Theory and History of Ontology

website ontology logoeBook version

My other websites:

History of Logic

website logic logoeBook version 


website bibliographia logoeBook version

Theory and History of Ontology by Raul Corazzon | e-mail:


Parmenides of Elea. Annotated Bibliography of the studies in English: Mou - Q


  1. Mourelatos, Alexander. 2014. "The conception of eoikōs/eikōs as epistemic standard in Xenophanes, Parmenides, and in Plato’s « Timaeus »." Ancient Philosophy no. 34:169-191.

    "There are books on the pre-Socratics, and there are books on Plato.[*] Except in general histories of ancient Greek philosophy, the border that marks off Plato's philosophy of the cosmos and of nature from the thematic domain of corresponding accounts offered by the pre-Socratics is not crossed very often. Among exceptions to this pattern, one that is both well known and distinguished is Gregory Vlastos' 1975 book, Plato's Universe. And now Jenny Bryan's Likeness and likelihood in the Presocratics and in Plato is a welcome addition to the genre, and indeed a specially worthy complement to Plato's Universe inasmuch as Bryan deals with topics that had not been central in Vlastos' account.

    The book's project is announced by Bryan ('JB' henceforth) as one of developing 'an intertextual reading of [Xenophanes, Parmenides, and Plato's] use of eoikōs/eikōs. Her narrative of intertextuality is engaging, and it is elegantly told in well-organized sections and sub-sections. Ir comprises careful and sensitive analyses of the target Greek texts; and ii reflects wide and searching reading of the relevant studies in the secondary literature. She shows herself well-trained and adroit in the deployment of the twin methods her topic calls for: the conscientious philologist's scrupulous examination of words in their context and in their history; 1he analytic philosopher's probing of concepts and the dialectical canvassing of issues and of candidates for solutions. The entire narrative involves four stages. which I summarize in what immediately follows." (p. 169 notes omitted)

    [* Discussion of Jenny Bryan, Likeness and Likelihood in the Presocratics and Plato]

  2. Mourelatos, Alexander P. D. 1965. "φράζω and Its Derivatives in Parmenides." Classical Philology no. 60:261-262.

    "Ever since Villoison's 1788 (*) publication of the Venetus scholia to Homer, classical philologists have been alert to the fact that φράζω may not (and usually does not) carry the meaning dico in early Greek poetry. It has rather a concrete sense, the core or root of which is "to point out," "to show," "to indicate with a gesture," "to appoint," "to instruct."


    I would like to suggest here that the early, concrete sense of φράζω will improve the translation of 2. 6-8 and will also give us the key to the translation of that puzzling adjective πολύφραστοι applied to the horses in 1. 4." (p. 261)

    [*] Jean-Baptiste-Gaspard d'Ansse de Villoison, Homeri Ilias ad veteris codicis Veneti fidem recensita. Scholia in eam antiquissima, Venetiis, 1788.

  3. ———. 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 formulations:

    (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.

  4. ———. 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.

    Reprint of the pages 222-263 (abridged and slightly revised) wit the title: "The Deceptive Words of Parmenides' 'Doxa' " in: Alexander Mourelatos (ed.), The Pre-Socratics. A Collection of Critical Essays, Garden City: Anchor Press, 1974; second revised edition: Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993, pp. 312-349.

    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.

    "My own aim has been to steer a middle course, keeping three points in sight: (a) Parmenides' relation to the epic tradition; (b) the deep and central involvement of his thought in the sequence of Greek philosophy from Thales to Plato; (c) the supra-historical dimension of the concepts, problems, and arguments in the poem.

    The book is not intended as a commentary on the fragments. For this one must still turn to Hermann Diels' Parmenides' L.ehrgedicht (Berlin, 1897) and to the two more recent commentaries: Mario Untersteiner’s Parmenide: testimonianze e frammenti (Florence, 1958) and Leonardo Taran’s Parmenides: Λ Text with Translation, Commentary and Critical Essays (Princeton, 1965). The most up-to-date, comprehensive account of the various interpretations of individual lines and passages will be found in the Italian revision of Zeller’s history of Greek philosophy: E. Zeller-R. Mondolfo, La filosofia dei Greci nel suo sviluppo storico, Part I, 3, “Eleati,” ed. G. Reale (Florence, 1967), pp. 165-335.

    As the subtitle of the present study indicates, I have concentrated on the actual language of the fragments: on analyzing the meaning of key words, on articulating arguments, and on exploring the context and morphology of images in the poem. These three aspects I see as congruent. The study of Parmenides' vocabulary reveals that the key terms are embedded in certain paradigms involving analyzable logical structures. They provide trace lines for the argumentation—the logical grammar of the words channels the course of the argument. A similar point can be made with reference to the second aspect mentioned in the subtitle. The imagery introduced in the narrative prelude (B1) is preserved, to an important extent, through verbal echoes in the rest of the poem. But the images do not function evocatively, to suggest a mood, or to point to a symbolic value. Rather, they come in certain configurations of motifs or themes, familiar from Homer (especially the Odyssey) and from Hesiod. The imagery can thus provide a sort of logical calculus for the argument, as well as paradigms or-models for the radically new concepts of knowledge and reality which Parmenides strives to formulate.

    I might best summarize all this in saying that I have tried to do justice to the fact that Parmenides composed a philosophical argument in the form of an epic poem. In accordance with this approach, I have also tried to show in the concluding chapter that the poem’s dramatic setting, rudimentary as it is (an all-knowing goddess in a double relation to “ignorant mortals” and to a privileged youth, who is entrusted with a revelation to be subsequently communicated to his fellow men), interacts in important ways with the rhetoric and the argument of the poem as a whole. (The comparison with Plato is, once again, apposite.)" (from the Preface to the first edition, 1970, pp. XIV-XV)

    "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 [twentieth] century"; 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." (from the Preface to the Revised and Expanded Edition, 2008, pp. XI-XIII)

  5. ———. 1971. "Mind's Commitment to the Real: Parmenides B8 34-41." In Essays in Ancient Greek Philosophy, edited by Anton, John P. and L., Kustas George, 59-80. Albany: State University of New York Press.

    "An expanded version of this paper appears as chapter 7 of my book, The Route of Parmenides" (p. 59)

    "In proposing to undertake here yet another argument on the analysis of the passage, I do not aim for anything like certainty or finality of exegesis. This would be too much to hope for, when we are working at such small scale, and all the more so in the case of pre-Socratic

    studies, where the evidence itself is limited and fragmentary and our controls over language and background only too imperfect. Rather it is through an analysis of this passage that I can explain most clearly and directly a certain conception of the relation of mind to reality for which I also find evidence in other texts, in some of the characteristic aspects and themes of Parmenides' poem, and which I consider philosophically and historically important. So let me proceed directly to the analysis, not pausing to review or to formulate the status quaestionis, but taking up points of controversy as they arise." (pp. 59-60)

  6. ———. 1973. "Heraclitus, Parmenides, and the Naive Metaphysics of Being." Phronesis.A Journal for Ancient Philosophy:16-48.

    Supplementary vol. I: E. N. Lee, A. P. D. Mourelatos, R. M. Rorty (eds.), Exegesis and Argument. Studies in Greek Philosophy Presented to Gregory Vlastos, Assen: Van Gorcum.

    Already published as chapter 10 of The Route of Parmenides: a Study of Word, Image, and Argument in the Fragments.

  7. ———. 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.

    "The main argument in Parmenides' didactic poem begins with these remarks by the unnamed goddess who delivers the revelation (B2 in Diels-Kranz Die Fragmente dec Vorsokratiker): [follow a translation of B2-B8, here omitted]

    Modern students of Parmenides have agonized over the question as to how precisely we are to construe the first esti and the einai of the positive "route,” and the ouk esti and me einai of the negative "route". The older solution was to attempt to guess the identity of the suppressed subject from the context, and then to supply it in the translation (e.g., "Being exists . . . or “Something exists," or "Truth exists...," or "The route (hodos) exists...," and the like). In more recent years a certain consensus has developed, at least in

    English-language literature, that Parmenides' argument depends on suppressing the subject initially; that it is his intention to allow the subject to become gradually specified as one ponders the logic and implications of the two routes. Within that wider consensus, my own argument has been (2) that Parmenides' subjectless esti in B2 is best understood as {syntactically) a bare copula,with both its subject and its predicate complement deliberately suppressed. The route esti would thus represent not a proposition or premise but the mere form or frame of propositions that characterize their subject in positive terms, "___is___" or "x is F" r for variable x and F; the route ouk esti, correspondingly, would represent the form of propositions that characterize their subject in negative terms, "___is not___" or (x is not-F,” for variable x and F.

    Of the arguments which, I believe, justify this construction, I shall restate here only those that can be presented most briefly; I shall also present some fresh considerations and additional evidence; and, on certain points, l shall qualify or attempt to elucidate my earlier account." (pp. 46-47 some notes omitted)

    (2) The Route of Parmenides (New Haven and London. 1970.1. pp. 51-55. 70. 269-76; "Heraclitus, Parmenides, and the Naive Meiaphysics of Things"' in Exegeses and Argument, pp, 40-46; "Comments on ‘The Thesis of Parmenides.' " The Review of Metaphysics, 22 (1969>, 742-44.

  8. ———. 1979. "Some Alternatives in Interpreting Parmenides." The Monist no. 62:3-14.

    "In the work of interpreting Parmenides we have witnessed in the 'sixties and 'seventies, in English language scholarship, that rarest of phenomena in the study of ancient philosophy, the emergence of a consensus. Four interpretive theses now seem quite widely shared: (a) Parmenides deliberately suppresses the subject of esti, "is," or einai, "to be," in his statement of the two "routes" in B2, his intention being to allow the subject to become gradually specified as the argument unfolds. (b) The negative route, ouk esti, "is not," or me einai, "not to be," is banned because sentences that adhere to it fail to refer (semantically speaking) to actual entities - the latter to be understood broadly, as will shortly be stated in thesis (d). (c) The argument does not depend on a confusion between the "is" of predication and the "is" of existence. (d) In the relevant contexts, esti and einai involve a "fused" or "veridical" use of the verb "to be"; in other words, esti or einai have the force of "is actual" or "obtains," or "is the case," envisaging a variable subject x that ranges over states-of-affairs. (1)

    I formulate the four theses as abstractly and schematically as I can to do justice to the considerable variation of scholarly opinion that obtains within the consensus. It is clear, nevertheless, that the four theses concern fundamental points, and so one may even speak of the emergence of a standard Anglo-American interpretation of Parmenides-let me refer to it as "SI," for short." (p. 3)

    "In several respects, which correspond to the criteria of adequacy just cited, SI falls short. I detail these shortfalls in the next five paragraphs. The considerations I offer do not amount-I hasten to emphasize - to a refutation of SI. But they do provide pointers of the directions in which Feyerabendian alternatives might be sought." (p. 5)

    (1) See G.E.L. Owen, "Eleatic Questions," (1960), W.K.C. Guthrie, A History of Greek Philosophy: Vol. II, The Presocratic Tradition from Parmenides to Democritus, pp. 6-57; Montgomery Furth, "Elements of Eleatic Ontology," (1968) Charles H. Kahn, "The Thesis of Parmenides" (1969); Michael C. Stokes, One and Many in Presocratic Philosophy (1971), pp. 127-148; David J. Furley, "Notes on Parmenides" (1973); Edward Hussey, The Presocratics (1972), pp. 78-99; T. M. Robinson, "Parmenides on Ascertainment of the Real" (1975) [references abbreviated].

    My formulation both of the consensus and of alternatives fails, unfortunately, to take into account a major new interpretation of Parmenides: Jonathan Barnes, The Presocratic Philosophers, 2 vols. (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1979), vol. 1, pp. 155-230, which appeared after the present paper had already gone to print.

  9. ———. 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.

    "It has often been noticed that Plato, and before him Parmenides, assimilates "what is not" (μηδέν or ουδέν). (1) Given that the central use of "nothing" has important ties with the existential quantifier (''Nothing is here" = "It is not the case that there is anything here"), it has widely been assumed that contexts that document this assimilation also count as evidence that both within them and in cognate ontological contexts the relevant sense of "being" or "to be" is that of existence. That this assumption is not to be granted easily, has been compellingly argued by G. E. L. Owen. (2) His main concern was to show that the assumption is particularly mischievous in the interpretation of the Sophist, where he found it totally unwarranted. My own concern is to attack the assumption on a broader plane. "Nothing" in English has uses that do not depend on a tie with the existential quantifier. So too in Greek: meden or ouden can be glossed as "what does not exist," but it can also be glossed as "not a something," or in Owen's formulation, "'what is not anything, what not in anyway is': a subject with all the being knocked out of it and so unindentifiable, no subject." (3) In effect, the assimilation of "what is not" to "nothing" may—in certain contexts—work in the opposite direction: not from "nothing" to "non-being" in the sense of non-existence; rather from "non-being" as negative specification or negative determination to "nothing" as the extreme of negativity or indeterminacy. To convey the sense involved in this reverse assimilation I borrow Owen's suggestive translation "not-being" for μέ ον, a rendering which makes use of an incomplete participle, rather than the complete gerund, of the verb "to be."

    (1) See Parmenides B 6.2, cf. B 7.1, B 8.7-13, B 9.4; Plato Rep. 478 B 12-C 1, Tht. 189 A 10, Soph. 237 d7-E 2. Cf. G. E. L. Owen, "Plato on Not-Being," in Plato, I, Metaphysics and Epistemology, ed. G. Vlastos (Garden City, N.Y., 1971), pp. 225-227.

    (2) Owen, "Plato on NotBeing," pp. 241-248 and passim. For use of this assumption in interpreting Parmenides, see D. J. Furley, "Notes on Parmenides," in Exegesis and Argument: Studies in Greek Philosophy Presented to Gregory Vlastos, Phronesis, suppl. vol. 1 (Assen and New York, 1973) 12.

  10. ———. 1981. "Pre-Socratic Origins of the Principle that There are No Origins from Nothing." Journal of Philosophy no. 78:649-665.

    "Even those who might question the truth of the ex nihilo nihil principle would readily concede that this principle itself could not have sprung from nothing. The origins are in pre-Socratic philosophy.


    But the earliest text with a recognizable version of the ex nihilo nihil (henceforth ENN) is Parmenides B8.7-10." (p. 649)

    "This will not be a complete story of the origins of ENN, but I hope enough will be said to clear the way for renewed appreciation of the tenor of Aristotle's thesis.(*) My concern is not to vindicate Aristotle but to bring out conceptual connections and implications in pre-Socratic fragments." (p. 651)

    (*) "from what-is-not nothing could have come to be, because something must be present as a substratum" (Phys. I.8.191a30-31).

  11. ———. 1999. "Parmenides and the Pluralists." Apeiron.A Journal for Ancient Philosophy and Science no. 32:117-129.

    The article discusses Patricia Curd's The Legacy of Parmenides (1998).

    "Curd does not read Parmenides as a philosopher of the One. Her view is that Parmenides sought to establish formal criteria for what should properly count as 'what-is' or 'the real' (the physis or 'nature' of things) in a rationally constructed cosmology. Such an entity - or such entities - should indeed be unborn, imperishable, unchanging, and inherently complete." (pp. 117-118)


    "In offering my own critical comments on the book, let me start by posing this question: Given that the basis for Curd's larger narrative is her interpretation of Parmenides, what exactly is that basis and how secure is it? Since half of the book is devoted to Parmenides, let me take up separately and at some length four salient theses in Curd's interpretation of Parmenides." (p. 120)

  12. ———. 2011. "Parmenides, Early Greek Astronomy, and Modern Scientific Realism." In Parmenides, 'Venerable and Awesome' (Plato, Theaetetus 183e), edited by Cordero, Néstor-Luis, 167-189. Las Vegas: Parmenides Publishing.

    Reprinted in Joe mcCoy (ed.), Early Greek Philosophy. The Presocratics and the Emergence of Reason, Washington: The Catholic University Press 2013, pp. 91-112.

    Summary: " “Doxa,” the second part of Parmenides' poem, is expressly disparaged by Parmenides himself as “off-track,” “deceptive,” and “lacking genuinecredence.” Nonetheless, there is good evidence that “Doxa” included some astronomical breakthroughs. The study presented here dwells on fragments B10, B14, and B15 from the “Doxa,” and especially on the term aidēla, interpreted as “causing disappearance,” in B10.3. The aim is to bring out the full astronomical import of Parmenides' realization of four related and conceptually fundamental facts: (i) that it is the sun’s reflected light on the moon that explains lunar phases; (ii) that it is the sun’s glare which, as the sun moves in its annual circuit, causes the gradual seasonal disappearance of stars and constellations, and that the absence of such glare explains their seasonal reappearance; (iii) that it is likewise the sun’s glare which causes the periodic disappearance, alternately, of the Morning Star and the Evening Star, and it is the absence of such glare that allows, alternately and respectively, for the reappearance of each of these stars; and (iv), a ready inference from (iii), the realization that the latter supposedly two stars are an identical planet.

    In seeking to make sense of the paradoxical antithesis of “Truth” vs. a disparaged yet scientifically informed “Doxa,” the present study explores two modern analogues: Kant’s doctrine of the antithesis of “things-in-themselves” (or “noumena”) vs. “appearances” (Erscheinungen or “phaenomena”); and the twentieth-century doctrine of scientific realism, notably propounded by Wilfrid Sellars. The latter model is judged as more apt and conceptually more fruitful in providing an analogue for the relation between “Truth” and “Doxa.” "

  13. ———. 2012. "“The Light of Day by Night”: nukti phaos, Said of the Moon in Parmenides B14." In Presocratics and Plato. Festschrift at Delphi in Honor of Charles Kahn, edited by Patterson, Richard, Karasmanis, Vassilis and Hermann, Arnold, 25-58. Las Vegas: Parmenides Publishing.

    "The earliest securely attested record of the discovery that the moon gets its light from the sun is in the second part of Parmenides’ poem, the “Doxa”: in the one-line fragments B14 and B15.(1) In an earlier study, I have used the term “heliophotism” as a succinct reference to the correct explanation of lunar light;(2) and for convenience I shall use the neologism again here. Daniel W. Graham has made a strong case in favor of the claim that the two fragments present heliophotism as a discovery made by Parmenides himself.(3)


    My concern in this study is not with the issue of attribution of the discovery but quite narrowly with the correct reading of the text in B14. Nonetheless, as I hope to establish, once the correct reading is determined, the deflationary position will be decisively undercut. Moreover, the correct reading will give us a statement that is semantically more nuanced, superior in astronomical accuracy, and rhetorically and poetically more expressive.

    B15 will come up for supporting quotation later in the present essay. But the important amplification it provides for B14 needs to be kept in mind throughout." (pp. 25-27)

    (1) See Daniel W. Graham, “La Lumière de la lune dans la pensée grecque archaïque,” in Qu’est-ce que la Philosophie Présocratique, eds. André Laks and Claire Louguet (Villeneuve d’Ascq: Presses Universitaires du Septentrion, 2002), 351–380, esp. 363–378; see also Graham’s Explaining the Cosmos: The Ionian Tradition of Scientific Philosophy (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2006), 179–182.

    (2) “Xenophanes’ Contribution to the Explanation of the Moon’s Light,” Philosophia (Athens), 32 (2002), 47–59. In that publication, as well as in The Route of Parmenides (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1970. 2nd ed. Las Vegas: Parmenides Publishing, 2008), 224–225, I had uncritically accepted the emendation nuktiphaes, which is what I dispute in the present essay.

    (3) See references to Graham in note 1 above.

  14. 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." (pp. 97-98)

    (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.

  15. ———. 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)" (pp. 45-46)

    (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, [Parmenides und die Geschichte der griechischen Philosophie] 1916.

    (3) A notable exception is Stokes [One and Many in the Presocratic Philosophy], 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 [The Legacy of Parmenides], 1998 and Graham [Heraclitus' Critcism of Ionian Philosophy], 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.

  16. Northrup, Mark D. 1980. "Hesiodic personifications in Parmenides A 37." Transactions of the American Philological Association no. 110:223-232.

    "At De Natura Deorum 1.11.28 (= DK 28 A 37), Cicero's speaker Velleius first describes that deity who presides over, then identifies several other divine inhabitants of, Parmenides' World of Seeming"


    "Developing an idea of Karl Reinhardt, Karl Deichgraber took these words as evidence that Parmenides populated his world of doxa with personified abstracts arranged in antithetical pairs. (2)"


    "In his book on Parmenides, Leonardo Tarán rejected this theory of contrary potencies, asserting that ultimately there was "no evidence" to support it.(7) That such evidence does, however, exist (although considered by neither Reinhardt nor Deichgraber) I hope to show in what follows. I hope to do so, moreover, in a way which will shed a measure of new light not only on Parmenides' poem but also on an important aspect of the Theogony, viz., Hesiod's use of personification. (pp. 223-225)

    (7) L. Tarán, Parmenides (Princeton 1965) 250. The Reinhardt-Deichgraber position is supported by H. Schwabl, "Zur Theogonie bei Parmenides und Empedokles," WS [Wiener Studien] 70 (1957) 278-289.

  17. O'Brien, Denis. 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.

    English version of "Le non-être dans la philosophie grecque: Parménide, Platon, Plotin", in Pierre Aubenque (ed.), Études sur le Sophiste de Platon, Napoli: Biblipolis 1991, pp. 317-364.

  18. ———. 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.

    "Plato, in writing the Sophist, "did not consider it beneath his dignity to return to the great Parmenides" . Any reader of Plato's dialogue must therefore do likewise. But whose Parmenides should we return to? If modern interpretations of the Sophist are legion, so too are the reconstructions that are currently on offer, from modern scholars, of the fragments of Parmenides.

    Which one should we take on board?

    Two names in particular stand out. Miss G. E. M. Anscombe was a close associate of Wittgenstein, and is generally acknowledged as one of the leading philosophers of her day. Professor W. K. C. Guthrie was a pupil of F. M. Cornford, and is the only historian of ancient philosophy who has had both the knowledge and the ambition to undertake a history of Greek philosophy that would rival the great work of Eduard Zeller.(2) Both scholars therefore have impeccable credentials. Both have written on Parmenides.(3)

    One or other or both, one might surely think, will have been able to recover from the extant fragments ideas that will make sense of the criticisms of Parmenides that loom so large in Plato's Sophist." (p. 19)

    (2) See Guthrie (1962-1981). Sadly, Guthrie did not live to complete his majestic enterprise; the last volume takes us only as far as Aristotle. Cf. Zeller (1844) and (1919-1920). Gomperz (1896-1909) is too chatty to be a serious rival.

    (3) Guthrie (1965) 1-80. Anscombe (1969), reprinted in Anscombe (1981) 3-8. Cf O'Brien (1987) 206 n. 25. Miss Anscombe goes so far as to entitle the first volume of her Collected papers (1981) From Parmenides to Wittgenstein. Obviously therefore she does not consider her contribution on Parmenides to be a mere πáρπεργον."

    Works cited

    Anscombe, G. EM. (1969) 'Parmenides, Mystery and Contradiction', Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society n.s. 69 (1968-9): 125-132.

    -- (1981) The Collected Philosophical Papers of G. E. M. Anscombe, vol. I, From Parmenides to Wittgenstein (Minneapolis) 3-8.

    Gomperz, T. (1896-1909) Griechische Denker, Eine Geschichte der Antiken Philosophie, 3 vols (Leipzig).

    Guthrie, W. K. C. (1962-1981) A History of Greek Philosophy, 6 vols (Cambridge).

    --- (1965) A History of Greek Philosophy, vol. ii, The Presocratic Tradition from Parmenides to Democritus (Cambridge).

    O'Brien, D. (1987) Études sur Parménide, sous la direction de Pierre Aubenque, tome I, Le Poeme de Parménide, Texte, Traduction, Essai Critique "en collaboration avec Jean Frère pour la traduction française" (Paris).

    Zeller, E. (1844) Die Philosophie der Griechen, Eine Untersuchung iiber Charackter, Gang und Hauptmomente ihrer Entwicklung. (Leipzig).

    -- ( 1919-1920) Die Philosophie der Griechen in ihrer geschichtlichen Entwicklung, ed. W. Nestle, 3 Teile, 6 Abteilungen (Leipzig).

  19. ———. 2013. "Does Plato refute Parmenides?" In Plato’s Sophist Revisited, edited by Bossi, Beatriz and Robinson, Thomas M., 117-155. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.

    "I have a couple of times ventured to suggest that in the Sophist Plato does not refute Parmenides.(2) The reaction has been, to say the least, hostile.(3) Hostile, with more than a touch of disapproval. You might have thought I had suggested that the Queen of England was a man.

    The suggestion was not only false, but foolish. A mere eye-catcher. Absurd, and unseemly." (p. 117)


    "Both Empedocles and Parmenides are understandably chary, though for different reasons, of the ‘names' commonly applied to the phenomena of the visible world by those who know no better. Names commonly in use do not at all match what Empedocles believes to be the true explanation of such phenomena, the explanation inspired by his ‘white-armed Muse' (cf. fr. 3.3). Still less do they match the message of Parmenides' goddess, dwelling beyond the Gates of Night and Day (fr. 1.11) and claiming to disprove the very possibility of anything whatever coming-into-being or passing-away (fr. 8.26 –28). All the many things that we mortals think to see, ‘coming into being and passing away, being and not being, changing place and altering their bright colour', so Parmenides would have us believe, are ‘no more than a name' (cf. fr. 8.38 –41)." (p. 155)

    (2) O’Brien (Le Non-Être, Deux études sur le ‘Sophiste' de Platon, Sankt Augustin 1995) 87 – 88, (‘Parmenides and Plato on What is Not', in M. Kardaun and J.Spruyt (eds.), The Winged Chariot, Collected essays on Plato and Platonism in honour of L. M. de Rijk, Leiden, Boston, Köln 2000) 94-98.

    (3)Monique Dixsaut, Platon et la question de la pensée, Paris (2000) 269 n. 2. Notomi, N., "Plato against Parmenides: Sophist 236D-242B", in S. Stern-Gillet and K. Corrigan (eds.), Reading Ancient Texts, vol. I: Presocratics and Plato, Essays in honour of Denis O’Brien, Leiden-Boston (2007) 167-187.

  20. Osborne, Catherine. 2006. "Was there an Eleatic revolution in philosophy?" In Rethinking Revolutions Through Ancient Greece, edited by Goldhill, Simon and Osborne, Robin, 218-245. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    "My concern in this chapter is with Parmenides' effect on the immediately subsequent generation of philosophers, the fifth-century Presocratics. Of course, there is no question that Parmenides was important for Plato. He figures prominently in the late dialogues, and arguably instigated, through Plato, a metaphysical trend that was indeed revolutionary, at least from the perspective of modern philosophy. But such delayed responses are not my focus here.(5) I am simply asking whether we should detect a radical change in the way cosmology was pursued and defended immediately after Parmenides' poem hit the public domain." (p. 219)

    "On the orthodox story, Parmenides was targeting the group of sixth-century predecessors whom we classify as the first philosophers, particularly the Ionian cosmologists, Thales, Anaximander and Anaximenes. Each of these, so we are told, tried to derive a plural world - the world as we know it now - from a single stuff (water for Thales, air for Anaximenes and so on). They thought that the many could be explained in terms of the one from which it was ultimately derived. By contrast, so the story goes, Parmenides was succeeded by a generation of pluralists, in particular Empedocles, Anaxagoras and the atomists (Leucippus and Democritus). Their choice of plural principles was motivated, so we are told, by their recognition of the force of Parmenides' criticisms.

    Scholars differ as to whether these so-called pluralists were attacking Parmenides' conclusions or endorsing and incorporating them. Some read them as rejecting the Eleat.ic doctrines, both monism and the prohibition on change: hence the pluralists aimed to refute Parmenides or at least to reduce the significance of his claims, Others read the pluralists as warm towards Parmenides' outlook. On this view the 'Eleatic pluralists'6 adjusted their cosmology to meet Parmenidean criteria; they appealed to fundamental principles, atoms for instance, that were indeed indivisible and unchanging, as Parmenides' arguments had demanded.

    Nothing hangs on which variant we prefer, The pattern is the same: anti-cosmological motives for Parmenicles' intervention, and a subsequent attempt to rehabilitate cosmology in dialogue with Parmenidean principles.

    \Xlhether the later thinkers were pro- or anti- Parmenides is insignificant to the structure of this reconstruction." (p. 220)

    (5) For a full treatment of Plato's reading of Parmenides see Palmer (1999).

    (6) This title (originally applied to the atomists by Wardy (1988)) is adopted by Graham (1999) 176, to apply to Empedocles and Anaxagoras. Wardy challenges the reader, at page 129, to choose between ditching the traditional account of a post-Parmenidean response by the atomists, or improving on the traditional version of how atomism is a response. My chapter (unlike his) favours the former solution, though my target is not actually atomism (for which there is good evidence of a post-Parmenidean motivation).

  21. 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)

  22. ———. 1966. "Plato and Parmenides on the Timeless Present." The 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)

  23. Owens, Joseph. 1974. "The Physical World of Parmenides." In Essays in Honour of Anton Charles Pegis, edited by O'Donnell, Reginald J., 378-395. Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies.

  24. ———. 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 legitimate.

    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)

  25. ———. 1979. "Knowledge and 'Katabasis' in Parmenides." The Monist no. 62:15-29.

    "The relation between imagery and philosophy in the poem of Parmenides has occasioned much discussion in recent years. One item of particular import has been the direction taken by the journey that was so inspiringly pictured in the opening section. Is the travel upwards? Or is it downwards? Or is it rather cross-country, either aloft, or on the earth's surface, or in the depths of the nether world? Further, if there is cross travel on any of these three levels, is the direction from east to west, or from west to east?

    Readily acceptable is the stand that the text itself does not explicitly specify either upward or downward direction.(1)" (p. 15)

    "Yet one guiding principle seems obligatory from the start. If correct historical and literary exegesis of the proem should run counter to any particular interpretation of the philosophy, the interpretation can hardly be considered acceptable. Parmenides' introduction, if even ordinary literary skill is accredited to him, has to be in harmony with what it is meant to introduce.

    The effects of a katabasis norm in assessing Parmenides' conception of human knowledge could be especially devastating. A study of the problem in the global context of the various directions found in the proem by commentators is accordingly indicated. The reasons for the ascent, the descent, and the surface journey need to be probed from the viewpoints of their weight and their reciprocal exclusiveness. In a panoramic survey of this kind the salient thrusts that bear upon the philosophic interpretation of the poem should become manifest." (p. 17)

    (1) For critiques of alleged indications of an ascent, see infra, nn. 11-12. Towards the end of the nineteenth century Hermann Diels, Parmenides: Lehrgedicht (Berlin: Georg Reimer, 1897), p. 8, had observed: [Nor does the way to God become us vividly described. We do not even hear if it goes down or up.] This warning was approved by Walter Burkert, "Das Proomium des Parmenides und die Katabasis des Pythagoras," Phronesis, 14 (1969), p. 2, n. 3, maintaining "[It is more correct, however, to omit the vertical, the top and the bottom at all]" (p.15). Burkert, however, defends a katabasis rather than an Auffahrt. A bibliography on the topic may be found in Maja E. Pellikaan-Engel, Hesiod and Parmenides: A New View on Their Cosmologies and on Parmenides' Proem (Amsterdam: Adolph M. Hakkert, 1974), pp. 104-109.

    Note: I give the English translation of the texts by Diels and Burkert, cited in the original German by Owens.

  26. Palmer, John. 2004. "Melissus and Parmenides." Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy no. 26:19-54.

    "Detailed consideration of Plato's representations and uses of Parmenides shows that he would not have subscribed to the contemporary view of Parmenides that makes it possible to see Melissus as faithfully replicating the essential features of his thought. In fact, the view

    of Parmenides as a strict monist seems to have been something of a minority interpretation in antiquity."


    "... I shall try to avoid presuming at the outset any particular interpretation of Parmenides. Although I do want to argue that Melissus is more original than he has previously been taken to be, it would be improper to do so by simply adopting an understanding of Parmenides that differs from those presumed by previous assessments. Instead, I shall begin by focusing on the unquestionable adaptations of Parmenides and the equally unquestionable departures from him in Melissus' conception of what is and in his argumentation for the various attributes of what is. While the majority of these departures have been recognized by others, I believe that the full impact of their collective weight has yet to be realized.

    The differences between Parmenides' and Melissus' conceptions of what is and the structures of their argument are extensive enough to prompt reconsideration of the view that the 'overall structure' and the 'general intellectual nisus' of Parmenides' and Melissus' philosophy 'are one and the same'." (pp. 21-22)

  27. ———. 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.

    "Parmenides of Elea is the most brilliant and controversial of the Presocratic philosophers.

    This book aims to achieve a better understanding of his thought and of his place in the history of early Greek philosophy. To this end, I here develop and defend a modal interpretation of the ways of inquiry that define Parmenides’ philosophical outlook. He was, on this view, the first to have distinguished in a rigorous manner the modalities of necessary being, necessary nonbeing or impossibility, and contingent being. He himself specifies these modalities as what is and cannot not be, what is not and must not be, and what is and is not. Accompanying this fundamental ontological distinction is a set of epistemological distinctions that associates a distinct form of cognition with each mode of being. With this framework in place, Parmenides proceeds to consider what what must be will have to be like just in virtue of its mode of being and then to present an account of the origins and operation of the world’s mutable population." (Preface, VI)

  28. Papadis, Dimitris. 2005. "The Concept of Truth in Parmenides." Revue de Philosophie Ancienne no. 23:77-96.

    "In this paper I shall endeavor to define the concept of truth, which is very closely related to the βροτων δοξαι, and to the so-called δοκούντα. Truth in Parmenides manifests itself as divine revelation bestowed upon a chosen individual, namely Parmenides himself. No doubt, this revelation is no more than a poetic-mythical-religious model of teaching, which does not substantially affect the content thereof." (p. 77)

    "The word ἀλήθεια occurs in three fragments, namely B 1.29, B 2.3, and B 8 .51. Its meaning is not defined in any of them. This is to say that Parmenides has not attempted a systematic theoretical approach to the problem(6)." (p. 78)

    "In conclusion, we have in Parmenides a tripartite scheme, as far as the cognitive approach to things is concerned: a) doxa, true or false, b) ta dokounta = true doxai, mainly of universal reference, and c) aletheia. Doxa and dokounta refer to the perceptible aspect of the

    world, whereas aletheia refers to the inner Being of the world. Access to the truth is, according to the poem, a preserve of Parmenides. Still, it is understood that this is also possible for everyone possessed of his exceptional spirituality." (p. 95)

  29. 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).

  30. Pelliccia, Hayden. 1988. "The Text of Parmenides B 1,3 (D-K)." American Journal of Philology no. 109:513-522.

    "With the removal (1) of all manuscript authority from ἄστη, [from the Fragment B 1.3] editors may resort to defense of the transmitted text or to conjectural restoration based upon "palaeographical likelihood." I believe they should do neither." (p. 507)


    "By way of conclusion, some general remarks on το ἐον will be in order. Parmenides' use throughout the poem of the singular (το ἐον) is an innovation the purpose of which is not far to seek. In earlier writers there is found only the plural (τα ἐοντα), used, usually τα τ' εσσομενα προ τ' εοντα, to describe reality in terms of its constituent elements.(24) This tendency to use the plural to designate reality is evident in Heraclitus (whom some have thought to be a special target of Parmenides' argument (25) ), both in the famous παντα ῥει and especially B7 D-K εἰ πάντα τὰ ὄντα καπνὸς γένοιτο, ῥῖνες ἂν διαγνοῖεν: as clear an assertion of the enduring multiplicity of real entities as can be found anywhere. Parmenides, in denying multiplicity, would have been required, for the sake of logical consistency, to shun the established use of the plural παντα τὰ ὀντα and to adopt the singular παν τὸ ἐον. (26)" (p. 512)

    (1) The results of Coxon's re-examination of N have been corroborated by L. Tarán, Gnomon 49 (1977) 656, n. 15, [review article of Mourelatos, The Route of Parmenides] who has himself inspected the Ms.

    (24) In most of these passages (for example, in all the instances of the formula listed by West on Hes. Th. 32) the plural participles designate the objects of knowledge; this point should be of interest to those who maintain that the subject of ἐστί throughout Parmenides is "the objects of discourse or inquiry" (e .g., J. Barnes, The Presocratic Philosophers [London 1982) 163; G. E. L. Owen, "Eleatic Questions," CQ n.s. 10 [1960] 84-102 = D. J. Furley and R. E. Allen, Studies in Presocratic Philosophy II [London 1975] 48-8 I). If my restoration of παν τὸ ἐον is accepted at B 1.3, it can be resupplied as object of εἰδότα: 'the road which bears the man who knows [all that exists] over all that exists'.

    (25) See Guthrie, Hist. Gk. Phil. I, 408, n. 2 , and II, 23f.

    (26) I wish to thank Professors A. T . Cole, R. L. Fowler, D. R. Shackleton Bailey, and R. J. Tarrant for their criticisms and suggestions.

  31. 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)

  32. Perry, Bruce Millard. 1983. Simplicius as a Source for and an Interpreter of Parmenides, Washington University.

    Ph.D thesis available at ProQuest Dissertation Express, order number: 8319442.

    Contents: Acknowledgments IV; Special Abbreviations V; Introduction 1; Chapter I. Plato and Parmenides 11; Chapter II. Aristotle and Parmenides 33; Chapter III. Parmenides in the Later Tradition 52; Chapter IV. Simplicius on Parmenides 87; Conclusion 257; Bibliography 271; Appendix A. Translations 278; Appendix B. Quotations from Parmenides 409; Appendix C. Verses, Variant Readings 416; Appendix D. Index Locorum 440-442.

    "A systematic study of Simplicius's interpretations of all the Presocratics is not feasible here.


    I have chosen to study his interpretation of Parmenides because he is perhaps the most important, if also the most problematic, of the Presocratics. Simplicius quotes 101 out of the 154 extant Greek verses of Parmenides, and devotes considerable space in his commentary on Physics I, augmented by several passages from his De Caelo commentary, to interpreting Parmenides.

    There is thus considerable material for study.

    Because Simplicius's interpretation does not arise ex nihilo, some consideration must be taken of the formative influences on and the possible sources for his interpretation. More specifically, Simplicius rejects the criticisms of Parmenides by Plato in the Sophist and by Aristotle in the Physics and argues that his own interpretation silences both ciiticisms. Chapter I comprises a sketch of Parmenides's influence on Plato (Republic V 476b6-480a13), and an examination of Plato's criticism in the Sophist (244b6-245b2). Similarly, Chapter II considers Aristotle's treatment of Parmenides in Metaphysics A (986b27-987a2) and Physics I (184b15-187all). The other possible influences or sources are considered in Chapter III: the doxographical tradition, Sextus Empiricus, Plutarch, and the Neoplatonists.

    The large amount of material on Parmenides in Simplicius necessitates a division into manageable topics or sections. While such a division is by nature arbitrary, the nine sections I have decided upon in Chapter IV represent reasonably discrete subjects: I. Biographical Information; II. Obscurity of Doctrine, Poetry; III. Overall Discussions of Parmenides; IV. The Aletheia; V. The Doxa; VI. Parmenides's Argument for the Unity of Being; VII. Plato on Parmenides; VIII. Aristotle on Parmenides; IX. Others on Parmenides.

    Each section contains at least two parts: a detailed list of the relevant passages (A), and a summary of their contents (B). For the first five sections commentary is provided (C); particularly detailed commentary is devoted to the Aletheia (IV) and the Doxa (V). A summary of Simplicius' s interpretation is found at the beginning of Chapter IV, and a set of conclusions follows Chapter IV.

    Appendix A contains English translations of all the passages which bear on Parmenides in Simplicius. A detailed list of Simplicius's quotations from Parmenides forms Appendix B. The verses with variant readings from CAG [Commentaria in Aristotelem Graeca] VII and IX are collected in Appendix C. Appendix D is a skeletal Index Locorum." (pp. 6-8)

  33. ———. 1989. "On the Cornford-fragment (28 B 8,38)." Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie no. 71:1-9.

    "In "A New Fragment of Parmenides" CR 49 (1935) 122—123, F. M. Cornford argued for the authenticity of the verse found at Theaetetus 180b1 and in Simplicius in Ph. 29.18, 143.10:

    οίον άκίνητον τελέθει τφ τταντι δνομ* είναι.

    Though editors from Diels onward have rejected the verse as a misquotation of Β 8.38, Cornford has persuaded some scholars to accept it as a genuine fragment. The cogency of some of these arguments will be challenged in this article. While the fragment does not stand or fall solely with Cornford's arguments, fresh doubts as to its authenticity will be raised incidentally." (p. 1, notes omitted)

    "Cornford's argument for the accuracy of Simplicius's quotation of the verse rests on the claims that he quotes the verse directly from his MS of Parmenides and that he does not explicitly mention the Theaetetus when he quotes it. Both claims are open to objection. Simplicius does not invariably quote Parmenides from his MS; in fact, he often quotes him from Plato. There is also good reason to believe that Simplieius has the Theaetetus in mind when he quotes the verse at in Phys. 143.10." (p. 5)

    "It is reasonable to conclude that Simplicius did quote the verse from Plato, and not from his MS of Parmenides." (p. 9)

  34. Perzanowski, Jerzy. 1996. "The Way of Truth." In Formal Ontology, edited by Poli, Roberto and Simons, Peter, 61-130. Dordrecht: Kluwer.

    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.

    "1.8 In what follows a very general theory of ontological connection is provided.

    In spite of its generality this theory enables us, as we shall see, to reconsider the classical ontological claims of Parmenides and to refute an anti-ontological claim that the notion of being is syncategorematic.

    Also certain ontological theorems will be proved, including: Being is and Nonbeing is (sic!). A being is, whereas a nonbeing is not. Also: Whatever is, is - which is shown to be equivalent to Whatever is not, is not.

    1.9 The paper is organized as follows: I start with general remarks concerning ontology and different approaches to the notion of being. Next, several classical questions of traditional ontology are discussed. After making our problems clear, I will introduce a formalism enabling us to study them in their full generality. Finally, the results of the paper are discussed in a manner introducing perpectives for a subsequent theory of qualities." (p. 63)

  35. Philip, J. A. 1958. "Parmenides' Theory of Knowledge." Phoenix.Journal of the Classical Association of Canada no. 12:63-66.

    "But Parmenides is only incidentally concerned with any theory of knowledge. He is telling the tale of his journey, in search of both knowledge and true opinion. It takes him away from the paths of men, beyond the gates of day and night, into the light. There the goddess reveals to him the secrets of true being which alone is the object of knowledge; but she also reveals true opinion concerning our physical world. In his poem Parmenides is passing on that revelation, but he nowhere suggests that that revelation is accessible to intellectual

    effort without revelation. For that reason it seems to me that no interpretation which makes Nous a product of physical constitution can be acceptable, and that in spite of its difficulties it is preferable to understand Nous as a harmony, in the Universe and in the mind of

    man." (pp. 65-66 a note omitted)

  36. Phillips, 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)

  37. 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.

    An improved and expanded version in: K. R. Popper, The World of Parmenides. Essays on the Presocratic Enlightenment, Essay 3, pp. 68-78.

    "Parmenides was an important philosopher of nature (in the sense of Newton's philosophia naturalis). A whole series of important astronomical discoveries is credited to him: that the morning star and the evening star are one and the same; that the earth has the shape of a sphere (rather than of a column, as Anaximander thought). About equally important is his discovery that the phases of the moon are due to the changing way in which the illuminated half-sphere of the moon is seen from the earth." (p. 14)

    "But a great discoverer is bound to try to generalize his discovery. Selene does not truly possess those movements that she exhibits to us. Perhaps we can generalize this?

    And then came the great intellectual illumination, the revelation: in one flash Parmenides saw not only that reality was a dark sphere of dense matter (like the moon), but that he could prove it! And that movement was, indeed, impossible.

    The proof was (more or less simplified):

    (1) Only Being is (Only what is, is).

    (2) The Nothing, the Non-Being, cannot be.

    (3) The Non-Being would be Absence of Being, or Void.

    (4) There can be no Void.

    (5) The World is Full: a Block.

    (6) Movement is impossible." (pp. 14-15)

  38. ———. 1998. The World of Parmenides. Essays on the Presocratic Enlightenment. New York: Routledge.

    Contents: Preface VIII; List of abbreviations X; Introduction: Aristotle's invention of induction and the eclipse of Presocratic cosmology 1; Essay 1. Back to the Presocratics 7; Addendum 1: A historical note on verisimilitude; Addendum 2: Some further hints on verisimilitude;

    Essay 2. The unknown Xenophanes: an attempt to establish his greatness 33; Essay 3. How the Moon might shed some of her light upon the Two Ways of Parmenides (I) 68; Essay 4. How the Moon might throw some of her light upon the Two Ways of Parmenides (1989) 79; Addendum with a note on a possible emendation affecting the relation between the two parts of Parmenides' poem; Essay 5. Can the Moon throw light on Parmenides' Ways? (1988); Essay 6. The world of Parmenides: notes on Parmenides' poem and its origin in early Greek cosmology 105; Essay 7. Beyond the search for invariants 146; Essay 8. Comments on the prehistoric discovery of the self and on the mind-body problem in ancient Greek philosophy 223; Essay 9. Plato and geometry 251; Essay 10. Concluding remarks on support and countersupport: how induction becomes counterinduction, and the epagoge returns to the elenchus 271; Appendix: Popper's late fragments on Greek philosophy 280; Index 307-328.

    "When as a 16-year-old student I first read Parmenides' wonderful poem.

    I learnt to look at Selene (the Moon) and Helios (the Sun) with new eyes - with eyes enlightened by his poetry, Parmenides opened my eyes to the poetic beauty of the Earth and the starry heavens, and he taught me to look at them with a new searching look: searching to determine, as does Selene herself, the position of Helios below the Earth's horizon, by following the direction of her 'eager look'. None of my friends whom I told about my rediscovery of Parmenides' discovery had looked for this before, and I hoped that some of them liked it as much as I did. It was, however, only some seventy years later that I realized the full significance of Parmenides' discovery, and this made me realize what it must have meant for him, the original discoverer. I have tried since to understand and explain the importance of this discovery for the world of Parmenides, for his Two Ways, and its great role in the history of science, and especially of epistemology and of theoretical physics." (Preface, VIII-IX)

  39. Prier, Raymond. 1976. Archaic Logic. Symbol and Structure in Heraclitus, Parmenides and Empedocles. The Hague: Mouton & Co.

    Contents: Preface VII; I The Archaic Configuration of Mind 1; II The Homeric Hymns and Hesiod 27; III Heraclitus 57; IV Parmenides 90; V Empedocles 120; VI Language, Time, and Form 149; Bibliography 154; Index of Ancient Passages 159-163.

    "The following study represents an attempt not only to explicate in some small way a mode of thought significantly different from much of our own, but also to suggest a new criterion of judgment for Classical Philology. These two purposes merge into one insofar as both come about from my own sharp disagreement with certain prevailing critical attitudes towards the so-called pre-Socratics. These essentially ungrounded attitudes are characterized, as I see them, by strong relativistic and materialistic premises which, although hidden for the most part, result in awkward misunderstandings of the pre-Platonic corpus in general and an uneven, if not castrating, criticism of specific authors in particular. These modern critical stances did not exist in the pre-Aristotelian Greek world in any predominant form, but Classical Philology in the later half of the twentieth century maintains otherwise and has, consequently, severely limited itself and very probably its future by adopting a narrow and unnecessarily rigid criterion of judgment that largely misrepresents the literary evidence at hand. Beyond the by no means unanimous acknowledgment that Aristotle revealed little of the real worth of the pre-Socratics, modern Classical Philology has not even suggested the need of a method — let alone the method itself - that might grasp the period between

    Homer and the Platonic revolution. I offer this study as an attempt to supply this critical tool." (Preface, VII)

    "Three men, Carl Jung, Claude Levi-Strauss, and Ernst Cassirer have contributed greatly to the elucidation of the mode of thought whose influences we shall trace in the ensuing pages. Each, working from a different professional point of view and actually for very different

    purposes, has opened the serious investigation of the archaic configuration of mind." (p. 2)

    "I substantially agree with the basic comparative approach of Reinhardt, Frankel, Mansfeld, and Mourelatos, although I should not place as much emphasis on the innovative quality of Parmenides' insight as does the last. My own particular method, however, is symbolic and structural, and in these respects little has been done with the text of Parmenides with the partial exception of the vocabulary and motif study of Mourelatos. Tarán, for instance, denies a recourse to symbolism in Parmenides.(32) Havelock points to definite symbols in the proem of the work but does not develop their meaning qua symbols.(33) It was left to Jung to detect the psychological and cultural symbolism inherent in the work of Parmenides. He indicated that the στεφάνη Cicero discusses in his De Natura Deorum is in fact an archetypal representation of the divine.(34) Cicero's "unbroken ring of glowing lights encircling the sky which he [Parmenides] entitles god" is surely the phenomenon described in fragment 12. Jung also connects it with the "circular motion of the mind which everywhere returns into itself' (5).(35) The symbolic nature of Parmenidian thought represents an observable phenomenon that in my opinion should be examined thoroughly. It is in the proem to his work that this nature is most easily detected." (p. 95)

    (32) Tarán, op. cit. [Parmenides (Princeton 1965)] p. 30.

    (33) E.A. Havelock, "Parmenides and Odysseus", HSCP [Harvard Studies in Classical Philology] 63 (1958), p. 133. Cf. fn. 49 of the present chapter.

    (34) C.G. Jung, Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious, p. 325-326.

    (35) Ibid. p. 325.

  40. Priou, Alex. 2018. "Parmenides on Reason and Revelation." Epoché no. 22:177-202.

    Abstract: "In this paper, the author argues that the revelatory form Parmenides gives his poem poses considerable problems for the account of being contained therein. The poem moves through a series of problems, each building on the last: the problem of particularity, the cause of human wandering that the goddess would have us ascend beyond (B1); the problem of speech, whose heterogeneity evinces its tie to experience’s particularity (B2–B7); the problem of justice, which motivates man’s ascent from his “insecure” place in being, only ultimately to undermine it (B8.1–49); and finally the question of the good, the necessary consequence of man’s place in being as being out of place in being (B8.50–B19). What emerges is a Socratic reading of Parmenides’s poem, a view that Plato appears to have shared by using Parmenides and his Eleatic stranger to frame the bulk of Socrates’s philosophic activity."

  41. Pulpito, Massimo. 2011. "Parmenides and the Forms." In Parmenides, 'Venerable and Awesome' (Plato, Theaetetus 183e), edited by Cordero, Néstor-Luis, 191-210. Las Vegas: Parmenides Publishing.

    Summary: "Historians of Greek thought have often described the Parmenidean doctrine as a sort of philosophical exception, hostile to the prevalent naturalist interests of earlier philosophers. The structure of the Parmenidean poem itself, juxtaposing a section on Truth, concerned with an entity displaying characteristics incompatible with those of Nature, to a section on Opinion, concerned with physical theories, seems to support that interpretation. A re-examination of the relationship between these two sections, however, and their authentic internal articulation, can help to understand the Parmenidean position on physics, thus restoring him to his historical-philosophical context. The alleged tension between the two sections is contained mainly in verse B8.53. The verse is traditionally

    understood as referring to the decision of mortals to name two forms (μορφάς) corresponding to Fire and Night. However, a more careful reading of the verse (as proposed by some scholars) leads us to the conclusion that the “two” are not the forms but the mortal points of view (γνώμας). So what are the forms then? A reading of verse B9.1 allows us to stipulate that, for Parmenides, the forms are all the visible things and thus the physical objects. If we identify these exterior forms with τὰ δοκοῦντα from verse B1.31 (translated as “the objects of opinion”) it becomes possible to recompose the poem’s structure. We can recognize three sections: the first, on Truth, dedicated to existence in oneness and homogeneity; the third, on physical forms, providing a description of the world from a morphological standpoint. Between these two lies the second section, dedicated to mortal Opinions which, like the cosmogonies, confuse the ontological status of Everything with the morphological and mereological status of particular objects. Nonetheless, in the section on correct physical theories (the third one) Parmenides attempts to recuperate the two principles recognized by mortals, accepting their δυνάμεις (most likely identified with Hot and Cold) as elements of which the cosmos consists. This reading allows us to place Parmenides inside the development of Pre-Socratic thought, connecting him to earlier thinkers and, more importantly, to the later ones. The idea that the physical world consists of forms both visible and mutable, as manifestations of a reality fundamentally invisible and immutable, perceivable only through reason, will become a cliché of natural philosophy after Parmenides; at least until Plato, who will go on to recognize in the invisible and immutable forms the paradigm of the world."

  42. Pulpito, Massimo, and Spangenberg, Pilar, eds. 2019. ὁδοὶ νοῆσαι. Ways to Think. Essays in Honour of Néstor-Luis Cordero. Bologna: Diogene Multimedia.

    Contents of the First Section "Parmenides":

    1. Enrique Hülsz – Bernardo Berruecos: Parménides B1.3: una nueva enmienda 31; 2. Serge Mouraviev: Ersatz de vérité et de réalité? ou Comment Parménide (B 1, 28-32) a sauvé les apparences (avec la collaboration épistolaire de Scott Austin †2014) 61; 3. José Solana Dueso: Mito y logos en Parménides 87; 4. Nicola Stefano Galgano: Parmenide B 2.3: dall’esperienza immediata del non essere alla doppia negazione 101; 5. Michel Fattal: Raison critique et crise chez Parménide d’Élée 113; 6. Alexander P. D. Mourelatos – Massimo Pulpito: Parmenides and the Principle of Sufficient Reason 121; 7. Livio Rossetti: Mondo vero e mondo falso in Parmenide 143; 8. Fernando Santoro: A Lua, Vênus e as Estrelas de Parmênides 155; 9. Chiara Robbiano: Just being: un-individualized. An interpretation of Parmenides DKB16 and a glance at empirical research 167; 10. Jaap Mansfeld: Parmenides on Sense Perception in Theophrastus and Elsewhere 177; 11. Lambros Couloubaritsis: Réinterprétation de l’eon de Parménide dans l’éclairage du Papyrus de Derveni 193; 12. Giovanni Cerri: Parmenide in Lucrezio (Parm. B 12, 3-6 - Lucr. 1, 19-21) 207; 13. Manfred Kraus: William of Moerbeke’s Translation of Simplicius’ On De Caelo and the Constitution of the Text of Parmenides 213-231.

  43. Quarantotto, Diana. 2016. "Aristotleʼs way away from Parmenidesʼ way. A case of scientific controversy and ancient humor." Elenchos no. 37:209-228.

    Abstract: "In Physics Α, Aristotle introduces his science of nature and devotes a substantial part of the investigation to refuting the Eleatics' theses, and to resolving their arguments, against plurality and change. In so doing, Aristotle also dusts off Parmenides' metaphor of the routes of inquiry and uses it as one of the main schemes of his book. Aristotle's goal, I argue, is to present his own physical investigation as the only correct route, and to show that Parmenides' “way of truth” is instead both wrong and a sidetrack. By revisiting Parmenides' metaphor of the route, Aristotle twists it against him, distorts it and uses this distortion as a source of fun and of some mockery of Parmenides himself. Thereby, Physics Α gives us a taste of Aristotle's biting humour and of his practice of the “virtue” of wit (eutrapelia)."