégagées dans le premier tome de cet ouvrage (Éludes I, Essai critique: Introduclion à la lecture de Parménide)
ainsi que sur mes recherches antérieures, que je reprends ici, en les approfondissant et en les corrigeant. Quelques précisions de terminologie s'imposent, ici comme dans mon Essai critique (cf. p.
140 n. 3): je parlerai indifféremment de «genèse» et de «naissance», de «disparition» et de «mort»; en employant ces termes «naissance» et «mort», je n'ai point voulu imposer au lecteur une
représentation de l'«être» de Parménide comme d'un être animé/vivant. Dans ce que j'appelle la «preuve de l'immortalité» (voir surtout pp. 157-158 infra), la déesse vise à montrer non seulement que
l'être est immortel (absence de «mort» ou de «destruction»; sur la possibiflté d'une distinction implicite entre ces deux termes, voir p.155 infra), mais encore qu'il est inengendré (absence de
«genèse» ou de «naissance»).
(2) Sur l'articulation du poème, voir mon Essai critique, chap. XI (Études 1, pp. 239 sqq.)
———. 1987. "Problèmes D'établissement Du Texte: La Transmission Du Poème Dans L'antiquité." In Études Sur Parménide. Tome Ii. Problèmes D'interprétation, edited by
Aubenque, Pierre, 314-350. Paris: Vrin.
Sommaire: I. L'édition des textes et l'histoire de la philosophie; II. Fr.I, 29: «vérité» et «persuasion»; III. Fr. VIII, 4: «entier en sa membrure»; IV. Immortalité et
indivisibilité: la thèse de G. E. L. Owen; V. Immortalité et immobilité: la citation de Plutarque; VI. Fr. VIII, 4: «unique» et «inengendré»; VII. Fr. VIII, 4: l'histoire de la transmission du texte;
VIII Fr. VIII, 5: «il est maintenant»; IX. Fr. VIII, 6: la «continuité» du temps; X. La tradition manuscrite du poème; XI. Fr. VIII, 12: une naissance à partir de l'être; XII. Les éditeurs de la fin
"Le texte de Parménide commenté dans un chapitre précédent de cet ouvrage (fr. VIII, l-21: la première partie du discours sur la vérité) est émaillé de variantes; je reprendrai,
dans ce chapitre, celles qui touchent de près à mon analyse.
Le texte du poème, on le sait, n'est pas attesté en tradition directe; il n'est conservé que dans les manuscrits d'une trentaine d'auteurs anciens qui en ont cité des extraits. Dans
ces manuscrits, comme pour tous les textes qui nous sont venus de l'Antiquité, des erreurs de copistes se sont accumulées; à l'éditeur de rectifier ces erreurs, en tirant parti de ses connaissances
codicologiques ou philologiques.
La science du codicologue ou du philologue risque cependant de s'avérer insuffisante, lorsqu'il s'agit d'une difficulté relevant d'un domaine qui n'est pas le sien: celui de
l'histoire de la philosophie. Les fragments de Parménide, tels qu'ils ont été conservés dans les manuscrits, ne présentent pas seulement en effet des variantes imputables à l'inadvertance ou à
l'ignorance des copistes; on peut aussi subodorer ici et là, sous certaines variantes, les traces de manipulations tendancieuses du poème.
À y regarder de plus près, il devient en effet évident que des copistes savants, imbus de platonisme et de néoplatonisme, ont pris à coeur de «normaliser» la pensée de Parménide, en
l'intégrant, de gré ou de force, dans leur vision idéaliste de la philosophie des anciens. Pour ce faire, ils ont gommé, dans le texte du poème qui leur était transmis, les discordances, réelles ou
supposées, avec les dialogues de Platon ou les Ennéades de Plotin.
Les «corrections» ainsi infligées au texte primitif du poème, si elles ont été faites avec suffisamment d'habileté, ne violentent ni la grammaire ni la métrique. Elles risqueront
par conséquent de passer inaperçues tant que l'éditeur moderne n'aura pas pris conscience des considérations proprement philosophiques qui peuvent avoir influé sur la transmission des fragments." pp.
———. 1991. "Le Non-Être Dans La Philosophie Grecque: Parménide, Platon, Plotin." In Études Sur Le Sophiste, edited by Aubenque, Pierre, 317-364. Napoli: Bibliopolis.
Translated in English as: Non-being in Parmenides, Plato and Plotinus - in: Robert W. Sharples (ed.) - Modern thinkers and ancient thinkers - Boulder, Westview
Press, 1993 pp. 1-26.
———. 1993. "Non-Being in Parmenides, Plato and Plotinus: A Prospectus for the Study of Ancient Greek Philosophy." In Modern Thinkers and Ancient Thinkers, edited by
Sharples, Robert W., 1-26. London: University College London Press.
———. 2000. "Parmenides and Plato on What Is Not." In The Winged Chariot: Collected Essays on Plato and Platonism in Honour of L.M. De Rijk, edited by Kardaun, Maria and
Spruyt, Joke, 19-104. Leiden: Brill.
Owen, Gwilym Ellis Lane. 1960. "Eleatic Questions." Classical Quarterly:84-102.
Reprinted with additions in: D. J. Furley and R. E. Allen, Studies in Presocratic Philosophy. Vol. II: The Eleatics and Pluralists, London, Routledge and Kegan
Paul, 1975 pp. 48-81 and in: G. E. L. Owen, Logic, Science, and Dialectic. Collected Papers in Greek Philosophy, Ithaca, Cornell University Press, 1986 pp. 3-26.
"The following suggestions for the interpretation of Parmenides and Melissus can be grouped for convenience about one problem. This is the problem whether, as Aristotle thought and
as most commentators still assume, Parmenides wrote his poem in the broad tradition of Ionian and Italian cosmology. The details of Aristotle's interpretation have been challenged over and again, but
those who agree with his general assumptions take comfort from some or all of the following major arguments. First, the cosmogony which formed the last part of Parmenides' poem is expressly claimed
by the goddess who expounds it to have some measure of truth or reliability in its own right, and indeed the very greatest measure possible for such an attempt. Second, the earlier arguments of the
goddess prepare the ground for such a cosmogony in two ways. For in the first place these arguments themselves start from assumptions derived from earlier cosmologists, and are concerned merely to
work out the implications of this traditional material. And, in the second place, they end by establishing the existence of a spherical universe: the framework of the physical world can be secured by
logic even if the subsequent introduction of sensible qualities or 'powers' into this world marks some decline in logical rigour.
These views seem to me demonstrably false. As long as they are allowed to stand they obscure the structure and the originality of Parmenides' argument." p. 84
———. 1966. "Plato and Parmenides on the Timeless Present." Monist:317-340.
Reprinted in: Alexander Mourelatos (ed.), The Pre-Socratics; a Collection of Critical Essays, Garden City, Anchor Press, 1974 and in: G. E. L.Owen, Logic, Science, and
Dialectic. Collected Papers in Greek Philosophy, Ithaca, Cornell University Press, 1986 pp. 27-44.
Some statements couched in the present tense have no reference to time. They are, if you like, grammatically tensed but logically tenseless. Mathematical statements such as "twice
two is four" or "there is a prime number between 125 and 128" are of this sort. So is the statement I have just made. To ask in good faith whether there is still the prime number there used to be
between 125 and 128 would be to show that one did not understand the use of such statements, and so would any attempt to answer the question. It is tempting to take another step and talk of such
timeless statements as statements about timeless entities. If the number 4 neither continues nor ceases to be twice two, this is, surely, because the number 4 has no history of any kind, not even the
being a day older today than yesterday. Other timeless statements might shake our confidence in this inference: "Clocks are devices for measuring time" is a timeless statement, but it is not about a
class of timeless clocks. But, given a preoccupation with a favored set of examples and a stage of thought at which men did not distinguish the properties of statements from the properties of the
things they are about, we can expect timeless entities to appear as the natural proxies of timeless statements.
Now the fact that a grammatical tense can be detached from its tense-affiliations and put to a tenseless use is something that must be discovered at some time by somebody or some
set of people. So far as I know it was discovered by the Greeks. It is commonly credited to one Greek in particular, a pioneer from whose arguments most subsequent Greek troubles over time were to
flow: Parmenides the Eleatic. Sometimes it is suggested that Parmenides took a hint from his alleged mentors, the Pythagoreans. "We may assume" says one writer "that he knew of the timeless present
in mathematical statements." 2 But what Aristotle tells us of Pythagorean mathematics is enough to undermine this assumption. According to him (esp. Metaph. 1091a12-22) they confused the construction
of the series of natural numbers with the generation of the world. So Parmenides is our earliest candidate. His claim too has been disputed, and I shall try to clear up this dispute as I go, but not
before I have done what I can to sharpen it and widen the issues at stake." pp. 317-318.
Owens, Joseph. 1975. "Naming in Parmenides." In Kephalaion: Studies in Greek Philosophy and Its Continuation Offered to Professor C. J. De Vogel, edited by Mansfeld, Jaap
and Rijk, Lambertus Marie de, 16-25. Assen: Van Gorcum.
"Naming for Parmenides, the texts show, is basically the conventional process by which a word or expression is established to designate a thing. Metaphorically it is extended, in
one reading of Fr. B 8,38, to cover the conventional establishing of perceptible things as expressions or names for the unique immobile being. It may be either right or wrong. It is right when,
either by words or by perceptible constructs it designates being, the only thing positively there to be named. Accordingly the thinking out and writing and reciting of Parmenides' poem is perfectly
Naming, however, has always to be based on a positive characteristic or distinguishing mark. It is therefore illegitimate when conventionally applied to not-being. Not-being, having
no characteristics at all, cannot be known and cannot be expressed in speech. But mortals do in fact mistakenly name not-being, on the basis of the characteristics of night, darkness, ignorance,
earth, thickness, heaviness. They obtain these distinguishing marks by dividing bodily appearance -- for the corporeal is the only kind of being recognized by Parmenides -- into these characteristics
and their opposites. This whole process is wrong, for there is no not-being to be named, and the characteristics assigned to it, though appearing positive, are in reality negations. But with the
second basic form so named and its characteristics so established, and with equal force given to both, the differentiations and changes in the perceptible universe may be explained. To understand
them and treat of them as in this way human conventions, is truth. To believe that the differentiations and changes are the true situation, is the doxa.
Naming is accordingly for Parmenides a conventional process throughout which being remains sole and sovereign both in the perceptible world and in human thought and speech. Every
sensible thing and every human thought and word is being. To understand that, is to be on the road of the goddess while thinking and speaking. Recognized clearly as naming the one immobile being,
human thought and language and living are thoroughly legitimate. Parmenides may legitimately continue in them, even though according to doxa they and all perceptible things are
differentiated and are engendered and perish, and "for they inert have established a name distinctive of each" (Fr. B 19,3). The important philosophical consequence is that for Parmenides perceptible
things can retain all the reality and beauty they have in ordinary estimation, and still function as names for the one whole and unchangeable being." pp. 23-24.
———. 1979. "Knowledge and ' Katabasis' in Parmenides." Monist no. 62:15-29.
Reviews various interpretations of the opening lines of Parmenides' poem, focusing on the question as to whether they convey the idea of an ascent or of a descent or
katabasis. Suggests that the proem announces a rejected way and a mixed way for the commencement of the journey, and eventually postulates the unmixed inspired path to true Being, through
which the soul ascends to the realm of the truth. Notes that if one insisted on the notion of katabasis, we would be compelled to conclude that Night or Unknowing is the real source of
knowledge for Parmenides." [N.]
Palmer, John. 1999. Plato's Reception of Parmenides. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
———. 2004. "Melissus and Parmenides." Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy no. 26:19-54.
"This paper reconsiders Melissus's relation to Parmenides and cautions against allowing Melissus's deduction to shape our view of Parmenides' philosophy. Detailed comparison of
their conceptions of what is and arguments for its attributes reveals differences numerous enough to cast serious doubt upon the traditional view of the relation. The assimilation of their views in
antiquity can be traced back to the late fifth century, when Melissus was a more prominent representative of Eleaticism in certain circles than Parmenides himself. The paper closes with a brief
examination of Aristotle's efforts to recover from this inherited assimilation."
———. 2009. Parmenides and Presocratic Philosophy. New York: Oxford University Press.
Contents: 1. Parmnides' place in Histories of Presocratic Philosophy 1; 2. Parmenides' Three Ways 51; 3. The way of the Goddess and the Way of Mortals 106; 4. What Must Be and What
Is and Is Not 137; 5. Zeno, Melissus and Parmenides 189; 6. Anassagors and Parmenides 225; 7. Empedocles' Element Theory and Parmenides 260; 8. Parmenides' Place in Presocratic Philosophy 318;
Appendix: The Fragments of Parmenides' Poem 350; Bibliography 388; Index locorum 405; General index 422-428.
Papadis, Dimitris. 2005. "The Concept of Truth in Parmenides." Revue de Philosophie Ancienne no. 23:77-96.
"Studies Parmenides' tripartite cognitive scheme: a) doxa, true or false, b) ta dokounta = true doxai, primarily of universal reference, and c) aletheia.
Doxa and ta dokounta refer to the perceptible aspect of the world, whereas aletheia refers to the inner Being of the world. Although in the Poem access to the truth is
reserved to Parmenides, it is understood that such access is also possible for everyone possessed of exceptional spirituality."
Pasqua, Hervé. 1992. "L'unité De L'être Parménidien." Revue Philosophique de Louvain no. 90:143-155.
"Being exists in an absolute sense, and because it exists it cannot cease to be. In other words non-being is impossible. This is the central thesis of Parmenides' poem. The Author
aims to show that this thesis can only be justified in Parmenides' view if Being is considered to be identical with the One. If this is the case, it has an important effect on the interpretation of
the Poem, namely that the affirmation of Being does not depend on the denial of Non-being, as many exegetes hold. In this article two recent interpretations are discussed, namely those of N. L.
Cordero and L. Couloubaritsis. The Author aims to inquire to what extent the true thought of Parmenides does not consist in making the affirmation of Being depend on that of Non-Being, but rather the
contrary, by basing his argumentation on the reciprocity of Being and the One."
Passa, Enzo. 2009. Parmenide. Tradizione Del Testo E Questioni Di Lingua. Roma: Edzioni Quasar.
Pelletier, Francis. 1990. Parmenides, Plato and the Semantics of Not-Being. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Contents: Acknowledgments IX; Introduction XI-XXI; 1. Methodological preliminaries 1; 2. Parmenides' problem 8; 3. Plato's problems 22; 4. Some interpretations of the symploke
eidon 45; 5. The Philosopher's language 94; Works cited 149; Index locorum 155; Name index 159; Subject index 163-166.
"As the title indicates, this is a book about Plato's response to Parmenides, as put forward in Plato's dialogue, the Sophist. But it would be a mistake to think that the
difficulties raised by Parmenides and Plato's response are merely of antiquarian interest, for many of the same problems emerge in modern discussions of predication and (especially) of mental
representation of natural-language statements. The intricacies and difficulties involved in giving a coherent account of Plato's position will be familiar to scholars in the field of ancient Greek
philosophy, as will be the general philosophic difficulty to which Plato is responding- the Parmenidean problem of not-being.
This introduction is written to show to philosophers interested more in natural-language understanding and knowledge-representation than in ancient philosophy that the issues being
grappled with by Plato remain crucial to these modern enterprises, and to show classical philosophers that many of the interpretive choices they face have modern analogues in the choices that
researchers in cognitive science make in giving an adequate account of the relations that must hold among language, the mind, and reality." (from the Introduction).
Pelliccia, Hayden. 1988. "The Text of Parmenides B 1,3 (D-K)." American Journal of Philology no. 109:513-522.
"Develops an exhaustive analysis of verse 3 of Parmenides' Frag. 1, and concludes that there is no sufficient basis for a definitive reconstruction of its original form. Comments on
A. H. Coxon's critical observations on this passage (Classical Quarterly 62, 1968) concerning the advisability of removing certain word. Argues that in spite of Coxon's conclusion, the accepted text
"remains the best availabfe reading in Parmenides 1.3, on the grounds that it provides an acceptable sense, while departing only slightly from the true manuscript readings" (p. 510)." [N.]
Pellikaan-Engel, Maja. 1974. Hesiod and Parmenides. A New View of Their Cosmologies and on Parmenides Proem. Amsterdam: Adolf Hakkert.
Contents: Chapter I: Why an approach to Parmenides from Hesiod 1; Chapter II: Hesiod's cosmology, Theogony 116-33 11; Chapter III: Hesiod, Theogony 736-66 19;
Chapter IV: Hesiod's Truth 39; Chapter V: Some substitutions of certain Hesiodic concepts in the proem of Parmenides. The route of Parmenides 51; Chapter VI: Excursus of the other interpretations of
the route of Parmenides 63; Chapter VII: parmenides's Truth 79; Chapter VIII: Parmenides' cosmology 87; Summary 101; Bibliography 104; Curriculum vitae 110.
"Summary. Research is made into the texts of Parmenides and Hesiod. Points of comparison between the proem of Parmenides and Hesiod Theogony 736-66 lead to attach similar
meanings to the similar terms "chaos" and "house of Night" (Chapt. I). An analysis of the contents of the texts leads to the conclusion that the image in Parmenides' proem with regard to the
Heliades, who have left the house of Night, taking with them the poet as a chosen person, is parallel to the alternate cyclic journey of the goddesses Day and Night c.s. from the subterranean house
of Night, via the East to the region above the earth and via the West down and back again to the point of departure, as is written in Hesiod Theogony 746-66; in this the taking with them of
the chosen person from the earth is parallel to Theogony 765, 6, where Death, son and companion of Night, takes with him his victims of men (Chapt. III and V).
An analysis of Hesiod's cosmological views leads to the conclusion, that Hesiod imagined the sky to be a metallic and revolving sphere, the earth at its centre (Chapt. II) and that
he imagined chaos in its first phase to be of unbounded extension, presumably consisting of air at rest, and later on to be the region above as well as beneath the earth, limited by the
spherical sky, consisting of air in motion (Chapt. IV).
The result of Chapt. V and an analysis of Parmenides' cosmological views leads to the conclusion that Parmenides imagined the earth to be a hollow sphere (Chapt. VII) and that the
problem concerning what was in the midst in his cosmological system, either the goddess or the earth, can be solved by supposing the goddess to be in the midst in the absolute sense, i.e. at the
centre of his cosmos and the earth to be in the midst in the relative sense, i.e. as a hollow sphere in the midst between the centre of his cosmos, viz. the goddess, and the outer limitation of his
cosmos, viz. the spherical sky (Chapt. VIII)." p. 101
Perry, Bruce Millard. 1983. Simplicius as a Source for and an Interpreter of Parmenides.
Ph. D. Thesis, Washington University (UMI Dissertation Express, Order Number: 8319442)
———. 1989. "On the Cornford-Fragment (28 B 8,38)." Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie no. 71:1-9.
Perzanowski, Jerzy. 1996. "The Way of Truth." In Formal Ontology, edited by Poli, Roberto and Simons, Peter, 61-130. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Contents: Index 61; 1. Introduction 62; 2.Beings, the Being and Being 64; 3. Ontological connection 65; 4. Towards a theory of ontological connection 67; 5. Some classical
ontological questions 73 ; 6. A linguistic intemezzo 76; 7. An outline of a Primitve Theory of Being - PTB 86; 8. Towards a Extended Theory of Being - ETB 102; 9. Parmenidean statements reconsidered
and classical questions answered 122; 10. Summary 127; Acknowldgements 128; References 128-130.
Pfeiffer, Horand. 1975. Die Stellung Des Parmenideischen Lehrgedichtes in Der Epischen Tradition. Bonn: R. Habelt.
Philips, E.D. 1955. "Parmenides on Thought and Being." Philosophical Review no. 64:546-560.
"Professor Erwin Schrödinger, in the second chapter of his recent book, Nature and the Greeks (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1954) discusses for a few pages (ibid.
24-28) the Parmenidean doctrine of Being. The whole book is of peculiar interest because it is the work, not of a professional Hellenist or even philosopher, but of a famous physicist, who has his
own reasons for studying Greek thought; and this chapter has the added piquancy of presenting a view of Parmenides which was once respectable but is now widely reprobated. I propose first to examine
this view, as Schrödinger puts it, and then, having necessarily reached some conclusions of my own about Parmenides, to examine the Parmenidean doctrine itself, so determined, from the point of view
of modern philosophy, at any rate in the matter of logic. The precise nature of this amalgam of logical, illogical, and nonlogical thinking may then become clearer for those who are interested in the
history of philosophy and the temperaments of philosophers." p. 546
Popper, Karl Raimund. 1992. "How the Moon Might Throw Some of Her Light Upon the Two Ways of Parmenides." Classical Quarterly no. 86:12-19.
———. 1998. The World of Parmenides. Essays on the Presocratic Enlightenment. New York: Routledge.
Prier, Raymond. 1976. Archaic Logic: Symbol and Structure in Heraclitus, Parmenides and Empedocles. The Hague: Mouton & Co.
See Chapter IV. Parmenides pp. 90-119.
Pulpito, Massimo. 2005. Parmenide E La Negazione Del Tempo: Interpretazioni E Problemi. Milano: LED Edizioni.
Raven, John Earle. 1948. Pythagoreans and Eleatics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
An Account of the Interaction Between the Two Opposed Schools During the Fifth and Early Fourth Centuries B.C.
Contents: Preface VII-VIII; Part I. I. Introduction 1; II. Aristotle's evidence 9; III. Parmenides 21; IV: Pythagoreanism before Parmenides 43; V. Zeno of Elea 66; VI. Melissus 78;
Part II. VII. Post-Zenonian Pythagoreanism 93; VIII. The nature of matter 101; IX. The One 112; X: The One and numbers 126; XI. Cosmology (a) Analysis 146; (b) Synthesis 164; XII: Conclusion 175;
Appendix 188; Index 195-196.
"As Dr C. M. Bowra has pointed out in a paper in Classical Philology (XXXII , p. 106), 'it is clear that this Proem is intended to have the importance and seriousness of a
religious revelation'. Not only the passage from darkness into light but many minor details throughout the poem suggest that Parmenides desired, particularly in the Proem, to arm himself in advance,
by stressing the religious and ethical nature of his revelation, with an answer to his potential critics. There seems no reason to doubt Dr Bowra's assumption (loc. cit. p. 108) that these potential
critics were 'his fellow-Pythagoreans'.
Parmenides is indeed, in Cornford's phrase, 'a curious blend of prophet and logician'. The Proem, though its details are of no importance to our present inquiry, at least serves the
useful purpose of stressing the prophetic strain. The Way of Truth, on the other hand, is an entirely unprecedented exercise of the logical faculty, and as such it is usually and naturally taken to
be devoid of any emotion. In its outward form it certainly is so; but it must be remembered that the concept on which Parmenides' logic is at work is that of unity, and there is no reason to suppose
that the concept of unity is incapable of arousing emotion. If two of the conclusions that I have already reached are justified, that Parmenides was a dissident Pythagorean, and that in the
Pythagoreanism from which he was seceding there was a fundamental dualism between the principle of unity and goodness and another and eternally opposed principle, then is it not permissible to
imagine that Parmenides, swayed perhaps by a deeper respect for the good principle than his `fellow-Pythagoreans' revealed, may have been driven along the road from darkness into light by a basically
religious desire to vindicate the good principle against the bad? Such a supposition would help to explain the fervour that almost succeeds in illuminating the uninspired poetry of the Proem; and the
ultimate triumph of his logical faculty over his emotion should not blind us to the possibility that an emotional impulse underlay his unemotional reasoning.
But the only convincing test of such a hypothesis must obviously be sought in the poem itself. I propose to examine the Way of Truth in considerable detail, adopting for the purpose
the method employed by Cornford in his chapter on the same subject. Indeed, on occasions I shall be merely paraphrasing that chapter; but a measure of such repetition is inevitable for the sake of
continuity." pp. 23-24).
Reilly, Thomas J. 1976. "Parmenides Fragment 8,4: A Correction." Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie no. 58:57.
Reinhardt, Karl. 1916. Parmenides Und Die Geschichte Der Griechischen Philosophie. Frankfurt: Klostermann.
Contents: Einleitung 1; I. Parmenides 5; II. Xenophanes 89; III. Heraklit 155; IV. Schulzusammenhänge 231; V. Logik und Mystik 250; Register 259.
Reprint: Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann, 2012.
Partial translation under the title: The relation between the two parts of Parmenides in: Alexander P. D. Mourelatos (ed.) - The Presocratics. A collection of critical
essays - New York, 1974, pp. 293-311 of the following pages: 18-23, 29-32, 64-71, 74-82, 88 with omissions as indicated. (Translation by Matthew E. Cosgrove with A. P. D. Mourelatos).
"Whoever takes the trouble to understand Parmenides in all his boldness as well as in his restraint, and at the same time in terms of his historical situation, must first of all
realize that the one great defect from which the "Doxa" suffers in our eyes-namely, that it is unable to take hold of the knowing subject and must turn for help to the things themselves-was not very
perceptible to Parmenides, and was perhaps not perceived by him at all. He understood the proposition that like can only be known by like so literally, so close to the level of visual imagery, that
he could not but think that the organ of perception and its object were made up of the same constituents, and were even subject to the same forms and laws. Thought processes in the soul appeared to
him not as corresponding with, but as exactly repeating the external world. What was a law for thought had to have unqualified validity for things also. If nature were shown contradicting the
principle of non-contradiction itself, then nature was ipso facto false and precisely not existent: "For you could not come to know that which is not (for it is not feasible), nor could you declare
it; for it is the same to think and to be" (B2.7-8, B3). Conversely, every character of the external world led directly to a conclusion concerning human knowledge.
No matter how hard one looks, one will not find the slightest hint of a separation between thinking and being (or representation and appearance) in the fragments. Parmenides begins
the "Doxa" by relating (B8.53) that men have agreed to designate a twofold form with names, but he does not elaborate, as one would expect, on how they fashioned their world-picture from both forms.
Instead, the object of their thought straightaway achieves an independent life: Dark and light unite and produce the world; and to our surprise a cosmogony springs from the epistemology. What had
been no more than a name, a convention, an onoma, enters into physical combinations, and finally generates even man himself and his cognitive states. To our way of thinking, that is certainly hard to
take. Our only recourse, if we are to grasp it, is to recite to ourselves once again the rule that was the lifeblood of Parmenidean conviction: "For it is the same to think and to be" (B3). Because
this world is composed throughout of light and darkness, and is pervasively the same and then again not the same (B8.58, B6.8), because contradiction is the essence of all doxa, this entire world
must be false, that is to say, subjective, or as the Greeks would have said, it can only exist nomoi, "by convention," and not physei, "in reality."
To be sure, this conclusion is not repeated in every sentence. Now and then it even seems as though the critic and nay-sayer had let himself be carried along for a while on the
broad stream of human opinions; indeed, as though his critique were itself the repository of discoveries in which he took pride. For since appearance by no means lacks all reason and consistency, it
can actually be explored. Yet its character as appearance does not mitigate its contradicting the highest law of thought, the sole guarantee of truth. This is said twice, briefly but sharply, at
decisive points: the beginning and the end of the second part. Whether between these passages there were originally additional reminders of the same fundamental idea, we do not know. The two that we
do know are sufficiently complete. As though separated from the rest by a thick tallying stroke, at the conclusion of the whole stand the words that give the sum of all that has been said (B19):
And so, according to appearances ( kata doxan) these things came to be, and now are, and later than now will come to an end, having matured; and to these things did men
attach a name, a mark to each." (pp. 295-297)
Rijk, Lambertus Marie de. 1983. "Did Parmenides Reject the Sensible World?" In Graceful Reason: Essays in Ancient and Medieval Philosophy Presented to Joseph Owens, Cssr on the
Occasion of His Seventy-Fifth Birthday and the Fiftieth Anniversary of His Ordination, edited by Lloyd, Gerson, 29-53. Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies.
"Two camps of scholars interpreting Parmenides' poem have recently been distinguished and labeled as the Majority and the Minority. The former holds that, unlike the Alêtheia part,
the Doxa part presents an altogether untrue account of things that properly speaking have no real existence. According to the Minority, however, the Doxa was put forward as possessing some kind or
degree of cognitive validity. I shall try to show that both these two positions are ambiguous and accordingly fail in giving a clear insight into what Parmenides intends to tell us. They both seem to
need correction to the extent that Parmenides does distinguish the Alêtheia route from the Doxa route(s), but there is nothing in the text to tell us that he makes a distinction between two
separate domains . one true and the other untrue. As any genuine philosopher he was concerned about the sensible world, our world and it was that which he wanted to truly
understand." pp. 29-30
One cannot deny that Heraclitus faced the primitive approach of the physicists in a radical way. So Parmenides in defending another steady inner nature ('Be-ing') sees in him his
most dangerous rival. No wonder that his offences against Heraclitus are the most bitter. And indeed he tries to bring Heraclitus into the company of those who, two-headed as they are, are not able
to make the great decision.
Subsequent thinkers had to take into account Parmenides' doctrine and in fact could not help digesting its rigidity. Plato was the first to take the big decision so seriously that
he left the idea of one world as approached by mortals along two different Routes and settled on the assumption of two separate worlds, one of Unshakable Being, the other of Unreliable Becoming.
Aristotle, for his part, thought it possible to dispose of Plato's chorismos and find the inner nature of things right in themselves. No doubt it is Parmenides, cited by Fr. Owens as 'one of
the truly great philosophic geniuses in the history of Western thought,' (*) who was the catalyst of all subsequent metaphysics" p. 53
J. Owens, A History of Ancient Western Philosophy (New York 1959) p. 76
Robbiano, Chiara. 2006. Becoming Being. On Parmenides' Transformative Philosophy. Sankt Augustin: Academia Verlag.
Text and translation of the Poem pp. 212-223.
"The aim of this study is the investigation of Parmenides' method in guiding a human being towards understanding. Parmenides' words operate as a travel guide that leads the audience
on a journey that will educate them, transform them, and make them philosophically mature. I will analyse various literary, rhetorical, polemical, and argumentative features of Parmenides' Poem
which, I submit, bring the audience a step further towards the kind(s) of knowledge that Parmenides has in store for them.
Many scholars have concentrated on the arguments of fragment B8,3 and on their conclusions -- that Being is without birth, undifferentiated, changeless and complete.
In general, one may be inclined to think that, once a goal has been reached, the journey that brought one there is not relevant anymore. Accordingly, the student of Parmenides' Poem
may be tempted to concentrate his or her interpretative energy on Being: the goal of the journey made under the guidance of the goddess of whom the Poem tells us. The scholar who is looking for the
philosophical message of the Poem may try to reduce all the questions, pieces of advice and encouragements of the speech of the goddess (B1,24 onwards) to a description of Being: the true
and knowable reality.
But it may be asked whether this approach, which looks only for a description of Being in the fragments, does not neglect the complex journey that the mind has to make through
myths, images, encouragements and warnings, before it will be able to grasp Being: the philosophical itinerary through which Parmenides guides his audience throughout the Poem. The question
how, according to Parmenides, we can achieve insight into Being seems no less important for a better understanding of the Poem than the content of this insight. The doubt about traditional
certainties, the rejection of certain mental behaviours and the process of building new perspectives significantly precede the search for the characteristics of Being.
Once we resist the temptation of detaching a description of Being from the conditions for the achievement of understanding that the goddess sets out, and from the human being who
attempts to understand Being, we will become sensitive to the fact that the Poem works upon its audience and helps them to achieve understanding. I will try to analyse the progress towards
understanding from the very beginning. The study of this progress, which, I believe, constitutes the main subject matter of Parmenides' Poem, will turn out to be fundamental to the study of
A study of a philosopher's method will have to concentrate not only on the words and phrases that the philosopher uses to describe the right method, but also on the words
and phrases that the philosopher uses in order to transform his or her audience: i.e. to persuade them to adopt a new way of looking that will change them.
This will be a systematic study of the rhetorical and linguistic features of Parmenides' Poem that hopes to shed light on his philosophy. Such a study will have to pay attention to
the effect of such features on the audience who is gradually guided towards insight. Only by looking at the transformative effect of such features of our Poem on the audience will we be able
to give a coherent interpretation of the fragments.
We will find their coherence by studying the goal they have in common: to help the audience to acquire insight into Being.
What happens when one's journey towards Being is accomplished? Is there room for a differentiation between oneself and one's goal in a monistic reality? In order to answer these
questions, we will look at the hints the goddess gives about the effects of the journey on the way of Truth, i.e. the hints about the transformation of the knowing subject when the journey has
reached its goal. We will also be able to find out more about Parmenides' monism by investigating the place of the knowing subject in a monistic reality. I will argue that there are hints throughout
the Poem that it is possible for the knowing subject to leave one's status of mortal who can have only opinions, and become one with Being." pp. 9-10 (notes omitted)
Robinson, Thomas M. 1975. "Parmenides on the Ascertainment of the Real." Canadian Journal of Philosophy no. 4:623-633.
"Examines Parmenides' views of the relationship between Being or the real and thought, particular as these views are manifested in his use of the verb noein, a verb which
expresses the idea of 'getting to know'. Concludes that the relationship in question is not one of identity. Argues that contrary to what is often said, the Parmenidean position seeks to establish a
link between metaphysics and epistemology, and that there is a necessary connection according to Parmenides between a particular state of knowledge and its formulation as a true proposition. Discerns
in his philosophy the basis of a well developed theory of knowledge and the elements of propositional logic." [N.]
———. 1979. "Parmenides on the Real in Its Totality." Monist no. 62:54-60.
"Contends that the subject of Parmenides' poem is the real in its totality as the actual object of knowledge ("all that is collectively real"), and that opinion arises according to
Parmenides when the real is described obliquely and not in its totality. Observes that in his description of the real, Parmenides approached clearly the conception of atemporality. Stresses the
significance of Parmenides' realization of the value of contraposition and exclusive disjunction, and of his understanding of the difference between the logic of wholes and logic of parts." [N.]
———. 1989. "Parmenides and Heraclitus on What Can Be Known." Revue de Philosophie Ancienne no. 7:157-167.
Rocca-Serra, Guillaume. 1987. "Parménide Chez Diogène Laërce." In Études Sur Parménide. Tome Ii. Problèmes D'interprétation, edited by Aubenque, Pierre, 254-273. Paris:
"Nous avons choisi d'organiser notre recherche autour de la notice consacrée à Parménide par Diogène Laèrce. Une autre méthode eût consisté dans une présentation qui aurait suivi un
ordre chronologique, mais une telle procédure supposait résolu un problème qui tourmente, au moins depuis Nietzsche, philologues et philosophes, celui des sources de Diogène Laèrce. Au contraire,
partir de cet auteur et revenir en arrière nous évitait de prendre des positions trop tranchées à la fois sur ses informateurs immédiats et sur les sources de ces informateurs eux-mêmes.
L'œuvre de Diogène constitue, on le sait, une sorte de synthèse, maladroite et parfois mal intentionnée, de ce que l'érudition hellénistique avait rassemblé sur le thème des «Vies
et doctrines des philosophes célèbres». Sa méthode de travail, son esprit superficiel lui ont attiré des critiques méritées, mais il nous a conservé une masse d'informations qui font de son livre un
ouvrage indispensable. Ajoutons qu'une partie des absurdités qu'on lui attribue pourrait parfaitement provenir de la maladresse des scribes médiévaux." p. 254
"Cet examen, bien que partiel, de la tradition biographique et doxographique nous aura persuadés, semble-t-il, d'abord, que les restes de cette tradition ne représentent qu'une
infime partie d'une littérature jadis très importante. C'est ainsi que la modeste notice de Diogène nous fait entrevoir les travaux de l'école d'Aristote, de l'érudition alexandrine, de la
Ensuite et surtout, on peut mettre en évidence la valeur de certaines des indications qu'elle nous transmet. Elle nous fournit le canevas vraisemblable de la biographie de
Parménide, d'abord héritier d'une grande famille et voué probablement à une activité politique et législatrice, puis se tournant vers la philosophie, sans toutefois que la fine pointe de sa pensée
soit mise en évidence, et c'est là une des lacunes de la tradition. Pourtant, bien avant K. Reinhardt 1°2, Sotion puis Diogène ont dissocié Xénophane et Parménide, pressentant ainsi l'originalité de
ce dernier. La tradition, enfin, a retenu plus volontiers le monde de l'apparence que le poème. C'est surtout grâce à elle que nous reconstruisons la doxa parménidéenne, sur laquelle les parties
conservées du Poème nous renseignent guère. Elle a donc sa place dans l'approche d'un Parménide dans sa totalité." p. 273 (notes omises)
Roecklein, Robert J. 2011. Plato Versus Parmenides. The Debate over Coming-into-Being in Greek Philosophy. Lanham: Lexington Books.
Contents: Acknowledgments IX-X; Introduction 1; 1. Parmenides' Argument 13; 2. Parmenides and the Milesian Philosophies: "Nothing Comes from Nothing" --- Physics or Logic? 37; 3.
Parmenides' Influence of Empedocles and Anaxagoras 57; 4. Plato's Socrates and His Theory of Causation 83; 5. The Parmenides: Plato's Proof of Coming to Be 121; 6. The Theaetetus:
Plato's Proof That the Objects of Knowledge Are Indivisible 159; Bibliography 187; Index 195-199.
"The estimation of Parmenides' argument has risen to such high levels in our scholarship, that Plato's very reputation as a thinker has begun to fade into somewhat of a derivative
status. Plato, it is held by more than a few influential scholars, could not even have arrived at his theory of forms if he had not had the good fortune to be influenced by Parmenides' doctrine about
motionless, eternal "Being." In the view of recent commentators, it is not an exaggeration to suggest that Parmenides is now often portrayed as the seminal thinker of classical Greek
philosophy.(10) It is increasingly a standard view among commentators, that Plato's Socrates himself is overcome by the power of the Eleatic legacy, which, they say, he willingly embraces.
The most spectacular evidence of this movement in the status of Plato in our scholarship can be seen in the commentary on the dialogue Parmenides itself. A large number of
scholars are now convinced that in this dialogue, Plato has commissioned the character of Parmenides to deliver a telling, if not a fatal blow against Plato's own theory of forms.(11) We will
investigate this matter in some depth in chapter 5; for the moment, it must suffice to indicate the following points. In fact, it is Parmenides' argument which is put to the test in the
dialogue that Plato named after the great Eleatic; so far from treating Parmenides with reverence or deference, Plato actually assigns a very humbling role to Parmenides in the dialogue named for
him. The role assigned to Parmenides there is nothing other than to utter the effectual refutation of his own entire argument. In the fifth chapter, a case will be made that Plato refutes Parmenides'
indictment of the reality of coming-into being, and so concludes, rather than sustains, the legacy of Parmenides' argument.
We will also be challenged, in this study, to rebut a claim that has by now been very powerfully established in the scholarly literature: this claim is that Parmenides created a
philosophical interpretation of the notion of Being which even Plato's Socrates has in some measure been shaped by, or come to adopt. Plato's theory of forms, as those forms are hypothesized to be
eternal and ungenerated, is linked by a number of scholars to the theory of being that Parmenides developed.
This view is confused. In the first place, the forms are originally known to human beings in those very perishable objects which the Eleatics wish to wholly exclude from all
evidentiary matters concerning truth of fact. Plato's Socrates, it can be noted, arrived at his famous profession of ignorance precisely as a rhetorical method for summoning forth from interlocutors
a base of knowledge which all hold in common: namely recognition of the various forms in perishable bodies.
This common intelligence on display in the ordinary individual's effortless assignment of name to object is certainly not science, in Plato's view; however, the theory of scientific
definition which Plato advances does indeed depend on this recognition-knowledge as the ultimate evidence for its own investigations. The ordinary and spontaneous ability of unphilosophic
human beings to assign name to object is, in Plato's view, itself evidence of a distinct intelligence operative in the ordinary opinions. One could hardly formulate a proposition more at
loggerheads with the Eleatic philosophy.
That which the memory recognizes in the patterns that recur (and all of the patterns, as Plato argues throughout his work, appear innumerable times in the perishable objects), is
not a knowledge that has the power of full consciousness and comprehension such as the power possessed by logos or more deliberate investigation. Yet Plato insists that these opinions are
nevertheless the port from which philosophy must embark. When argument finally reaches for an intellectual comprehension in speech-as opposed to an inarticulate recognition of the individual
forms-Plato's philosophy will attach a scientific hypothesis to the ordinary views. Yet this hypothesis itself, that the forms exist separately in nature for the sake of intellectual investigation,
remains dependent on the common familiarity with the forms as they recur in the common objects. "And in respect of the just and the unjust, the good and the bad, and all the ideas or forms, the same
statement holds, that in itself each is one, but that by virtue of their communion with actions and bodies and with one another they present themselves everywhere, each as a multiplicity of aspects"
(Republic 476a). Yet it is the building block upon which Plato's entire science of definition rests, and he never fails to fight for the integrity of this recognition-knowledge in his major
debates with rival philosophers such as Protagoras and Parmenides." (pp. 10-11)
(10) Charles Kahn, "Being in Parmenides and Plato," La Parola del Passato 43 (1988): "If it was the encounter with Socrates that made Plato a philosopher, it was the poem
of Parmenides that made him a metaphysician. In the first place it was Parmenides' distinction between being and becoming that provided Plato with an ontological basis for his theory of forms. When
he decides to submit this theory to searching criticism, he chose as critic no other than Parmenides himself' (237). Cf. Taran, Parmenides, vii; Patricia Curd, The Legacy of Parmenides:
Eleatic Monism and Later Presocratic Thought (Las Vegas: Parmenides Publishing, 2004), 231-32, 238.
(11) Gregory Vlastos, "The Third Man Argument in the Parmenides," Philosophical Review 63 (1954): 329, 342. Kenneth M. Sayre, Parmenides' Lesson (Notre Dame, IN:
University of Notre Dame Press, 1996), 60, 62, 95. Robert Turnbull, The Parmenides and Plato 's Late Philosophy (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1998), 19, 23, 39. Kelsey Wood,
Troubling Play: Meaning and Entity in Plato's Parmenides (Albany: SUNY, 2005), 1-2, 74, 85.
Rosen, Stanley. 1996. "Commentary on Long [Parmenides on Thinking Being]." Proceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy no. 12:152-160.
Ruggiu, Luigi. 1975. Parmenide. Venezia: Marsilio.
———. 1988. "Unità E Molteplicità in Parmenide." Parola del Passato no. 43:347-372.
———. 1991. "Heidegger E Parmenide." In Heidegger E La Metafisica, edited by Ruggerini, Mario, 49-81. Genova: Marietti.