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Parmenides of Elea. Annotated Bibliography of the Studies in English: C - E


  1. Calvo, Martinez Tomas. 1977. "Truth and Doxa in Parmenides." Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie no. 59:245-260.

    "It has been widely held, both by ancient and by modern commentators on Parmenides, that the distinction between Truth (αλήθεια) and Opinion (δόξα) which dominates the structure of his poem, can be properly interpreted as an opposition between two forms of cognition: pure thought or conceptual knowledge, on the one hand, and sense-perception, on the other, where the latter is understood as including images as well as perceptions.


    In the first part of this paper Ι will try to show that this traditional interpretation of Parmenides fundamentally misrepresents the language and intention of his poem. In the second section I will propose an alternative interpretation based upon an opposition not between two epistemic states or faculties (intellectual knowledge versus sense-perception) but between two contrasting forms of language, as represented in the poem by the contrast between λόγος and ἔπος (or ἔπεα). Finally, I will sketch some lines in the post-Parmenidean evolution of the two conceptual systems that oppose Aletheia to Doxa and Logos to Epos." (pp. 245-246)

  2. ———. 2011. "Parmenides -- Scholar of Nature." In Parmenides, 'Venerable and Awesome' (Plato, Theaetetus 183e), edited by Cordero, Néstor-Luis, 21-58. Las Vegas: Parmenides Publishing.

    Summary: "Aristotle’s influence on what we could name the philosophical historiography of pre-Aristotelian times and the one still felt up to present times is huge. We can safely argue that the work of freeing pre-Aristotelian thinkers from Aristotelian interpretation has only been developing since last century, and it is an ongoing process. I personally believe that this is the historiographic direction to be followed and that much has still to be made clear and explained in this very direction. This kind of research does not just better “historically contextualize” the thought of any pre-Aristotelian, Parmenides in our case, by setting its roots in a real world of debates, quarrels, and stand-takings on different philosophical and scientific questions, but it also better underlines its originality and speculative strengths. My paper will thus be divided into two parts. Since I just aim to discuss the special stand of Parmenides' thought in the history of scientific thought, I will try and show first of all Parmenides' complete belonging in the very lively world of scientific debates and discussions of the fifth century. Then I will try to show how Parmenides, like the other great Sicilian Magna Graecia native, Empedocles, has foreshadowed concepts and doctrines of contemporary science and physics, even if just in the shape of ingenious intuitions."

  3. Cassin, Barbara. 2011. "Parmenides Lost in Translation." In Parmenides, 'Venerable and Awesome' (Plato, Theaetetus 183e), edited by Cordero, Néstor-Luis, 59-79. Las Vegas: Parmenides Publishing.

    Summary: "I would like to show in this text the successive difficulties to be overcome when one tries to translate Parmenides. Translation is the extreme degree of interpretation. For that purpose, one needs to triumph over the impossibility of confronting the original “venerable and awesome” as well as of confronting “historial” language such as Greek. Then, one must sort out the alternatives that make it possible to select and fix a fragmentary text. Finally it is necessary to explore all the connections permitted by semantics and syntax. My study is focused on the play of “θυμὸς ὁδοῖο / μῦθος ὁδοῖο,” and on possible interpretations of the text traditionally retained since the 5th edition of Diels, between the heroism of being, described as Odysseus, and the storytelling of language."

  4. Cerri, Giovanni. 2011. "The Astronomical Section in Parmenides’ Poem." In Parmenides, 'Venerable and Awesome' (Plato, Theaetetus 183e), edited by Cordero, Néstor-Luis, 80-94. Las Vegas: Parmenides Publishing.

    Summary: "I have collected all the data (testimonia and fragmenta), which demonstrate that in Parmenides' poem On Nature there was a long section concerning astronomy, where he described the heavens and also illustrated recent, astonishing discoveries accomplished by astronomical research of his time. Such a section, which is very important in the history of ancient science, could not be a mere digression, not related to his general theory of nature. Therefore, every modern interpretation of his philosophical thought based on the removal of this aspect should certainly be considered inadequate to explain the whole doctrine in its very essence."

  5. Chalmers, W. R. 1960. "Parmenides and the Beliefs of Mortals." Phronesis no. 5:5-22.

    "The three main parts of Parmenides' poem are apt to receive rather unequal treatment at the hands of many historians of Ancient Philosophy. From early times there has been a tendency to concentrate attention upon the Way of Truth and rather to neglect the Prologue and the Beliefs of Mortals. The Prologue is frequently explained as an interesting example of archaic imagination intruding into a philosophical work, while the last part has been interpreted in a variety of ways. Some scholars have suggested that in it Parmenides is merely representing the views of other thinkers, while others believe that it does in some way describe Parmenides' own thought. There is as yet no general agreement about what the relationship is between the Beliefs of Mortals and the Way of Truth. Both are however parts of the same poem, and it is reasonable to infer that a solution of this problem of their inter-relationship will throw light on the correct interpretation of the whole work. It is the purpose of this paper to consider in particular the last part of the poem and to try to establish what its status is in the context of the whole work." (p. 5)

  6. Cherniss, Harold. 1935. Aristotle's Criticism of Presocratic Philosophy. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press.

    Volume I (only published). Reprint New York: Octagon Books, 1964.

    On Aristotle's criticism of Eleatic philosophy see in particular the First Chapter, The Principles, pp. 61-76.

    "The Eleatic thesis so far as the physicist is concerned is refuted by experience, and it is not the business of a treatise on any particular science to refute those who deny the principles or axioms of that science. (257) With this exposition and the remark that Parmenides and Melissus proceed from false premises to argue illogically Aristotle has really excluded a discussion of their doctrine from the Physics. Yet he immediately introduces a long refutation of the Eleatic thesis on the ground that, although it is not concerned with physics, it results in difficulties which are physical.(258)

    The criticism of the Eleatic unity of Being is highly instructive for the study of the method by which Aristotle built up his own doctrine of matter; and the very inclusion of the critique in the Physics shows that he was conscious of the logical character of the origin of his theory." (p. 62)


    "The general critique of the Eleatics (273) is followed by a special refutation of Melissus and Parmenides." (p. 67)


    "There is throughout this critique an apparent confusion of logical and physical concepts which is due to the dependence of Aristotle's physics upon his logic. At one time he said that the Eleatic error was due to the ignorance of the meaning of relative or accidental non-Being, (304) that is of logical privation which is the essence of the negative proposition; but such a concept, which in its Platonic origin is simply logical, is at once transformed into a physical doctrine by Aristotle, so that he can say shortly thereafter that an understanding of the nature of substrate would have solved the difficulties of the Eleatics. (305) Privation is, in effect, the immediate material of generation (306) and the logical subject of privation is transmuted by means of the concomitant potentiality into the physical substrate. (307) The notion that privation of a quality requires in the substrate the potential presence of that quality is a rule of logic (308) transferred to descriptive physics. It is this connection of the matter of generation and of thought, this equivalence of the proposition of logic and the description of physical change which makes Aristotle think the Physics an appropriate place to discuss the Eleatic doctrine which on his own reckoning falls outside the sphere of physics." (pp. 75-76)

    (257) Physics 184 B 25-185 A 14.

    (258) Physics 185 A 17-20. a. De Caelo 298 B 14-24 where the Eleatic doctrine is rejected as unphysical. But the origin is differently explained. The Eleatics were the first to see that knowledge requires the existence of immutable substances; but, thinking that sensible objects alone existed, they applied to them the arguments concerning objects of thought. Aristotle derives this account by a literal interpretation of Plato, Parmenides 135 B-C. But cf. Sophist 249 B-D.

    (273) Ross in his note on Metaphysics 986 B 19 implies that " the One as continuous and indivisible " refers to Melissus, "the One as unity of definition " refers to Parmenides. The appearance of συνεχές and ον διαιρετόν in Parmenides, the argument of "the part and the whole " in Plato's Sophist directed against Parmenides, and the express words of Physics 185 B 17-18, as well as the αύτοίς of 185 B 21 and 24 show that no division of the arguments can be made between Parmenides and Melissus.

    (304) Physics 191 B 13-16.

    (305) Physics 191 B 33-34.

    (306) Physics 191 B 15-16. Yet 191 B 35 ff. he reproaches the Platonists for making matter "non-Being" and claims himself to differentiate privation and matter.

    (307) The transformation is carried so far that ατέρησις becomes, instead of simple negation of form, a positive reality, a kind of form itself (Physics 193 B 19-20). Cf. Clemens Baeumker, Das problem der materie in der griechischen philosophie, Münster, 1890, pp. 218-219.

    (308) Cf. its use in Topics 148 A 3-9. It is a mistake to define a thing by privation of that which is not potentially predicable of it. The logical basis of the physical doctrine, as well as some of the difficulties involved in the development, is to be seen in Metaphysics 1055 A 33-B 29.

  7. Cherubin, Rose Mathilde. 2001. "Λέγειν, Νοεῖν and Τὸ Ἐόν in Parmenides." Ancient Philosophy no. 21:277-303.

    "What does Parmenides tell us about τὸ ἐόν? Commentators have understood Parmenides' fragments as attempting to provide an account of the nature of being, or of the nature of what is.

    Recently, Parmenides and his goddess (θεά, B1.22) character have been interpreted as making a variety of conflicting claims: that being or what is is one; that it is dual; that it is identical to thought or to mind or to the contents of thought; that at least some of it is independent of our thought or awareness; and that all strictly human claims about what is rest on convention or agreement. In what follows, I will attempt to show that the fragments not only fail to support such views, but actually subvert them. Rather than provide unconditional assertions about τὸ ἐόν, I will argue, the fragments explore the conditions of the possibility of inquiry itself, conditions whose acceptance poses paradoxes." (p. 277)


    "I do not assert here that all is assumption. Rather, I have argued that on the θεά's account of what is, we do not seem to be able to know whether all is assumption. I do propose that to acknowledge the conditions of inquiry includes recognizing that such an acknowledgment, like the conditions themselves, is made within the framework given us by our θέμις (literally, that which is laid down). Acknowledging the conditions of inquiry also includes recognizing (νοεῖν) that the possibility of identification and the possibility of meaning appear to depend on contradictions or paradoxes." (p. 303)

  8. ———. 2003. "Inquiry and What Is: Eleatics and Monisms." Epoché no. 8:1-26.

    Abstract: "While Melissus argues for a numerical monism, Parmenides and Zeno undermine claims to unconditional or transcendental knowledge. Yet the work of Parmenides and Zeno is not merely critical or eristic, and does not imply that philosophical inquiry is futile. Instead it shows the importance of reflection on the way the requisites of inquiry are represented in its results, and entrains an axiological investigation to every ontological one."

    "The earliest Greek philosophers sought understanding that went beyond what was given by the beliefs, customs, and ways of thinking familiar to their contemporaries. So Aristotle tells us, and since his time students of philosophy have generally agreed with this broad description.(1) But what were the earliest Greeks called philosophers trying to understand, and what kinds of understanding were they seeking? As we try to be more specific about the projects and nature of the earliest Greek philosophy, we encounter more difficulty and less agreement." (p. 1)


    "The goddess in Parmenides' poem represents that which her pupil is not: she is female, and more crucially for purposes of this paper, she is immortal and as such does not need to inquire or seek. Our sense of lack, our mortality, is the spur and indeed the

    substance of inquiry. We must make choices and we must seek, in order to supply our needs and desires. This is why we require consistency, in some things at least. A Greek goddess does not have such limitations; she is self-sufficient. Such a symbol of what we conceive ourselves to lack is a most appropriate vehicle to convey to us the consequences of that lack, the fundamental conflicts in our conception of what is." (p. 16)

    (1) Metaphysics A 1-2.

  9. ———. 2004. "Parmenides’ Poetic Frame." International Studies in Philosophy no. 36:7-38.

    "Two difficulties confront the beginning of an interpretation of the fragments of Parmenides: how to understand the structure of the fragments taken together, and how to deal with the apparent contradictions and incongruities in the fragments.

    The first is the question of what to make of the structure of the extant parts of Parmenides' poem." (p. 7)


    "The second difficulty is the problem of how to handle the many apparent contradictions and incongruities within the fragments." (p. 8)


    "I propose to look at the Goddess’s discussions of eon or to eon (what is, being, what is so) in the contexts in which they appear in the fragments. This means that I will first consider the significance of the fact that the remarks about what is appear within discussions of roads of inquiry (Sections I and II). In these discussions of roads of inquiry the Goddess supports her claims about the characteristics of what is (with respect to certain roads) not only with deductive reasoning but also with explanatory assertions about Dikē, Anankē, and Moira. Once we understand the basic sense of these assertions (Section III), we can turn to contemplate the meaning and the significance of the narrative frame, the tale of the journey (Section IV). The larger meaning of the fragments taken together, that which we can properly call the philosophy of Parmenides, will emerge from reflection on the juxtaposition of the narrative, mythic, and argumentative elements. By taking into due account the contexts in which the discussions of eon appear, we will find that both the seemingly incompatible implications of the claims about eon and also the mixture of narrative, mythic, and argumentative elements are philosophically meaningful and illuminating." (pp. 9-10)

  10. ———. 2005. "Light, Night, and the Opinions of Mortals: Parmenides B8.51-61 and B9." Ancient Philosophy no. 25:1-23.

    "Recent studies of this passage have focused largely on two issues: what the goddess or Parmenides thinks is erroneous in mortals' beliefs concerning Light and Night, and what if any merit Parmenides finds in a cosmology based on the account of Light and Night in the fragments.

    My main concern will be instead with two questions that have seen less attention: First, what would be ἀπατηλός in what the κοῦρος is to learn?5 Second, what could be ἐοικώς in the Light-Night conceptual scheme that the goddess presents? Or, what would suggest that mortals do in fact find the scheme acceptable or useful?" (p. 3)

  11. ———. 2009. "Aletheia from Poetry into Philosophy. Homer to Parmenides." In Logos and Muthos. Philosophical Essays in Greek Literature, edited by Wians, William, 51-72. Albany: State University of New York Press.

    "The every features I have cited as Parmenides' best-known and most consequential contributions to philosophy—the central role of deductive argument and the thematic exploration of to eon—grow from his engagement with poetry.

    Specifically, they are intimately connected to his view of alētheia as the orientation of a road of inquiry. Poets in and before Parmenides' time saw the apprehension and promulgation of alētheia as a central duty of poetry. Parmenides, I will show, significantly extended and developed the notion of alētheia. It is precisely this development that issues in his thematic exploration of to eon and in his use (and, conceivably, introduction) of explicit deductive inference.

    Let us begin by opening the questions of the meaning and the role of alētheia in the fragments of Parmenides. Asking these questions is crucial not only for our understanding of Parmenides, but also for our understanding of those ways of thinking today that claim him as a predecessor, and for our understanding of the possibilities of philosophy itself. In his references to alētheia, might Parmenides have intended something in addition to, or instead of, what has been attributed to him so far? If so, as I will argue here, then Parmenides will have shown us a road of inquiry to which we have been oblivious." (p. 52)

  12. Clark, Raymond J. 1969. "Parmenides and Sense-perception." Revue des Études Grecques no. 82:14-32.

    Abstract: "What did Parmenides understand by the terms ἀλήθεια, ἐόν and νοεῖν, δοκοῦντα and δόξα ? After reviewing past interpretations of Β 1.28-32 (Diels-Kranz), the author suggests that these lines are part of the revelation by the goddess who offers to differentiate between the levels of existence of ἐόν and δοκοῦντα and to assess the status of their resultant states of knowledge ἀλήθεια and δόξα. The conclusion, tested against other fragments, is that ἀλήθεια arises from contemplation (νόος) about being (ἐόν) : δοκοῦντα corresponds to ούκ ἔστιν in Β 8 but is « non-existent » only in the technical sense that this is not the object of thought. Δόξα is ἀπατηλὸν only in a technical sense, and there can be right δόξα (first « false » path) which is based exclusively on sensory reality, or wrong δόξα (second « false » path) if sensory objects are confused with being.

    Parmenides' Theory of Knowledge is then summarised and his cosmology is found to be consistent with it."

  13. Cordero, Néstor-Luis. 2004. By Being, It Is. The Thesis of Parmenides. Las Vegas: Parmenides Publishing.

    Contents: Prologue IX; Acknowledgments XIII; 1. Introduction to Parmenides 3; 2. Prolegomena to Parmenides' Thesis 19; 3. Parmenides thesis and its negation 37; 4. The meaning of Parmenides's thesis (and of its negation) 59; 5. Parmenides' thesis, thinking, and speaking 83; 6. Presentation of the thesis and its negation in Fragment 6 and 7 97; 7. The negation of the thesis, "opinions" and the nonexistent third way 125; 8. The meaning of the "opinions of mortals" 151; 9. The foundation of the thesis: the Way of Truth 154; Epilogue 181; Appendix 1: Parmenides' Poem 185; Appendix 2: Note on the transliteration of the Greek alphabet 197; Bibliography 199; List of ancient authors cited 211; List of modern authors cited 213.

    "Any new interpretation of Parmenides' philosophy, or any criticism of previous interpretations, must be based on a text that is as close as possible to the lost original. The titanic task carried out over centuries by philologists and codicologists offered us a firm starting point, but much still remained to be done. Passages of the Poem remained inexplicably obscure. (For example, why does the Goddess order withdrawal from a true way in line 6.3? How can it be said that thought is expressed in being, as line 8.35 appears to say?) For this reason, since my presence in Europe made it possible, I decided to check the manuscript tradition of citations (wrongly called "fragments") of the Poem, in order to propose a new version of it, purified of certain errors that had accumulated over the centuries. A first result of my search was presented in 1971 as a doctoral thesis. Some years later, my book, Les deux chemins de Parménide (1984, second edition, augmented and corrected, 1997) completed my work. New research on the manuscript sources of the first editions of the Poem, as well as a change of view in my assessment of "the two ways," allow me to present this new version of Parmenides' "thesis" today. In this work, I also take into account comments and criticism that my previous studies on Parmenides have raised, and when appropriate, (a) I defend myself, or (b) I accept and make certain corrections.

    It is impossible to go into Parmenides' philosophy without being "bitten by the bug." I hope that readers of this book will feel the same." (pp. X-XI)

  14. ———. 2010. "The 'Doxa of Parmenides' Dismantled." Ancient Philosophy no. 30:231-246.

    "In most civilizations, fictional entities are the creations of anonymous popular imagination, or even of some special wise men. Greek civilization was not an exception: Centaurs, Sirens, Cyclops, and other such creatures can be found everywhere in Greek mythology. These imaginary creatures were put together out of elements that taken separately are real enough: human being and horse, as in the case of Centaur, woman and bird, in the case of the Siren. Philosophers, or rather, historians of philosophy, followed this creative example, and invented imaginary notions. ‘The Doxa of Parmenides' is one of these imaginary notions.

    It has never existed ‘as such': for, even though it was constructed from elements that are real, the combination of these elements was illegitimate.

    These mythological examples are useful as we seek to understand the capricious mixing that took place in the assemblage of ‘Parmenides' Doxa'. It is true that the Doxa is present in Parmenides' poem, it is also true that Parmenides is a real entity and not an imaginary being; but ‘the Doxa of Parmenides', the unification of these two terms (Doxa and Parmenides), is an invention of the historians of philosophy. That Parmenides presented some ‘doxai' does not imply that these ‘opinions', which comprise the Doxa, are his ‘doxai', the ‘doxai' of Parmenides.

    This article aims to expose this combination as arbitrary and false." (p. 231)

  15. ———, ed. 2011. Parmenides, 'Venerable and Awesome' (Plato, Theaetetus 183e). Las Vegas: Parmenides Publishing.

    Proceedings of the International Symposium (Buenos Aires, October 29 - November 2, 2007).

    Contents: Foreword VII; About the Contributors XIII-XVI.

    Part I: On Parmenides.

    Scott Austin: Existence and Essence in Parmenides 1; Jean Bollack: From Being to the World and Vice Versa 9; Giovanni Casertano: Parmenides-Scholar of Nature 21; Barbara Csssin: Parmenides Lost in Translation 59; Giovanni Cerri: The Astronomical Section in Parmenides' Poem 81; Nestor-Luis Cordero: Parmenidean "Physics" is not Part of what Parmenides calls "doxa" 95; Patricia Curd: Thought and Body in Parmenides 115; Jean Frère: Mortals (Brotoi) According to Parmenides 135; Arnold Hermann: Parricide or Heir? Plato's Uncertain Relationship to Parmenides 147; Alexander P. D. Mourelatos: Parmenides, Early Greek Astronomy, and Modern Scientific Realism 167; Massimo Pulpito: Parmenides and the Forms 191; Chiara Robbiano: What is Parmenides' Being? 213; Fernando Santoro: Ta Semata: On a Genealogy of the Idea of Ontological Categories 233; José Trindade Santos: The Role of "Thought" in the Argument of Parmenides' Poem 251; José Solana Dueso: Parmenides: Logic and Ontology 271; Panagiotis Thanassas: Parmenidean Dualisms 289-308.

    Part II: Parmenides in the Tradition and Cognate Themes.

    Esteban Bieda: Persuasion and Deception in Gorgias' Encomium to Helen. About the Powers and Limits of doxa 311; Maria Elena Diaz: Thought as Perception: Aristotle's Criticism of Parmenides in Metaphysics IV, 5 319; Gabriel Livov: The Father and the Sophist: Platonic Parricide in the Statesman 331; Ezequiel Ludueña: "Thinking That I Did Something . . .": Apollodorus and Diotima's Teaching 345; Claudia T. Marsico: Megaric Philosophy Between Socrates' Influence and Parmenides' Ghost 353; Fabián Mié: Plato's Sophist on Negation and Not-Being 363; Lucas Soares: Parmenides and His Precursors: A Borgesian Reading of Cordero's Parmenides 373; Pilar Spangenberg: Aristotle on the Semantic Unity of the Parmenidean Being 383; Index Locorum 393; General Index 403; Index of Greek Terms Discussed 413-414.

    "Part I of the present volume gathers together the set of papers presented at the Symposium, whose topics were divided up based on the “traditional” structure of the Poem: one section dedicated to the exposition of the way of truth, and the other to the description of the “opinions (δόξαι) of mortals.”


    "Other papers went deeply into the part of the Poem concerning the “opinions of mortals.”


    "The organizers of the meeting, which was open to the public, offered eight young and high-level Argentine researchers (graduate students, professors, or advanced students) the opportunity to present a short paper in front of the prestigious assembly of foreign authors. The exchange of ideas between them and their “teachers” was a very enriching experience. These eight papers are included in Part II of the present volume." (From the Foreword by Néstor-Luis Cordero, pp. IX-XI)

  16. ———. 2011. "Parmenidean “Physics” is not Part of what Parmenides calls “δόξα”." In Parmenides, 'Venerable and Awesome' (Plato, Theaetetus 183e), edited by Cordero, Néstor-Luis, 95-113. Las Vegas: Parmenides Publishing.

    Summary: "Parmenides, as were all the philosophers of his time, was certainly interested in “physical” questions, even if the response to these questions was necessarily conditioned by his big “discovery”: that there is being. But the only way to respect the value of his “physical” theories is by keeping them out of the so-called “δόξα” because, for Parmenides, opinions are deceitful and not true. The hazardous reconstruction of Parmenides' text invites the researcher to find the “δόξαι” between the end of fr. 8 and fr. 18. This prejudice, together with the anachronistic idea according to which Parmenides spoke of “appearances” (and the δόξαι would be their description), leads to the exaggerated place the δόξαι occupy in the present reconstruction of the Poem. Parmenides exposes—and criticizes—the δόξαι of “others.” There are no Parmenidean δόξαι."

  17. Cornford, Francis Macdonald. 1933. "Parmenides' Two Ways." Classical Quarterly no. 1933:97-111.

    "The object of this paper is to determine the relations between the two parts of Parmenides' poem: the Way of Truth, which deduces the necessary properties of a One Being, and the False Way, which contains a cosmogony based on 'what seems to mortals, in which there is no true belief.'

    The poem presents two problems. First, why does the appearance of the world belie its real nature? To Parmenides himself, as to any other mortal, diversity in time and space, change and motion, seem to exist; what is the source of error here?

    This is a philosophical question; and it may be doubted whether Parmenides could have given an answer that would satisfy us. The second is an historical question: Whose is the cosmogony in the second part of the poem ? Is it Parmenides' own construction or a list of errors that he rejects ? To this there must be one right answer, which Parmenides, if we could summon him, could give us in a moment.

    This is the problem I propose to discuss. The solution may throw some light on the other problem." (p. 97)

  18. ———. 1935. "A New Fragment of Parmenides." Classical Review no. 49:122-123.

    "Plato, Theaet. I80D: ὀλίγου δὲ ἐπελαθόμην, ὦ Θεόδωρε, ὅτι ἄλλοι αὖ τἀναντία τούτοις ἀπεφήναντο,

    οἷον ἀκίνητον τελέθει τῷ παντὶ ὄνομ᾽ εἶναι

    If we punctuate (with Diels at Simplicius, Phys. 143, 10)

    οἷον, ἀκίνητον τελέθει. τῷ παντὶ ὄνομ᾽ εἶναι

    it can be translated: 'It is sole, immovable. The All has the name " Being." So Plato, and so Simplicius after him, must have understood it. If they found this line in Parmenides, they might well accept it as a line that Parmenides might have written. It is no odder than several verses now accepted without question. The sense is good and relevant." (p. 122)

  19. ———. 1939. Plato and Parmenides. Parmenides' Way of truth and Plato's Parmenides. Translated, with an Introduction and a Running Commentary. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co.

    Reprinted by Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1980.

    Chapter II: Parmenides Way of Truth, pp. 28-52. ("This chapter is partly based on an article, Parmenides' Two Ways, Classical Quarterly, xxvii (1933), 97-111, where some of the points are discussed at greater length.").

    "Parmenides' premiss states in a more abstract form the first assumption common to all his predecessors, Milesian or Pythagorean: ultimately there exists a One Being. His thought is really at work upon this abstract concept ; he considers what further attributes can, or cannot, logically belong to a being that is one.

    At the same time, this One Being is not a mere abstraction; it proves to be a single continuous and homogeneous substance filling the whole of space. So far, as it seemed to him, reason will carry us, but no farther. Such a being cannot become or cease to be or change; such a unity cannot also be a plurality. There is no possible transition from the One Being to the manifold and changing world which our senses seem to reveal. His work is accordingly divided, after the proem, into two parts. The Way of Truth deduces the nature of the one reality from premisses asserted as irrefragably true. It ends with a clear warning that the Way of Seeming, which follows, is not true or consistent with the truth.

    This second part, accordingly, is not in the form of logical deduction, but gives a cosmogony in the traditional narrative manner. The starting-point is the false belief of mortals, who trust their senses and accept the appearance of two opposite powers contending in the world. Unfortunately very few fragments of the second part survive ; but it is probable that we possess nearly the whole of the Way of Truth, thanks to Simplicius, who copied it out in his commentary on the Physics because the book had become very rare.

    And it is with the Way of Truth that we are chiefly concerned." (pp. 29-30)

  20. Cosgrove, Matthew R. 1974. "The KOYPOΣ Motif in Parmenides: B 1.24." Phronesis.A Journal for Ancient Philosophy no. 19:81-94.

    "Why does the goddess of Parmenides' poem address her mortal guest ω κουρέ (B 1.24)? The interpretations that have been proposed in answer to this question may be grouped generally under two opposed points of view. One finds in the goddess' address an autobiographical statement from the poet and a means of dating the poem's composition; the other takes it in some sense to contrast the humanity and/or discipleship of the κούρος with the divinity and/or teaching role of the goddess. Several other more recent and less widely noted suggestions have also appeared, but I think no satisfactory explanation of why the recipient of the goddess' discourse is presented as a κούρος has yet been found. The interpretation which I shall offer through an examination of previous answers to this question seeks for the goddess' address a more intrinsic meaning and coherent place within the proem and the whole of Parmenides' work." (p. 81)

  21. ———. 2011. "The Unknown 'Knowing Man' : Parmenides, B1.3." Classical Quarterly no. 61:28-47.

    "Commentators on Parmenides' poem have long read the words of B1.3, εἰδότα φῶτα, with the secure assurance that this phrase must identify and praise the recipient of the divine discourse that is shortly to come. The journeying speaker of line 1, whom the goddess will greet in B1.24 as a κοῦρος, is assumed to be the ‘knowing man'; or, more precisely, it is anticipated that the goddess is about to make him so by revealing to him the heart of truth (B1.29). This ‘knowing man' (so the received view goes) is the goddess’s initiate,2 in contrast to whom are the ‘know-nothings', the βροτοὶ εἰδότες οὐδέν (B6.4).

    But I argue here that this is all a mistake, and one that undermines at every turn our ability to understand what is going on in the proem."


    "I do not claim to break new ground on all or even any one of these details save by providing a consistent and coherent framework for choosing among answers to them. For I submit that only the correct identification of the φὼς εἰδώς and of the two separate journeys, as proposed here, in which the speaker of line 1 becomes involved, ties those details together, makes sense of them, and unifies the opening of the poem. In what follows I first develop this interpretation without defensive interruptions, as though it were obvious, so that readers may envision from the outset the picture of the proem I have in mind. Of course, I am aware that my interpretation is very far from being incontrovertible.

    Accordingly, after the initial exposition, I shall circle back into the eristic thicket." (p. 28)

  22. ———. 2014. "What are 'True' Doxai Worth to Parmenides? Essaying a Fresh Look at his Cosmology." Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy no. 46:1-31.

    "In recent years the preserved portions of Parmenides' poem traditionally labelled 'Doxa' 1 have received more nuanced attention, focusing on their content and not just on their presumed role as some kind of foil or supplement to 'Aletheia', 'Truth'. While the age-old question of the relation between these two parts of the poem has been neither settled nor abandoned, some scholars have put this and related issues to one side and concentrated instead on assessing the sometimes startling scientific innovations introduced in the context of the Doxa." (p. 1)


    "These approaches pose various problems, which this paper intends to explore.


    As posed explicitly by Cordero, but bearing implicitly on Graham's, Kahn's, Mourelatos's, and Sedley's views, is the question in what sense, if any, these innovations in physical matters might be 'true', in Parmenidean terms. If they are 'true' for brotoi, possibly including us latter-day mortals, are they also 'true' for the goddess, but only in some 'lesser' sense, which she does not define? And what could that be? Or do they just simply and finally fail to follow her semata for what-is, as much as do any of the merest falsehoods of mortals' world? And if so, what are they then worth to her? And, perhaps more tantalizingly, what are they then worth to Parmenides? Could he really have been 'enthralled' by such fatally flawed 'truths'? And if so, to what end?

    With this last query we are firmly back in the midst of the dilemma that has bedevilled commentators on Parmenides since antiquity, concerning not just Parmenides' own attitude towards the possibly revolutionary and astronomically accurate, or 'true', portions of the Doxa but the overall question of the philosophical relation between Truth and Doxa. These are questions not just of historical/biographical psychology but, at least as posed here, they have another import, one related to and calling for explication of Parmenides' proper philosophical concerns. In effect, as I hope to show, asking 'What are true doxai worth to Parmenides?' is an especially useful and revealing way of posing anew the timeworn problem of the relation between the two parts of Parmenides' poem, and in particular that of the philosophical status of the cosmology propounded by the goddess." (p. 4, notes omitted)

  23. Coxon, Allan H. 1934. "The Philosophy of Parmenides." Classical Quarterly no. 28:134-144.

    "In the Classical Quarterly for April, 1933, Professor Cornford maintains that the Two Ways' of Parmenides are not meant as alternatives: "The Way of Truth and the Way of Seeming are no more parallel and alternative systems of cosmology, each complete in itself, than are Plato's accounts of the intellectual and sensible worlds. (1)

    I wish here to try to support his general view, which seems to me to be indisputably correct, while differing from Professor Cornford in some important details." (p. 134)

    (1) p. 102.


    "The unity of the whole poem should now be clear. It opens with Parmenides realization of the difference between knowledge and belief, symbolized by his entry into the realm of Day. There he is welcomed by Justice, or Destiny,(1) who narrates to him, first the features of the world he has just entered, then the nature of the world he has left. The former narrative he has himself to test of λόγος, the possession of which has gained him admission. The latter, she warns him, is a myth.(2) True, even those to whom the door remains shut can produce such; the point is that anyone who knows that this dark world is not the real world is likely to produce a better myth about it than those who believe it to be the only reality and their myth to be truth.

    The thesis of this paper has been that Parmenides was, and was conscious of being, the first genuine philosopher in the Greek world. It follows that he was the founder of European philosophy; that, while his predecessors discovered the main principle of what we know as science, Parmenides was the first metaphysician. If that is true, it is a splendid achievement; and he deserves considerably more recognition than he has usually, since Plato, been given." (p. 144)

    (1) On this vide Fränkel, [Parmenidesstudien, Berlin, 1930] p. 158 sq.

    (2) Just as Plato's Timaeus is a myth.

  24. ———. 1969. "The Text of Parmenides fr. 1,3." Classical Quarterly no. 18:69.

    "In all texts of the fragments of Parmenides printed in the last fifty years he begins his poem by speaking of "the way which" (or, according to some, "the goddess who") "carries through all towns the man who knows"


    "In fact ἄστη, which is alleged to be the reading of the best manuscript of Sextus' books Adversus Dogmaticos, has no manuscript authority at all. ἄστη first appeared in the text of the third edition of Die Fragmente der Vorsokratiker published in 1912, where it is attributed to the Ms. N (= Laur.85.19), so called by Mutschmann".


    The "countless attempts at emendation" of [the readings of L and E et al., πάντὰ τε and πάντα τὴ respectively] did not include aste. Variants from N were first published in 1911 by A. Kochalsky in his dissertation,...but his professedly complete list of new readings from N for these books of Sextus includes no reference to Parmenides 1.3. It follows that aste can hardly have appeared among the variants which he says he had already communicated to Diels. The word aste appears, however, as the reading of N in vol. II of Mutschmann's text of Sextus, which was published in 1914. It would seem, therefore, that Diels got the reading privately from Mutschmann, who collated N in 1909 and 1911. . . . In any case, the word is a simple misreading of the manuscript, which has pant' ate." (p. 69)

  25. ———. 1969. "The Manuscript Tradition of Simplicius' Commentary on Aristotle's Physics I-IV." Classical Quarterly no. 18:70-75.

    Abstract: "The following discussion' of the manuscript tradition of Simplicius' commentary on Aristotle's Physics I-IV originated in an examination of the tradition of the fragments of Parmenides. It is therefore illustrated not only from Simplicius but particularly from the texts of Parmenides quoted by him. This will not be misleading, since, though many of these texts are quoted by Simplicius more than once, there is little or no sign in any manuscript of interpolation from one passage to another and it is not likely that any scribe could have interpolated the text from an independent manuscript of Parmenides."

  26. ———. 2003. "Parmenides on Thinking and Being." Mnemosyne no. 56:210-212.

    "The incomplete verse which constitutes Fragment B3 of Parmenides τὸ γὰρ αὐτὸ νοεῖν ἐστίν τε καὶ εἶναι is of central importance for the interpretation of his argument. Since what may be called the traditional understanding of the phrase, as opposed to that proposed by Zeller,(2) has been recently revived in The Cambridge Companion to Early Greek Philosophy(3) (CC) and elsewhere, it seems worthwhile to recapitulate the evidence on either side.

    The sentence is cited only by Clement, Plotinus and Proclus, by all isolation from its context, and by all as asserting the identity of thinking with being. The English translation, 'For it is the same to think and be', is said to be "the only natural reading of the Greek" (CC, 120). is at least questionable, since it postulates a substantival use with no article, which would be unparalleled in the first half of the fifth century, and even later, and which its assumption by Clement and the Neoplatonists does nothing to guarantee." (p. 211)

    (2) E. Zeller, Die Philosophie der Griechen, I, i, ed. Nestle (Leipzig 1923), 678 1).

    (3) [A. A. Long ed.,] The Cambridge Companion to Early Greek Philosophy (Cambridge 1999).

  27. ———. 2009. The Fragments of Parmenides. A Critical Text with Introduction and Translation, the Ancient Testimonia and a Commentary. Las Vegas: Parmenides Publishing.

    Revised and expanded edition edited with new translations by Richard McKirahan and a new Preface by Malcolm Schofield (First edition Gorcum: Van Assen 1986).

    "Parmenides' poem is dominated by his conviction that human beings can attain knowledge of reality or understanding (nóos). This faith is expressed in the apocalyptic form of the poem, which at the same time offers an analysis of its presuppositions, and which may be regarded as an attempt to answer the questions, 'what must reality be, if it is knowable by the human mind, and what is the nature of human experience?

    The ontological part of the work comprises an account of two intellectually conceivable ways of discovering reality (aletheín), followed by a summary analysis of its character as revealed by pursuing the only way allowed to be genuine. The ways are defined respectively by the formulae 'is and is not for not being', and 'is not and must needs not be', and the recognition that they are mutually exclusive and exhaustive is represented (in opposition to the evidence of the senses) as itself constituting the only criterion (fr. 7, 5) for determining what is real: nothing is to be so considered, unless it either is intrinsically something, or of necessity is not anything. Since the second way is argued to be concerned with nothing and to lead nowhere, reality is to he identified by pursuing the first, i.e. by asking what can and must be made the subject of an unconditional 'is'.

    Although Parmenides defines his conception of philosophy in terms of the expressions 'is' and 'is not', he gives no explicit indication of the sense which he conceives these expressions to bear. Modern exegesis has in consequence saddled him with, most generally, an existential understanding of the verb, or else with an archaic failure to distinguish between its existential and copulative uses. It is better to recognise that his approach is purely formal or dialectical, i.e. that, so far from positing any given sense of the verb, he is concerned to determine what sense attaches to it, given its essential role in 'asserting and thinking'. In the prologue and in the cosmological part of the poem he uses the verb `to be' either with an adverbial qualification or with a further predicate (e.g. frr. 1, 32; 8, 39, 57; 20, 1), but in defining 'the only ways of enquiry which can be thought' (fr. 3, 2), he isolates the expressions 'is' and 'is not' deliberately both from any determinate subject and from any further completion. In so doing he assigns to them no restricted sense but treats them as the marks of 'asserting and thinking', with the possibility and presuppositions of which he is concerned throughout (cf. fr. 3, 8n.). His aim in defining the 'genuine way of enquiry' as the expression 'is' is to discover (I) what, if anything, can be said and thought `to be' something without the possibility of denial that it is that thing, and (ii) what this subject can further be said 'to be', i.e. what further predicates can be asserted of it. He answers these questions by converting the verb 'is' to the noun-expression 'Being' (eon) and then arguing for the nature of what this name must denote. The 'is' which constitutes the definition of the way is thus reformulated as the copula with 'Being' as its subject: 'Being is ungenerated and imperishable, complete, unique, unvarying' etc. (fr. 8, 3-5). Initially the nature and number of 'Being', like the sense of 'is', remain wholly undetermined except as what 'is and is not for not being'. Its further determination, culminating in its characterisation as non-physical, is argued in the account in fr. 8 of the many landmarks or monuments on the authentic way of enquiry, i.e. of the terms which can be asserted of the subject, and the question arises, 'how does Parmenides envisage the relation between the subject, 'Being', and the terms joined with it by the copula?'

    Among the landmarks on the authentic way are the unity or indivisibility of Being and its uniqueness. If what is is one and unique, Parmenides cannot well suppose that the terms which he predicates of it are the names of distinct attributes, which would have their own being and so be eonta. He must therefore regard them as alternative names of Being. This was Plato's understanding of his meaning (cf. Sections 7 and 8 below), which is confirmed by Eudemus' assertion that it was Plato himself who first introduced two senses of the verb `to be' by discriminating between its substantial and attributive uses (cf. Sect. 8). It is confirmed also by the Megarian view of predication as identification (cf. Sect. 6 ad fin.), for the Megarians were regarded as latter days (tt. 102, 132). Aristotle likewise insists (tt. 19, 21, 27) that Parmenides ascribed to 'being' only a single sense, whence he was led to suppose that what is other than Being itself has no being at all. Thus both the text and the Platonic and Peripatetic exegesis of it indicate that Parmenides' copulative use of 'is' in his account of the authentic way signifies an identity which is the direct expression of the perfect identity of substantial Being." (pp. 19-21)

  28. Crystal, Ian. 2002. "The Scope of Thought in Parmenides." Classical Quarterly no. 52:207-219.

    "Much has been written recently about the relation between thinking and what is thought in Parmenides.(1) Long has recently argued that the relation between the cognitive act and its object is a weak form of identity in which thinking and being are coextensively related.(2) Curd in her recent study of Parmenides argued for a weaker relation in which being constituted a necessary condition for thinking.3 In this paper, I want to argue that Parmenides offers a different account of the relation between thinking and what is thought. I shall argue that Parmenides puts forth a monistic thesis which entails the strict identification of the epistemic subject and object. I am not the first to posit the strict identity of thinking and being. Vlastos and, more recently, Sedley also attribute this view to Parmenides.4 However, the argument of this paper will be that the identity relation, pace Vlastos and Sedley, does not emerge until Parmenides' account of qualitative homogeneity in Fragment 8. As a result, we cannot attribute this position to Parmenides prior to Fragment 8.

    My argument will proceed in two main stages. First (Section I), I shall argue that Fragments 1-7 do not establish the strong identity thesis. I shall do this by canvassing two possible interpretations of how it is that thinking relates to what can be thought in Fragments 1-7. These readings I shall refer to as ‘realist' and ‘idealist' respectively. Secondly (Section II), I shall turn to the Parmenidean account of what ‘is' in Fragment 8 in order to show (Section III) how this does establish the strict identity between the thinker and that which is thought." (p. 207)

    (1) To cite just a few recent examples on this subject matter, sec A. A. Long, ‘Parmenides on thinking being', in J. Cleary (ed.), Proceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy 12. (New York, 1996), 125-51; D. Sedley. 'Parmenides and Melissus'. in A. A. Long (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Early Greek Philosophy (Cambridge, 1999), 113-33; P. Curd. The Legacy of Parmenides (Princeton. 1998), chs. 1 and 2.

    (2) Long (n. 1), 140-6. .See n. 38 below.

    (38) Long (n. 1), 140-6, I think, wrongly attributes a weak identity-relation between thinking and being in which, although identical, they are coextensively related. He maintains that thinking and being do not connote the same thing or are different in semantic value just as the other attributes such as being ungenerated and everlasting are different in semantic value However, even allowing for these differences in connotation or semantic value one nonetheless cannot avoid the problem that thinking cannot be treated like the other attributes in that it requires the differentiation outlined above; the sort of differentiation which Parmenides appears to rule out when he offers his complete account of being in Fragment 8. Moreover, as I have argued elsewhere, it would seem that Plato picked up on this point when setting out his account of mental faculties and their objects in Republic 5. That is. in the midst of a backdrop couched in allusions to Parmenides' Proem. Plato sets out an account of thinking and its objects which is based upon the sort of differentiation that Long talks about, namely as coextensive relata. But more to the point, it would seem that Plato is setting out his account in this manner in contrast to the Parmenidean account. See I. Crystal, ‘Parmenidean allusions in Republic V', Ancient Philosophy 16 (1996), 351-63.

  29. Curd, Patricia. 1991. "Parmenidean Monism." Phronesis.A Journal for Ancient Philosophy no. 36:241-264.

    "Is Parmenides indeed a monist? If so, what sort of monist is he? This paper undertakes a re-thinking of these issues." (p. 242)


    "I shall argue that Parmenides adopts neither material nor numerical monism; but that his arguments about the only true account of being show him to be committed to predicational monism.(10) Whatever is must be a predicational unity; but this is consistent with there being many ones. I begin by considering the esti and its subject in B2, and by giving some attention to the setting and context of Parmenides' philosophical project. I next consider a number of the arguments of the Alêtheia section of the poem, and then turn to the relation to Parmenides of philosophers who came after him, especially the atomists and the pluralists." (p. 243)

    (10) Barnes, for instance, is thus correct in denying that Parmenides adopts numerical monism (in "Eleatic One"). But because Barnes insists on an existential 'is' in Parmenides he does not give full weight to the metaphysical and methodological force of Parmenides' arguments; and so he does not see that Parmenides is indeed committed to a kind of monism. Parmenides himself speaks of the unity of being and argues that being is both suneches and mounogenes; my argument is that these claims are equivalent to predicational monism. I do not mean that Parmenides formulated a theory to which he gave the name 'predicational monism.' Rather, given that the three types of monism can be distinguished, it is crucial in understanding Parmenides to attribute this view to him.

  30. ———. 1992. "Deception and Belief in Parmenides' "Doxa"." Apeiron.A Journal for Ancient Philosophy and Science no. 25:109-134.

    "In this paper I examine the problem of the Doxa, and offer an account of it that is consistent with the claims of Aletheia and explains why Parmenides included it in the poem.(6) I shall argue that, while there is deception in the Doxa (though not in the goddess' account of it), nonetheless the Doxa does not in principle renounce all human belief. For, although Parmenides argues that the sensible world alone cannot be the source of knowledge of what is, he does not reject it completely. Moreover, I propose that, while Parmenides himself does not give such an account, a story about the sensible world that is consistent with the metaphysical and epistemological claims of Aletheia can be told. Thus, while I agree with those who argue that the particular account given in the Doxa fails, I also agree with those who see the Doxa as having something positive to say about mortal belief. But I go further, arguing that Parmenides supposes that a trustworthy cosmology may be possible and discloses what such a theory might be like and how it would be tested. I begin by considering some of the difficulties faced by interpretations of Parmenides' Doxa; I then consider the problems of deception and mortal belief." (pp. 110-111, two notes omitted)

    (6) For a summary of views concerning the Doxa held earlier in the century, see W.J. Verdenius, Parmenides: Some Comments on his Poem (Groningen/Batavia 1942), 45-9.

  31. ———. 1998. "Eleatic Arguments." In Method in Ancient Philosophy, edited by Jyl, Gentzler, 1-28. New York: Oxford University Press.

    "In this essay I shall limit my discussion of philosophical method to issues connected with presenting and arguing for philosophical theories or with appraising the adequacy of theories. I shall suggest that there are three stages in the development of pre-Socratic method. First, there is the mere assertion of one's theory; second, there is the giving of arguments for first principles or against other theories. Finally, in the third stage, there are the development and application of criteria for acceptable theories, combined with using these criteria to rule out whole classes of competing theories. I shall argue that the second stage appears in a rough form in Xenophanes and Heraclitus (for they reject, but do not actually argue against, the views of others), but that the full-blown philosophical method of the second and third stages together first appears in Parmenides; it is he who first uses arguments directly in support of his philosophical position (and against the positions of others) and who first stresses the criteria for the acceptability of arguments about nature. But, as I shall also argue, since in Parmenides there is also the reliance on assertion as opposed to argument that characterizes nearly all pre-Eleatic philosophy, Parmenides himself is a transitional figure. I begin with a survey of pre-Eleatic pre-Socratic theories. I then examine the various roles played by assertion, argument, and theory evaluation in Parmenides' thought. Finally, I discuss some of the argumentative strategies in Parmenides' Eleatic followers, Zeno and Melissus." (p. 2)

  32. ———. 1998. The Legacy of Parmenides. Eleatic Monism and Later Presocratic Thought. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

    Second edition with a new Introduction to the Paperback Version (pp. XVII-XXIX), Las Vegas: Parmenides Publishing, 2004.

    Contents: Preface: IX; Acknowledgments XI; A note on texts and translations XIII; Abbreviations XV; Introduction 3; I. Parmenides and the inquiry into Nature 24; II. Parmenides' Monism and the argument of B8 64; III. Doxa and deception 98; IV. Pluralism after Parmenides 127; V. Atoms, void, and rearrangement 180, VI. Final remarks 217; Bibliography 243; Index locorum 257; Index nominum 264; General index 269-280.

    "This book offers an alternative account of the views of Parmenides and his influence on later Presocratic thought, especially Pluralism and Atomism, in the period immediately preceding Plato's Theory of Forms. It challenges what has become the standard account of the development of Pluralism (in the theories of Empedocles and Anaxagoras) and Atomism (adopted by Leucippus and Democritus). This alternative interpretation places Parmenides firmly in the tradition of physical inquiry in Presocratic thought, arguing that Parmenides was concerned with the same problems that had occupied his predecessors (although his concern took a different form). Further, this account explains how Parmenides' metaphysical and cosmological doctrines had a positive influence on his successors, and how they were used and modified by the later Eleatics Zeno and Melissus.

    In the course of this book, I shall argue against both the prevailing interpretation of Parmenides' monism and the usual explanation of the "is" in Parmenides. Instead, I shall claim that Parmenides' subject is what it is to be the genuine nature of something, thus linking Parmenides with the inquiries into nature of his philosophical predecessors. On the view for which I shall argue, the "is" that concerns Parmenides is a predicational "is" of a particularly strong sort rather than an existential "is." I accept that Parmenides is a monist, but I deny that he is a numerical monist. Rather, I claim that Parmenides is committed to what I call predicational monism. (5)

    Numerical monism asserts that there exists only one thing: a complete list of entities in the universe would have only one entry. This is the kind of monism that has traditionally been attributed to Parmenides and (rightly) to Melissus. Predicational monism is the claim that each thing that is can be only one thing; and must be that in a particularly strong way. To be a genuine entity, something that is metaphysically basic, a thing must be a predicational unity, a being of a single kind (mounogenes, as Parmenides says in B8.4), with a single account of what it is; but it need not be the case that there exists only one such thing. What must be the case is that the thing itself must be a unified whole. If it is, say F (whatever F turns out to be), it must be all, only, and completely F. On predicational monism, a numerical plurality of such one-beings (as we might call them) is possible. (6) The interpretation of Parmenides' "is" becomes relevant here, for I argue that to be for Parmenides is to be the nature of a thing, what a thing genuinely is, and thus metaphysically basic. The arguments of Parmenides' fragment B8 concern the criteria for what-is, that is, for being the nature of something, where such a nature is what a thing really is. Those arguments purport to show that what-is must be whole, complete, unchanging, and of a single kind. Each thing that is can have only one nature, but there may be many such things that satisfy Parmenides' criteria.' These issues are the subjects of Chapters I and II." (pp. 4-5)

    (5) Mourelatos (in Route) and Barnes ("Eleatic One") have also questioned the predominant view that Parmenides is a numerical monist; Barnes denies any sort of monism to Parmenides, and Mourelatos emphasizes Parmenides' anti-dualism.

    (6)Thus, the failure of later Presocratic thinkers to argue for their pluralistic theories, while working within a Parmenidean framework and stressing the reality and predicational unity of their basic entities, is evidence for my view that it is possible for there to be a numerical plurality of entities each of which is predicationally one.

    (7) In later terminology we might say that Parmenides is searching for an account of what it is to be the essence of something, although I have avoided the word essence because it is an anachronistic term in Presocratic thought. There is, however, a connection between Parmenides' search for what-is and Aristotle's accounts of ousia and to ti en einai; the connection runs through Plato's Theory of Forms, which itself has Parmenidean roots.

  33. ———. 2006. "Parmenides and After: Unity and Plurality." In A Companion to Ancient Philosophy, edited by Louise, Gill Mary and Pierre, Pellegrin, 34-55. Oxford: Blackwell.

    "A helpful way to approach the question of Parmenides' importance for Greek philosophy is to examine questions of unity and plurality in pre-Socratic thought. seeing how these questions dovetail with those about the possibility of genuine knowledge and its object.(2) In this chapter, I shall argue that Parmenides' criticisms of his predecessors rest on the principle that what can be genuinely known must be a unity of a particular sort, which I call a predicational unity. On this view, anything that genuinely is (that truly can be said to be). and so can be known, must be of a single, wholly unified kind. Parmenides drew confusions from this that later philosophers took very seriously. One consequence is that what is genuinely real cannot come to be, pass away, or after, thus posing the problems of change and knowledge: How can we account for the appearance of change that we see in the world around us? And how can we have knowledge of such a changing world? An advantage of viewing Parmenides in this way is that it makes sense of the cosmological theorizing of post-Parmenidean figures such as Anaxagoras, Empedocles, and Democritus. All these philosophers were (in their different ways) pluralists, holding that there is a numerical plurality of metaphysically basic entities: and yet, I shall argue, all were working in the Parmenidean tradition because they all accepted Parmenides' criteria for what is genuinely real." (p. 34)

    (2) [Stokes (1971) provides a comprehensive treatment of unity and plurality in early Greek thought in English. [M. C. Stokes, One and Many in Presocratic Philosophy, Washington, DC: The Center for Hellenic Studies 1971]

  34. ———. 2011. "Thought and Body in Parmenides." In Parmenides, 'Venerable and Awesome' (Plato, Theaetetus 183e), edited by Cordero, Néstor-Luis, 115-134. Las Vegas: Parmenides Publishing.

    Summary: "Parmenides' fragment B16 is a puzzle: it seems to be about thought, but Theophrastus uses it in his account of Parmenides' views on perception.

    Scholars have disagreed about its proper place in Parmenides' poem: does it belong to Alētheia or to Doxa? I suggest that the fragment indeed belongs to Doxa, and in it Parmenides claims that mortals, who fail to use noos correctly, mistake the passive experiences of sense perception for genuine thought about what-is, and hence fail to understand the true nature of what-is. I argue that genuine thought (the correct use of noos) must go beyond sense experience and grasp what is truly intelligible; in doing so I explore the question of immateriality in Presocratic thinking."

  35. ———. 2015. "Thinking, Supposing, and Physis in Parmenides." Études platoniciennes no. 12.

    Abstract: "What could justify the Presocratic conviction that human beings can have knowledge? The answer that I am exploring in a larger project is that most Presocratic thinkers share a commitment to the possibility of a “natural fit” between the world and human understanding. Two claims underlie this commitment: the first is the basic intelligibility of the cosmos. The second is that human beings can come to know things beyond their limited sensory experience, for in properly exercising their capacities for perception, thought, and understanding, they can come to have the knowledge that earlier Greeks thought was reserved for the gods. Here I explore a small part of one chapter of the story I want to tell: Parmenides' accounts of what-is and of thinking and the implications of these views for the possibility of human knowledge about the world around us. The paper concentrates on Parmenides, beginning with a few comments about Heraclitus."

  36. de Rijk, Lambertus Marie. 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)

    (*) Joseph Owens, A History of Ancient Western Philosophy (New York 1959) p. 76.

  37. DeLong, Jeremy C. 2015. "Rearranging Parmenides: B1: 31-32 and a Case for an Entirely Negative Doxa (Opinion)." Southwest Philosophy Review no. 31:177-186.

    Abstract: "This essay explicates the primary interpretative import of B1: 31-32 in Parmenides poem (On Nature)—lines which have radical implications for the overall argument, and which the traditional arrangement forces into an irreconcilable dilemma. I argue that the “negative” reading of lines 31-32 is preferable, even on the traditional arrangement.

    This negative reading denies that a third thing is to be taught to the reader by the goddess—a positive account of how the apparent world is to be “acceptably” understood. I then suggest that a rearrangement of the fragments would make more sense overall, while further supporting the “negative” reading as more natural and coherent. In particular, the rearrangement dispels the objection that, “if mortal opinions were not true, why would Parmenides include such a lengthy false account of the apparent world--an account which explicitly denies the conclusions of the earlier section, Truth?”

  38. Dilcher, Roman. 2006. "Parmenides on the Place of Mind." In Common to Body and Soul. Philosophical Approaches to Explaining Living Behaviour in Greco-Roman Antiquity, edited by King, R. A. H., 31-48. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.

    "Parmenides seems to have no place in the history of the philosophical problems that are indicated by the phrase "common to body and soul".

    While in Heraclitus we do find for the very first time a concept of soul as something distinct from the body that is responsible for thought, action and feeling, there is a basic dichotomy in Parmenides' thought that also has a bearing on the question of a possible relation of "body" and "soul": on the one hand the account of Being which involves the exercise of mind; on the other hand a theory of the physical world on the basis of the two elements Light and Night. The coherence of these two parts of Parmenides' poem has been much debated in terms of the possible relation of Being to Doxa. Fr.16, however, provides an account of mind in relation to the two elements of the doxastic world, and so it might contribute in a different way to a better understanding of how the two parts cohere." (p. 31)

  39. Dolin Jr., Edwin F. 1962. "Parmenides and Hesiod." Harvard Studies in Classical Philology:93-98.

    "It should be said at once, of course, that the power and brilliance are Parmenides' own and not borrowed from anyone. To assume, as this paper does, that the tradition from which Parmenides drew was the main poetic tradition of Homer and Hesiod is not to imply that hexameter poetry by itself somehow accounts for Parmenides. Rather, the assumption is that the tradition was there, pervasively and ineluctably, in the cultural atmosphere, that Parmenides used its motifs and imagery as freely and naturally as he breathed, counting them as allies in his poetic communication with Hellas, and that he criticized this cultural donnée whenever he saw fit, which was not seldom, by the very manner in which he made use of what he liked of it." (p. 93)


    "This article seeks to extend the comparison with the Theogony by suggesting a specific parallel between Parmenides' daughters of the sun and the Theogony's Muses and by commenting on the parallel between Parmenides' gates of night and day and those of the Theogony.(3)

    Its hypothesis is that Parmenides was deliberately attacking the archaic thought processes represented by Hesiod and wished to present himself as the exponent of a new intellectual approach which would be associated in its spirit with the Homeric ideal of the heroic individual." (p. 94)

    (3) Theogony 736-57; Parmenides B. 1.11.

  40. Drozdek, Adam. 2001. "Eleatic being: finite or infinite?" Hermes.Zeitschrift für Klassische Philologie no. 129:306-313.

    Abstract: "The extant fragments indicate that there is a fundamental agreement between the two Eleatic philosophers, Melissus and Parmenides concerning characteristics of Being. Like Parmenides Melissus asserts that Being is eternal (30B1, B2, B4), immovable (B7.7-10, B10). complete (82), and unique (B5, B6). The physical world is unreal because it is characterized by "change, multiplicity, temporal succession and imperfection" (B8). Being cannot be known through sensory perception because senses indicate that things are constantly changing, which directly contradicts the immutability of Being (B7). However, as commonly assumed, there is at least one fundamental difference between them. Melissus considers Being infinite, whereas for Parmenides Being is finite because it is held in limits (28B8.26,31,42) and is compared to a sphere (B8.42-43). Does the limited/unlimited difference signify the modification introduced by Melissus to the Eleatic philosophy?"

  41. ———. 2001. "Parmenides' Theology." Eranos.Acta Philologica Suecana no. 99:4-15.

    Reprinted as Chapter 4 in: A. Drozdek, Greek Philosophers as Theologians. The Divine Arche, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007. pp. 43-52.

    Abstract: "Parmenides' system has always been an inexhaustible source of fascination because of the grandeur and, at the same time, paradoxical character of the ontological vision.

    Even after centuries of interpretations, there is little agreement on the meaning of the system and its particular components. However, there seems to be a common slant in these interpretations, at least in the last hundred years, starting with the groundbreaking publication of Hermann Diels on Parmenides' poem,(1) which deemphasizes the religious and theological components of Parmenidean ontology and epistemology. These theological components are very often glossed over – sometimes they are barely mentioned, sometimes discounted as a mere metaphor (beginning with Diels), sometimes treated as mere embellishments.(2) One reason is that Parmenides nowhere calls Being, which he discusses in particular in fr. B8, God, and the Olympian personae he mentions are discounted as a bow toward traditional mythology with very little religious significance. It seems, however, that such an approach is unjustified, that the main concern of Parmenides in his poem is with theological issues, and that the poem is an attempt to show the way of truth, which is the way of acquiring true religious knowledge about God."

    (1) Hermann Diels, Parmenides Lehrgedicht (Berlin: Reimer, 1897).

    (2) It is said, for instance, that “the fact that the goddess remains anonymous shows that she represents no religious figure at all … Parmenides could not have attributed any reality to the goddess because for him there exists only one thing, the unique and homogenous Being,” Leonardo Tarán, Parmenides (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1965), p. 31.

  42. English, Robert B. 1912. "Parmenides' indebtedness to the Pythagoreans." Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association no. 43:81-94.

    "A close examination of all the "opinions" shows that they, even more than his statements of "truth," relate to the doctrines ascribed to the Pythagoreans. There is scarcely a tenet set forth in the " opinions" which may not be referred directly or indirectly to them as they are represented in Aristotle. Not more than ten different propositions exist in this part of his work. Of these, two deal with first principles, three deal with astronomical truths, three have an astrophysical significance, one deals with procreation, and one with the nature of thought. The six dealing with astronomical or astrophysical theories undoubtedly have reference to the Pythagoreans. Of the two referring to first principles one seems to have resemblance to Anaximander, and the other to the dual principle of the Pythagoreans. To the theory of right and left in pro- creation corresponds indirectly the Pythagorean idea of right and left as two first principles. To the postulate that "that which thinks is the nature of mingled parts in man and the excess is thought" there is no parallel in the Pythagorean doctrine. But Parmenides' own postulate on this point that "thinking will not be found without being, in which it is expressed" corresponds in substance to the belief of the Pythagoreans that soul and mind are properties of number (being), though Parmenides makes no mention of this Pythagorean symbol." (pp. 92-93)


    "It seems evident, then, from this study (1) that the " opinions" of Parmenides refer in large part to the doctrines of the early Pythagoreans; (2) that his treatise on "truth" is largely concerned with a refutation of their arguments; (3) that not only his astronomical views but also his cosmological and ontological views generally were affected by the Pythagorean system; (4) that no violence to fact is done in setting the elementary metaphysical number theory of the Pythagoreans as early in time as the ascendency of Parmenides." (p. 94)