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Parmenides of Elea. Annotated Bibliography of the studies in English: Ste - Z


  1. Steele, Laura D. 2002. "Mesopotamian Elements in the Proem of Parmenides? Correspondences between the Sun-Gods Helios and Shamash." Classical Quarterly no. 52:583-588.

    "This paper will examine the striking similarities between the journey of Parmenides' narrator and that of the Babylonian sun-god Shamash (Sumerian UTU),(3) similarities that confirm previous scholarly attempts to discern attributes of Helios and/or Apollo in the proem.(4) While the metaphors of a horse-drawn chariot and 'daughters of the sun' are attested Greek associations with the sun-god Helios, three elements of Parmenides' proem are explained more readily with reference to Shamash: the downward passage(5) through gates that are described in great structural detail; the association between these gates and the figure of Justice; and the identification of Parmenides' narrator as Greek κούρος, a word that covers the semantic range of a common epithet of Shamash (and of his disciple Gilgamesh), Akkadian etlu.

    Whether or not Parmenides invoked Babylonian antecedents intentionally, his choice of images indicates a certain degree of Babylonian influence on Greek deities and literary culture more generally." (p. 584)

    (3) For general information, see 'Utu' in J. Black and A. Green, Gods, Demons, and Symbols of Ancient Mesopotamia (Austin, 1992), 182-4.

    (4) For arguments in favour of the solar trajectory of Parmenides' journey, see W Burkert, 'Das Proomium des Parmenides und die Katabasis des Pythagoras', Phronesis 14 (1969), 1-30, following W. Kranz, 'Uber Aufbau und Bedeutung des Parmenideischen Gedichtes', Sitzungberichte der Konig/ichen Preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften 47 (1916), 1158-76. For a semantic rebuttal of Kranz's hypothesis, see Tarán, Parmenides (Princeton, 1965), 23.

    (5) Or katabasis; see the thorough discussions in Burkert (n. 4) and in P. Kingsley, In the Dark Places of Wisdom (Shaftesbury, 1999), 58ff.

  2. Stein, Howard. 1969. "Comments on 'The thesis of Parmenides'." Review of Metaphysics no. 22:725-734.

    About the paper by Charles Kahn (1969).

    "I want to suggest that the conclusions of your beautiful paper on the Greek verb "to be," which you apply in what seems to me a very convincing way to the analysis of Parmenides, can be exploited further than you have done, with a gain of coherence for the doctrine. I offer my suggestions diffidently: they are rather speculative, and I have no scholarship in the language and little in the period.

    The principal question I want to raise is that of the interpretation of what you call Parmenides' "wildly paradoxical conclusions about the impossibility of plurality and change." An argument that leads to a truly paradoxical conclusion is always open (if it escapes conviction for fallacy) to construction as a reductio ad absurdum. And the (meager) biographical tradition represents Parmenides - quite unlike Heraclitus, Heraclitus, for instance - as a reasonable and even practically effective man, not at all a fanatic. It therefore seems natural to ask, if he maintained a paradoxical doctrine, whether it did not possess for him (and perhaps for his successors who took him seriously) an interpretation that made some sense. Further, setting aside this not very weighty prima facie argument, I think the search for plausible interpretations is worthwhile in any case: for (1) to make a rational assessment of the historical evidence one needs the widest possible survey of hypotheses to choose among; (2) since conclusions in such matters are always uncertain, a list of possibilities may retain a kind of permanent (not just heuristic) value, as the best we can do; and (3) readings which are even dismissed as unsound on adequate critical grounds may still be of interest, both for the understanding of historical influence - I have in mind in the present case especially Parmenides' influence on Plato-and for our own philosophical edification." (p. 725)

    These remarks are a revised version of comments made in correspondence concerning an earlier redaction of Kahn's paper. It has seemed, on the whole, least stilted to retain the informality of second person address. I wish to record my gratitude to Kahn for suggesting that these comments be published with his paper.

  3. Stekeler-Weithofer, Pirmin. 2001. "The Way of Truth. Parmenides' Seminal Reflections on Logic, Semantics and Methodology of Science." In Audiator vox sapientiae. A Festschrift for Arnim von Stechow, edited by Féry, Caroline and Sternefeld, Wolfgang, 450-472. Berlin: Akademie Verlag.

    "In the following, I try to present a new perspective on Parmenides, the father of Plato's logical semantics, or rather, on his famous and difficult poem. I do so without presenting sufficient philological arguments for the proposed reading. I just claim that the poem is a most influential text in the history of logic, semantics and methodology of science. Usually, some kind of metaphysical ontology stands in the focus of attention. I believe, instead, that later shifts of interest and understanding lost the original context and project out of sight.

    Parmenides asks what truth and reliable knowledge is. He seems to be the first philosopher who did not just tell allegedly true stories about the structure of the world as, for example, the Ionians did. Parmenides begins with a metalevel reflection on method, on the right road (hodos) to knowledge and truth. He presents an ideal explanation of what absolute truth and knowledge is. Only after this does he give a presentation of best possible knowledge. This main part of the poem is almost totally lost. It consisted of a collections of claims about the real causes of some phenomena. Therefore, the book had the title On Nature in antiquity." (p. 450)

  4. ———. 2003. "Plato and Parmenides on Ideal Truth, Invariant Meaning, and Participation." In Ideal and Culture of Knowledge in Plato. Akten der IV. Tagung der Karl-und-Gertrud-Abel-Stiftung vom 1-3 September 2000 in Frankfurt, edited by Wolfgang, Detel, Becker, Alexander and Scholz, Peter, 115-132. Stuttgart: F. Steiner.

    "For Parmenides, representation ‘by the mind’, by memory, or ‘to the mind’, by words, is the basic method of overcoming the cognitive limits of sheer presence.(3) Parmenides defends the peculiar role of presence and claims that it is conceptually the same to say that something is real and that it can be known: Existing (einai) and being the object of possible knowledge (noein) are the same. But he seems to work with a double meaning of “noiein”: The core meaning is to notice or to realise something in a present situation.

    Hence, there is an obvious need to ‘enlarge’ the concept of knowing from the narrow sense of immediate 'realisation' to general knowledge and, by the same token, of the parochial concept of actual being here to universal reality. By this move, the concept of immediate knowledge, i. e. perception, widens to possible knowledge. Truth and reality is what can be known. It is not defined by what actually is known or, even worse, what only seems to be known. But how do we conceptually proceed from what can be realised here and now to what can or could be known?" (p. 116)

    (3) It is not clear how Parmenides, fragment 4,1 must be translated, perhaps both readings are right.

  5. Stewart, Donald. 1980. "Contradiction and the Ways of Truth and Seeming." Apeiron.A Journal for Ancient Philosophy and Science no. 14:1-14.

    "The central problem concerning Parmenides' poem is to provide the rationale for the relationship between the two major parts of the poem, The Way of Truth and The Way of Seeming." (p. 1)

    "Very briefly my argument is this; though the Greeks individuated objects on the basis of sensation just as we do, they had, at the time of Heraclitus, no satisfactory way of grounding this sensory individuation in ontology.


    This, in turn, led Heraclitus to a belief in, if not a formulation of, what we may call the principle of contradiction, for it was evident that all things were One and yet still different things at the same time, and thus that paradox was the only true method of thought.

    Parmenides, in a reference seemingly clearly to Heraclitus,(4) formulates this principle for the first time when he refers to those by whom "To be and Not To be are regarded as the same and not the same, and (for whom) in everything there is a way of opposing stress." (fr.6) It is this principle which is the key, I believe, to the relation of the Way of Seeming to the Way of Truth. If we take "To be" as a description of the One and "Not to be" as its negation then it is relatively easy to discern the relation between the two Ways. The Way of Truth gives us a description of the One from the point of view of the One while allowing, at the same time, for a description of the many, but only from the point of view of the many. Each is totally different from the other, and yet if we take Heraclitus seriously, as I think Parmenides did, they are the same as well as not the same. It is this sameness of the two opposites, the One and all the things that are the One, which provides the link between the two Ways. The Way of Seeming, though it is the Way of Truth, is that Way only from the point of view of Seeming. Similarly, the Way of Truth, though it is the Way of Seeming, is so only from the point of view of the truth, the One." (p. 2)

    (4) Stokes disagrees and claims that there is no compelling reason to believe that Parmenides was aware of Heraclitus' writings at all.

  6. Stokes, Michael C. 1960. "Parmenides Fr. 6." Classical Review no. 10:193-194.

    I give the text and punctuation of Diels-Kranz for lines 3 ff.:

    Πρώτης γάρ σ' ἀφ' ὁδοῦ ταύτης διζήσιος <εἴργω>,

    αὐτὰρ ἔπειτ' ἀπὸ τῆς, ἣν δὴ βροτοὶ εἰδότες οὐδὲν

    πλάττονται, δίκρανοι· ἀμηχανίη γὰρ ἐν αὐτῶν

    στήθεσιν ἰθύνει πλακτὸν νόον· οἱ δὲ φοροῦνται

    κωφοὶ ὁμῶς τυφλοί τε, τεθηπότες, ἄκριτα φῦλα,

    οἷς τὸ πέλειν τε καὶ οὐκ εἶναι ταὐτὸν νενόμισται

    κοὐ ταὐτόν, πάντων δὲ παλίντροπός ἐστι κέλευθος.

    "There has been much controversy over the question whether or not this fragment refers to the philosophy or Heraclitus; much less discussion of the construction and meaning or these singularly difficult lines. The crucial point concerns the gender of πάντων in I. 9. Kirk-Raven, p. 271, translate as if it were neuter, while admitting, p. 272 n. 1, that it is possible that it is masculine. This is fair enough; but the word 'possible' is perhaps an understatement." (p. 193)

    "I suggest that the most satisfactory way out of the problem is to punctuate with a colon after κοὐ ταὐτόν, taking πάντων δὲ... as syntactically parallel to οἱ δὲ... in I. 6 of this fragmcnL The last clause of the fragment would then be a separate sta1atement of the goddess, introduced by an explanatory δὲ.(1) It would follow. of course, that πάντων should be taken as masculine, since the goddess could hardly say that the way of all things was backward-turning. The conclusion is that in all probability the phrase πάντων ... κέλευθος and the path of all (mortals) is backward-tuming'. The abruptness resulting from this punctuation need arouse no suspicion; for abruptness is not uncharacteristic of Parmenides." (p. 194)

    (1) See Denniston, Greek Particles [second edition, Oxford: Clarendon Press 1954], p. 169.

  7. ———. 1971. One and Many in Presocratic Philosophy. Washington: Center for Hellenic Studies.

    Reprint: Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 1986.

    Preface V-VI; Contents: I. Aristotle and the Analysis of Unity and Plurality 1; II. The Milesians 24; III. Xenophanes 66; IV. Heraclitus 86; V. Parmenides and Melissus 109; VI. Empedocles 153; VII: Zeno of Elea 175; VIII. One-Many Problem in Atomism 218; IX. Miscellaneous Presocratic Contexts 237; X. Conclusion 249; Appendix: Parmenides B8.7-12 253; Abbreviations 258; Bibliography 259; Notes 267; Index of Passages 341; General Index 347-355.

    "Having decided to treat of Parmenides separately from Heraclitus, we must turn to consider the role of unity, and of the one-many antithesis, in Parmenides' thought, and the kind(s) of unity and plurality that he had in mind. We must also consider whether a question of "what is one" being or becoming many arises in Parmenides' argument. It seems clear that the function of the one-many antithesis in this, the first extant European piece of consecutive metaphysical reasoning, has been greatly exaggerated in some quarters; though the exaggeration has been somewhat diminished in successive works of recent years,(65) it still remains an obstacle to the understanding and appreciation of a great philosopher and needs therefore still to be pointed out and criticized.

    If any single antithesis occupied a high place in Parmenides' thought, it was that between Being and not-Being. The word "one" appears in only two extant places in Parmenides' poem, and the phrase "the one" appears in Melissus apparently for the first time, in conscious reference back to that Being which has been proved to be one; the phrase "the One Being," beloved alike of Cornford and of the Neoplatonist Simplicius, is not to be found in the extant remains of Presocratic Eleaticism. Once more the questions at issue can be decided only on the basis of close textual analysis; and again we have to deal with a thinker recognized even by the ancients as obscure. (66)" (p. 127)

    (65) Untersteiner's thesis (Parmenide, [Firenze, La Nuova Italia, 1958] passim) eliminating the One altogether from Parmenides is adequately dealt with by Schwabl, Anzeiger fur Altertumswissenschaft 9 (1956) 150f. F. Solmsen's important analysis, reducing the significance of unity in Eleatic thought perhaps too drastically, came into my hands as this book was going to press, too late for detailed criticism: see "The 'Eleatic One' in Melissus," Mededelingen der koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen, Afd. Letterkunde, Nieuwe Reeks, Deel 32, No. 8 (1969) 221-233.

    (66) See Proclus in Tim. 1.345.12f (Diehl) and Simpl. in Phys., e.g., 7.1ff, 21.16ff.

  8. Stough, Charlotte. 1968. "Parmenides' "Way of Truth", B 8. 12-13." Phronesis.A Journal for Ancient Philosophy no. 13:91-107.

    "The consistency with which fragment 8 of the Way of Truth has occupied the attention of commentators is evidence of its importance for an understanding of Parmenides' thought. Yet the many efforts to elucidate this passage have issued in diverse and mutually incompatible conclusions, with the result that the meaning of significant portions of the text remains in doubt. Lines 12-13, in particular, have been the subject of protracted but inconclusive debate and are still interpreted variously in the context of the fragment.(2)

    οὐδὲ ποτ' ἐκ μὴ ἐόντος (3) ἐφήσει πίστιος ἰσχύς

    γίγνεσθαί τι παρ' αὐτό.

    The chief difficulty in interpreting these lines, and the source of the divergency of opinion as to their meaning, concerns the reference of αὐτό in line 13. The pronoun seems to point most naturally to μὴ ἐόντος in the preceding line as its grammatical antecedent. If the Greek is construed in this way, the lines can be rendered, "Nor will the force of conviction allow anything to arise out of what is not besides itself" (viz., what is not). Reading the passage accordingly, a number of scholars have translated it in some such fashion as the above.(4)" (p. 91)

    "The main concern of this paper is to defend the meaningfulness of lines 12-13 as translated above and to clarify the function of that assertion in the context of Parmenides' argument. The first section deals with the claim that the lines so rendered are meaningless or

    inappropriate in their content; the second section concerns the structure of the argument in which the statement occurs; and the third section discusses very briefly variant interpretations of the text." (p. 92)

    (2) For three different interpretations in the recent literature see Kirk and Raven, The Presocratic Philosophers (1963), pp. 273-275; W. K. C. Guthrie, A History of Greek Philosophy, Vol. II (1965), pp. 27-29; L. Tarán, Parmenides (1965), pp. 85, 95ff.

    (3) Reading along with Diels and others ἐόντος for όντως in the MSS of Simplicius.

    (49 Among them Diels (Parmenides Lehrgedicht, p. 37), Burnet (Early Greek Philosophy, p. 175), and most recently Guthrie (op. cit., p. 26).

  9. Swindler, James Kenneth. 1980. "Parmenides' Paradox. Negative Reference and Negative Existentials." Review of Metaphysics no. 33:727-744.

    "In the beginning Parmenides sought to deny the void. But he found himself trapped by his language and his thought into admitting what he sought to deny. Wisely, he counseled others to avoid the whole region in which the problem arises, lest they too be unwarily ensnared. Plato, being less easily intimidated and grasping for the first time the urgency of the paradox, unearthed each snare in turn until he felt he had found a safe path through the forbidden terrain in a new conception of being and the derivation of its linguistic consequences in the Sophist. Aristotle evidently took Parmenides' advice; and save for a few groping scholastics, perhaps Leibniz, Brentano, and Meinong, and Frege only in passing, no one else attempted the crossing before Russell made his spectacular dash through the posted ground from the completely new direction of linguistic reference. Again the problem lay dormant for half a century until Strawson constructed a new low road through ordinary language and Quine improved Russell's high algebraic pass. Refinements of these routes have been forthcoming, especially from Searle and Kripke, until today it might appear that there are two super highways through Parmenides' forbidden country of nonbeing. In this essay I will first argue that these new linguistic highways are no more than flimsy camouflage hiding but not resolving the old paradoxes. I will then show how Plato's ontological way out, though more difficult, is the straight and narrow path." (p. 727)

  10. Tallis, Raymond. 2007. The Enduring Significance of Parmenides. Unthinkable Thought. New York: Continuum.

    Contents: Autobiographical Prelude IX; Preface: The once and future philosopher XII-XVI; Chapter 1. The strange dawn of Western thought 1; Chapter 2. The existence of What-Is-Not 27; Chapter 3. Propositional awareness encounters itself 50; Chapter 4. Why Parmenides happened 88; Chapter 5. Parmenides' footnotes: Plato and Aristotle 130; Chapter 6. Parmenides today 158; Works cited 189; Notes 195; Index 230-240.

    "In Chapter 2, I shall examine Parmenides' central claim - that what-is-not is not - and discuss how what-is-not comes to have such a pervasive presence in the human world. The key to this, I shall argue, is possibility - which may or may not be actualized, as a result of which what-is exists explicitly and corresponds to `truth', and what-is-not can be individuated and be an explicit falsehood. Chapter 3 looks further into the origin of negation and possibility, finding it in the Propositional Awareness (knowledge, thought and discourse) that characterizes distinctively human consciousness. Parmenides' poem, I shall argue, is the first fully fledged encounter of Propositional Awareness with itself. Chapter 4 examines in what sense Parmenides was unique among the Presocratic thinkers and then why he and, indeed, Presocratic thought arose when they did. It is obvious that philosophy must have had non-philosophical origins. I try to dig deeper than the usual explanations and in doing so examine many factors - politics, trade, exile, the alphabet, different linguistic codes - that made seventh-century Greeks conscious of their consciousness in a way that had no precedent in the hundreds of thousands of years of human consciousness prior to this. Parmenides may be seen as the resultant of the factors that led to Presocratic thought plus his reaction to his predecessors. Chapter 5 examines the most important response to Parmenides - Plato's Parmenides - which did more than any other post-Parmenidean event to amplify Parmenides' influence kind, at the same time, to conceal him behind the Platonic ideas he is supposed to have provoked. I examine not only Plato's response to Parmenides but also Aristotle's response to Plato.

    In the final chapter, I look at the possible meaning that Parmenides might have today. His present relevance resides in the fact that we may have reached the end of the cognitive road upon which he, pre-eminent amongst the early Greek philosophers, set mankind. Parmenides dismissed ordinary wakefulness as if it were a kind of sleep, in the hope of goading us to another kind of wakefulness. While the present book cannot match that ambition, I would very much hope that, by returning to the philosophical and historical hinterland of Parmenides' cataclysmic idea, I might start the process by which we return to the place from which Parmenides set out and journey in another direction in a world unimaginably different from his." (pp. 25-26)

  11. Tarán, Leonardo. 1967. "Proclus In Parm. 1152.33 (Cousin) and Parmenides 28 B 3 (Diels-Kranz)." Classical Philology no. 62:194-195.

    Reprinted in L. Tarán, Collected Papers (1962-1999), Leiden: Brill, 2001, pp. 623-624.

    In a recent study on Parmenides, Dr. Mansfeld takes Proclus in Parm. 1152. 33, ταύτόν δ έστίν εκεί νοέειν τε καί είναι to be a quotation of Parmenides 28 B 3; and he maintains that, however imperfect that quotation may be, there is no justification for the failure on the part of Diels and Kranz to mention that this fragment was known to Proclus.(1)" (p. 623)

    "In short, although absolute certainty is impossible, Proclus in Parm. 1152. 33 is more likely to be a paraphrase of 28 B 8.34 than of 28 B 3 and, whether this was the reason that decided Diels and Kranz to exclude Proclus as a source of 28 B 3 or not, Dr. Mansfeld should have considered this possibility before blaming Diels and Kranz for what he takes to be their failure to mention an important source." (p. 624)

    (1) J. Mansfeld, Die Offenbarung des Parmenides und die menschliche Welt (Assen 1964), pp. 69, 73, and esp. 79 f.

  12. ———. 1979. "Perpetual Duration and Atemporal Eternity in Parmenides and Plato." The Monist no. 62:43-53.

    Reprinted in L. Tarán, Collected Papers (1962-1999), Leiden: Brill, 2001, pp. 204-217.

    "The purpose of this paper is less ambitious than its title might suggest, since it does not deal with everything that Plato has said on time and on eternity. Rather, it attempts to clarify some issues which have arisen in the controversy as to whether Parmenides or Plato was the first Western philosopher to grasp the notion of atemporal eternity. It is particularly concerned with some publications on the subject that have appeared within the last twelve years or so. G.E.L. Owen, in a paper published in this journal, has defended his earlier interpretation that Parmenides discovered the notion of atemporal eternity. (1) J. Whittaker for his part has contended that both Parmenides and Plato failed to grasp it, and would ascribe its discovery to some later thinker. (2) Yet another scholar, G. Reale, (3) believes that there is no essential difference between the position of Parmenides as reconstructed by Owen and others and that of Melissus. For Reale maintains that Melissus' formula "it is and always was and always will be" does not exclude atemporality, that it means the same thing as the alleged tenseless "is" predicated of Parmenicles' Being.

    Most scholars, however, do agree -- and rightly so, I believe -- that in the Timaeus Plato has clearly grasped the notion of atemporal eternity. It is therefore best to begin the discussion with him, since it will then become apparent what an ancient philosopher meant by atemporal eternity and by the tenseless "is" that expresses it." (pp. 43-44)

    (1) "Plato and Parmenides on the Timeless Present," The Monist 50 (1966), pp. 317-40. For references to earlier scholars who have defended this interpretation cf. my Parmenides (Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1965), p. 175, n. 1.

    (2) "The 'Eternity' of the Platonic Forms," Phronesis 13, (1968), 131-44 and God Time Being (Oslo 1970, Symbolae Osloenses. Fasc. Supplet. 23).

    (3) Melisso, Testimonianze e frammenti (Firenze: La Nuova Italia Editrice, 1970), PP. 45-59, esp. 56-57 and 58-59.

    (4) Cf. Melissus 30 B 2. The fragments of the presocratics are cited from H. Diels-W. Kranz, Die Fragmente der Vorsokratiker (Berlin: Weidmannsche Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1951-52).

  13. Tarrant, Harold. 1976. "Parmenides B1.3: Text, Context and Interpretation." Antichthon no. 10:1-7.

    Abstract: "It is an almost universal principle that texts should not receive emendation until the reading of the MSS. has received careful consideration. An initial awkwardness may, after reflection, prove to be a poet's sacrifice of style to achieve some higher end – an allusion to traditional literature, a word-order reflecting the structure of his ideas, or the accurate expression of ideas which are not easily put into verse. The last reason is usually held responsible for the short-comings of Parmenides' poetry, while in his prologue, with which I am here concerned, sacrifices of the first kind may also be expected, as literary allusions have been proved plentiful and significant. In a previous publication I have also argued for a carefully contrived word-order at B8.53, hinting that this may also be the case at B1.3. If my hunch were correct, then it would involve restoring the manuscript reading in that line."

  14. ———. 1983. "The Conclusion of Parmenides' Poem." Apeiron.A Journal for Ancient Philosophy and Science no. 17:73-84.

    "In Apeiron 13 (1979) p. 115 P. J. Bicknell assigns Parmenides B4 to the closing lines of the work, following the illusory account of the physical world; he relates its references to processes of separation and combination (lines 3-4) to some kind of 'cosmic cycle' which allegedly featured in the Doxa. Since I have long supposed that the Doxa did make use of opposite, if not cyclical, cosmic processes,(1) I am attracted by Bicknell's attempt to relocate this fragment." (p. 73)

    "But placing B4 at the conclusion of the poem must be dependent upon one's overall view of the conclusion. If one regards B19 as the conclusion (and Simplicius' words make it quite clear that B19 closed the account of the physical world) (9) then B4 must be squeezed into the Way of Truth in spite the difficulty in finding a context for it and in spite of the fact that it refers to a cosmos (B4.3). To me it seems fairly clear that B19 did not conclude the poem, and that there was a short final section which commented further on the relation of Being to the world of phenomena. The considerations which bring me to this conclusion are independent of the attempt to place B4 there." (p. 74)

    (1) See my "Parmenides and the Narrative of Not-Being", Proceedings and Papers of AULLA XVI (Adelaide, 1974) 90-109, particularly p. 103.

  15. Tegtmeier, Erwin. 1999. "Parmenides' Problem of Becoming and Its Solution." Logical Analysis and History of Philosophy no. 2:51-65.

    Abstract: "Parmenides advances four arguments against becoming. Two of these are sound. Plato's and Aristotle's attempt to refute them fail. They react to Parmenides' challenge by differentiating and grading being and existence. Thus they deviate from Parmenides' strict concept of existence which is the only reasonable one. What's wrong with Parmenides' train of thought is a decisive premise: that becoming is a transition from non-existence to existence. The reality of becoming can be maintained if (and only if) this premise is given up. One has to see that becoming is a purely temporal affair not involving existence and that existence is timeless. Time and existence are independent of each other."

  16. Tejera, Victorino. 1997. Rewriting the History of Ancient Greek Philosophy. Westport: Greenwood Press.

    Contents: Preface VII; 1. Aristotle versus the Peripatos: Consequences of the Conditions under Which the Aristotelian Corpus Came into Being1; 2. A New Look at the Sources19; 3. Parmenides 37; 4. The Poetic Presocratics: From Solon to the Dialogue Form 63; 5. The Academy Pythagorized: What We Can Know about the Intellectual Activities of the Pythagoreans 83; 6. What We Don't Know about Plato and Socrates 105; Selected Bibliography 121; Index 139-145.

    "The interpretations of Parmenides' "Being" which have perpetuated the distinction between the objects of reason and the objects of sense as an epistemological one are just those that keep "Being" from being the appropriate subject of the cluster of predications that the Goddess makes about it in the poem. These interpretations turn the reader's problem into one of reconciling his own (or his times') notions about Being with the attributes Parmenides assigned to it. But the real problem is to find a subject to which the attributes can all be seen to attach without difficulty. The project, then, is to make coherent sense out of Parmenides' text in accordance with the kinds of sense it would have made to Parmenides' time and peers. The solution which we will come to here will also make literary sense out of the relationship between the different parts of the poem." (p. 37)

    "One paradox about Parmenides' insight is that, while it is implied that discourse about "Being" must be strictly consistent when understood to be making truth-claims, the language in which he has enacted this lesson is not itself assertive or propositional, but exhibitive or poetic. But the logically two-valued strict discourse that the Goddess recommends is compelling, because it is the only guide we have to rightly conceptualizing the "All." Whether the characterization of Being that she has offered is itself strictly consistent is another matter. Is the "All," for instance, in fact one, or only because, to be spoken of at all, it must have the unity of a grammatical subject? The "All," we can agree, is certainly distributively exhaustive and innummerable. But we may ask, with Buchler, is it a unity in the sense of having a collective existential integrity? There certainly cannot be two Alls; but, in the Goddess's own terms, it could not be completely observed even if it did have such a unity. Conceptually, the "All" can be all there is, was, and will be without having any other than a nominal or grammatical unity; like Buchler's "the world," it has no collective integrity. And this is why nature philosophy must ever be an incomplete (endeês) and merely probable (hôs eikós) account, as Plato's Timaios will be willing to admit when he rehearses for Socrates his eikóta mûthon in the Timaeus. This, in turn, reassures us that Plato -- unlike the neoplatonist forgers of the Lokrian Timaios -- has quite understood and taken to heart Parmenides' admonitions about nature-inquiry." (pp. 59-60)

  17. Teloh, Henry. 1976. "Parmenides and Plato's Parmenides 131a-132c." Journal of the History of Philosophy no. 14:125-130.

  18. Thanassas, Panagiotis. 2006. "How Many Doxai Are There in Parmenides?" Rhizai.A Journal for Ancient Philosophy and Science no. 3:199-218.

    "The paucity of surviving fragments of the Doxa section certainly reinforces the tendency to overlook its importance. But how did it happen that, at least according to Diels (1897 [Parmenides, Lehrgedicht, Reimer, Berlin (2nd ed.: Academia Verlag, Sankt Augustin 2003)], 25-26), about 9/10ths of the material on Aletheia has survived, but only about 1/10th of the material on Doxa? I would recommend viewing the scant attention paid to Doxa as a case of helplessness without any parallel in the history of philosophy. From Plato to Heidegger (or if one prefers, to Guthrie), the history of philosophy has consistently been confronted with the above-mentioned duality of Doxa and has not known how to deal with it. The loss of so much material on Doxa has less to do with its lack of philosophical content than with the tradition’s intuitive strategy of resolving the aporia by eliminating that duality. After the detailed passages of Parmenides’ cosmogony and cosmology had been lost, Doxa could be restricted to a region of 'lies and deception' (5) and then completely dismissed as philosophically uninteresting." (p. 200)

    "We are not in a position to revoke retroactively the traditional oversight and to remedy the substantial loss of essential passages from Parmenides’ cosmogony and cosmology. But we can and must set the record straight: the fact, the factum brutum that there really were such passages, should not remain ignored. A 'correction' of this oversight does not take its bearings by the criterion of historical fidelity; we do not 'correct' the oversight because it discredits just a part of Parmenides’ philosophy, but because it distorts what is the heart of that philosophy: Parmenidean Aletheia." (p. 201)

    (5) ‘Lug und Trug’: Reinhardt (1916) [Parmenides und die Geschichte der griechischen Philosophie, Klostermann, Frankfurt (5th ed.1985)], 6.

  19. ———. 2008. Parmenides, Cosmos, and Being. A Philosophical Interpretation. Milwaukee: Marquette University Press.

    Contents: Acknowledgments 6; 1. The Poem and its legacy 9; 2. The Heart of Truth 23; 3. Esti, Being and Thinking 31; 4. The signs of Being 43; 5. Doxa: mixture vs. partition 61; 6. Aletheia and Doxa: the human and the divine 77; Appendix: translation of the Fragments 89; Selected bibliography 99: Index of names 107; Index of topics 109.

    "Indeed, given the plurality of themes and intentions effective in the second part of the poem, the simple, unqualified use of the Doxa seems altogether misleading. In view of this, the presentation undertaken above discerned four distinctive perspectives on Doxa:

    (1) Understanding the deceptive human conjectures and demonstrating their error (8.53-9).

    (2) Presenting an appropriate positive Doxa that rests on a mixture of both forms instead of their separation, thus counteracting the deception (8.60 ff.).

    (3) Portraying the genesis of the deceptive opinions, the divergences of which are traced back to differences in the perceptual apparatus (16).

    (4) Giving (in the Aletheia) an ontological evaluation and rejecting the deceptive opinions by demonstrating their path to be the “third (non-) way” (6, 7). (pp.79-80)

  20. ———. 2011. "Parmenidean Dualisms." In Parmenides, 'Venerable and Awesome' (Plato, Theaetetus 183e), edited by Cordero, Néstor-Luis, 289-308. Las Vegas: Parmenides Publishing.

    Summary: "The poem of Parmenides is systematically composed of dual structures. The part of Aletheia establishes an opposition between Being and Non-Being, but also an “identity” between Being and Thinking; the part of Doxa attempts to give an account of the relation between the two forms of Light and Night; finally, it is the duality of the two parts of the poem themselves that poses the question of their own relation. I attempt to explore the character and role of these dualisms, and especially their impact on the traditional perception of Parmenides as a rigorous “monist.” "

  21. Thom, Paul. 1986. "A Lesniewskian Reading of Ancient Ontology: Parmenides to Democritus." History and Philosophy of Logic no. 7:155-166.

    Abstract: "Parmenides formulated a formal ontology, to which various additions and alternatives were proposed by Melissus, Gorgias, Leucippus and Democritus. These systems are here interpreted as modifications of a minimal Lesniewskian Ontology."

    "There is a tradition of ontological theorising which commences with Parmenides and whose central arguments can can be given a purely formal interpretation. This, of course, is not their only possible interpretation. It is, nonetheless, worthy of consideration, as a means of articulating the continuities and discontinuities within that tradition, and of investigating the prehistory of logic.

    The main thesis of this paper is that such a purely formal interpretation of Parmenides, his followers and critics, is best expressed in the language (or, if you wish, in some of the languages) of Leśniewski's Ontology." (p. 155)

  22. ———. 1999. "The Principle of Non-Contradiction in Early Greek Philosophy." Apeiron.A Journal for Ancient Philosophy and Science no. 32:153-170.

    Abstract: "The principle of non-contradiction received ontological formulations (in terms of 'being' and 'non-being') as well as logical formulations (in terms of affirmation and denial) in early Greek philosophy. The history of these formulations is traced in the writings of Parmenides, Gorgias, Plato and Aristotle. Gorgias noticed that the principle — in Parmenides' formulation NC: 'Not (what-is-not is)' — is inconsistent with the thesis G that what-is-not is what-is-not, given a principle P whereby we can infer from 'a is b' to 'a is'. Parmenides, Gorgias, Plato and Aristotle all address the inconsistent triad {NC, G, P} in different ways."

  23. ———. 2002. "On the Pervasiveness of Being." In Presocratic Philosophy. Essays in Honour of Alexander Mourelatos, edited by Caston, Victor and Graham, Daniel W., 293-301. Aldershot: Ashgate.

    Abstract: "The pervasiveness of Being is the doctrine that everything is. This doctrine would be false if something was not. That being is pervasive is not a trivial claim. An ontology might be motivated by the desire to quantify over non-beings in such a way that we can say that something is a flying man without implying that some being is a flying man. If such a distinction is allowed, then it might be thought that something is not, even though no being is not. Pervasiveness then would be true for beings but not for ‘something's.'

    This chapter explores the different positions that philosophers from Parmenides to Aristotle take on the question of the pervasiveness of Being, and traces some of the relations linking those positions to one another."

    "Note the thesis’s modal import. Parmenides is asserting that everything is, not just as a matter of fact, but necessarily. And this is fitting, given that the premiss of his reasoning is the modal claim that ‘a is not' cannot be said.

    Is Parmenides' position internally consistent? It depends. If we suppose that his philosophy is intended as a description of language in general, then it will appear to be self-refuting. He tells us that various things can not be spoken, or thought, or singled out, or consummated, at the same time forbidding us to make negative statements. Consistency can, however, be rescued by distinguishing an object-language about which Parmenides is speaking, and a meta-language in which he is speaking. We can then represent him as saying, in the meta-language, that there are no negative statements in the object-language. In this case, Parmenides' project will be a prescriptive one - to delineate the conditions that govern a certain ‘higher' language that is not subject to the contradictions inherent in the language of mortals.

    This is a noble conception, but not one that will be universally shared. Faced with these Parmenidean prescriptions, there will always be anarchic spirits who will dare to speak of what is alleged to be unspeakable." (p. 294)

  24. Tor, Shaul. 2015. "Parmenides’ Epistemology and the Two Parts of His Poem." Phronesis no. 60:3-39.

    Abstract: "This paper pursues a new approach to the problem of the relation between Aletheia and Doxa. It investigates as interrelated matters Parmenides’ impetus for developing and including Doxa, his conception of the mortal epistemic agent in relation both to Doxa’s

    investigations and to those in Aletheia, and the relation between mortal and divine in his poem. Parmenides, it is argued, maintained that Doxastic cognition is an ineluctable and even appropriate aspect of mortal life. The mortal agent, however, is nonetheless capable of sustaining the cognition of Alëtheia by momentarily coming to think with — or as — his divine (fiery, aethereal) soul."

  25. ———. 2017. Mortal and Divine in Early Greek Epistemology. A Study of Hesiod, Xenophanes and Parmenides. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Contents: Preface and Acknowledgements page IX; List of Abbreviations XII; Introduction 1; 1 Rationality and Irrationality, Philosophy and Religion 10; 2 Hesiodic Epistemology 61; 3 Xenophanes on Divine Disclosure and Mortal Inquiry 104; Introduction to the Chapters on Parmenides 155; 4 Why Did Parmenides Write Doxa? 163; 5 How Could Parmenides Have Written Alêtheia? 222; 6 Retrospect and Prospect 309; Appendix 347; Bibliography 360; Index Locorum 387; General Index 399-406.

    "On the assumption, which I share, that the goddess represents Doxa as the best possible account of Doxastic things, she indeed implies that even the best cosmology could never constitute an account of the unshaken heart of ultimate reality. Nonetheless, the scope and nature of Parmenides’ cosmological investigations undermine these dialectical responses to the aetiological question.

    The goddess had concluded in Alêtheia her critical demonstrations that processes like coming-to-be and change do not typify what-is. Both direct and indirect evidence indicates that what followed in Doxa was an extended and detailed exposition, thoroughly positive in tone, of diverse scientific theories, spanning, among other things, universal cosmology (DK28 B9, B12; A37), cosmogony (B10–11), astronomy (B10–11; B14–15; A40a), geography (A44a; B15a), theogony (B13), anthropogony (Diogenes Laertius, 9.22, A53), embryology (B18; A53–4) and human physiology and cognition (A46 = B16, A46a-b, A52)." (pp. 163-164)

  26. Torgerson, Tobias Peter. 2006. "The εἰδως φώς and the traditional dichotomy of divine and mortal epistemology." Revue de Philosophie Ancienne no. 24:25-43.

    Abstract: "That Parmenides drew upon previous poets' dichotomy between divine knowledge and mortals' opinions is obvious. In his poem, the word βροτός, "mortal," always carries a connotation of ignorance or opinion. Nevertheless, Parmenides credits one type of human being - the εἰδότα φῶτα of line 1.3 - with true knowledge. This man receives a divine revelation of the truth about being, yet it seems that he possesses some knowledge even before the goddess' revelation. What sets him apart from other mortals and grants him access to divine knowledge? Homer, Hesiod, and other poets had previously spoken of the false notions of mortals, the inscrutable truth accessible only to the gods, and the conditions of revelation. By comparing and contrasting Parmenides with his predecessors, we can perceive an original element in his adaptation of the dichotomy of mortal and divine epistemology: there is a type of human being, the είδως φως whose mental perception νοός not only liberates him from the deceptive opinions of mortals but also renders him able to verify the words of the gods themselves."

  27. Trindade Santos, José. 2013. "For a Non-Predicative Reading of esti in Parmenides, the Sophists and Plato." Méthexis no. 26:39-50.

    Abstract: "he absence of grammatical subject and object in Parmenides' "it is/it is not" allows the reading of the verbal forms not as copulas but as names, with no implicit subject nor elided predicate. Once there are two only alternatives, contrary and excluding each other, sustaining that a 'no-name' does not grant knowledge implies identifying its opposite – "it is" – as the only name conducive to knowledge in itself, denouncing the 'inconceivability of a knowledge that does not know. If "it is" is the only [name] "which can be thought/known", and "what is" is the way in which 'thought/knowledge' can be accomplished, there is no need to postulate the existence of 'anything' that is, nor of anything that can be said of "what is". Being the only name which "can be thought of/known", the unifying synthesis of "knowledge, knowing and known" in one infallible cognitive state, it is unthinkable that "what is" does not exist."

  28. Tugwell, Simon. 1964. "The Way of Truth." Classical Quarterly no. 14:36-41.

    "Professor G.E.L. Owen has demonstrated (C. Q. [Classical Quarterly]. N.s. X (1960), 84 ff.) that Parmenides' Way ef Truth is to be taken as a self-contained logical argument.

    The basis for this argument is a proof that whatever we may choose to think about εον. The first stage of this proof is contained in B 2.

    According to Owen's reconstruction of the argument, Parmenides' method is to take the three possible answers to the question εστιν η ουκ εστιν; (i.e. an unqualified yes; an unqualified no; and a noncommittal answer that sometimes we must say yes, sometimes no) and rule out two of them. This view involves giving equal status to each of the two wrong answers; but Parmenides appears not to do this." (p. 36)

  29. Verdenius, Willem Jacob. 1942. Parmenides. Some Comments on his Poem. Groningen: J. B. Wolters.

    Reprinted with a new Preface: Amsterdam: A. M. Hakkert, 1964.

    Contents: Preface (to the reprint) III-IV; Introduction 1; Chapter I. The doctrine of knowing 5; Chapter II. The doctrine of being 31; Chapter I. The doctrine of opinion 45; Appendices 64; Bibliography 79; English index 81; Greek index 82; Index of quotations 83-88.

    "The present study was submitted as a doctoral dissertation to the Faculty of Arts of Utrecht University in 1942. Since its publication, so many books and articles have been written on the same problems that it might seem presumptuous to reprint a comparatively old work. I do not want to suggest that everything published after my thesis has little or no value. On the other hand, a critical evaluation of these works would not affect the substance of my original comments. As the book continued to be in demand and I could not find time to carry out my intention of writing a full commentary, an unrevised reprint seemed to be the only solution.

    There are three points on which I have altered my opinion. I no longer believe, as I did in my dissertation (p. 73 f.) and in Mnemosyne III 13 (1947), pp. 272 ff., that Περί φύσεως may have been the original title of Parmenides' work and of the works of a number of other Pre-Socratics. I now take the subject of εστιν in frags 2,3 and 8,2 to be Άληδείη in the sense of ‘the true nature of things' (cf. Mnemos. IV 15, 1962, p. 237), and not Reality in the sense of the total of things (as suggested in my dissertation, p. 32). The μέλεα in frag. 16 I no longer take to be ‘something between the two universal Forms and the parts of the human frame' (p. 7), but the human frame itself (cf. Mnemosyne IV 2, 1949, p. 126 n. 5fn)." (Preface III)

    "Expounding an ancient philosophy is only possible with the aid of modern notions, which have a more limited sense than the material to which they are to be applied. Hence the difficulty of ascertaining the differences between ancient and modern abstractions and the danger of misconceiving an idea through attaching a too specific meaning to one or other particular expression. It will now be understood how in the course of time Parmenides has come to be classed with the most divergent philosophical systems. An attempt might be made to classify and analyse all these various interpretations. This would, however, not be the most expedient way to arrive at the real meaning of the poem. It stands to reason that our conclusions should be constantly reviewed and tested in the light of current opinion, but the more our considerations are bound up with the criticism of other interpreters, the greater will be the difficulty in evolving a coherent system of interpretation.

    So I will attempt to follow a more positive method by considering in detail three fundamental problems of Parmenides' philosophy, viz. 'Knowing', 'Being', and 'Opinion'. If it proves to be possible to arrive at definite conclusions in this respect, the road will probably be clear for a better understanding of the thoughts associated with these principles.

    With regard to the method adopted in my interpretation I may conclude with the following remark. I have pointed out already that Parmenides stands out from his predecessors by the application of a deductive method and the building up of a coherent argument. The methodical way of reasoning characterizes his work so much that even in ancient times he was classed by some critics among the dialecticians. In fact, his syllogisms, the distinction made between the three 'ways of inquiring', and also his way of putting questions foreshadow dialectical methods. This is not surprising since the whole trend of his thought aims at valid arguments, cogent conclusions, and complete evidence'. It seems advisable, then, to give more attention to the logical form in which Parmenides exposes his views than has been done hitherto. When the goddess of Truth counsels him not to trust to the senses but to judge by reasoning, we might accept her words as a suggestion to base our interpretation on the logical context of the argument in accordance with Parmenides' own intention.

    It may be objected that a criterium for such a logical context is hard to find since in a pre-Aristotelian philosopher we cannot expect a method of reasoning which may be formulated in syllogisms. From the logical point of view Parmenides' argument undeniably does not always comply with scientific standards, but this does not imply that the form of the syllogism is not applicable to his thought. This form is not an invention of Aristotle kept alive by convention, but it is at the root of all reasoning. Parmenides may not have been aware of the syllogistic form as a general mode of arguing, but he uses it, it may be unconsciously and not always accurately, yet, generally speaking, 'guided by truth itself'.

    I have undertaken the following inquiries in the belief that such a 'truth' exists, and that the principles of logic are no mere arbitrary grammatical phenomena as moderns would have us believe, but the universal foundation which underlies all science, including the science of interpretation." (pp. 3-4, notes omitted).

  30. ———. 1947. "Notes on the Presocratics." Mnemosyne no. 13:271-289.

    "The term πίστης is used in the sense of 'religious faith' in the New Testament (e.g. I Cor. 13, 13), but it has not got this meaning in early Greek literature. In the works of the Pre-Socratics πίστης means 'evidence, both in the subjective sense of confidence that one's belief is true and in the objective sense of reliable signs which justify such confidence' (15). Parmenides used it to denote the logical stringency of his argument (frag. 8, 12 and 28); his Way of Truth is at the same time Πειθοῦς κέλευθος (frag. 2, 4)." (p. 1)

    (15) G. Vlastos, Philos. Rev. 55 (1946), 590 n. 60. ["Ethics and Physics in Democritus", The Philosophical Review, Vol. 54, No. 6 (Nov., 1945), pp. 578-592]

    The text by Gregory Vlastos:

    "Unlike Platonic being which, immaterial by definition, is never given in sensation, Democritean being is the material stuff of nature as we see, touch, and taste it.) The "assurance" (πίστης) (60) of its existence must, therefore, be given in the phenomenon " (p. 590, two notes omitted)

    (60) πίστης in [Diels-Kranz] B. 125: φρήν gets its πίστεις from the senses. This is confirmed by Sextus (Adv. Math. 7.136; B. 9 in Diels-Kranz), who tells us that in his essay entitled κρατυντήρια Democritus "promised to assign to the senses the power of evidence (το κράτος της πίστεως)." This last should be compared with πίστιος ἰσχύς in Parmenides, B. 8, 12. Πίστης in the pre-socratics is not an inferior form of knowledge as in Plato, Rep. VI 511e, but evidence, both in the subjective sense of confidence that one's belief is true and in the objective sense of reliable signs which justify such confidence.

  31. ———. 1949. "Parmenides Conception of Light." Mnemosyne no. 2:116-131.

    "In this paper I shall deal with a problem in the philosophy of Parmenides which has been rather neglected, because it did not seem to be a problem at all. Parmenides based his cosmology on the dualism of two primary substances, Fire or Light and Night." (p. 116)

    "Perhaps another aspect of his mind may bring us nearer to the solution of our problem. In the proem of his work Parmenides describes his discovery of the truth as a journey from the realm of Darkness to the realm of Light Driving a car and guided by Sun-maidens he passes through the gates of Night and Day and is kindly welcomed by a goddess who discloses to him the principles of reality. There is much in this description that may be regarded as mere poetical imagery, but there are also many details which have a serious meaning. I shall only mention those points which have some bearing upon the present question." (p. 119)

    "It may be suggested that Parmenides in a similar manner distinguished between a supreme kind of light as the cognitive aspect of Being and Truth, and an inferior kind of light restricted to the world of change and opinion. This interpretation would fit in very well with the general trend of his philosophy, which tries to attribute the various aspects of the world to a higher and a lower plane of reality.

    It might only be asked how Parmenides managed to get from the lower plane of empirical reality up to the higher plane of Being, or in other words: how the ordinary light which formed one of the elements of his mental constitution could pass into the divine light which enabled him to grasp the ultimate principle of reality. This criticism is justified; it could only be met by putting another question: is there anyone who has succeeded in finding a satisfactory transition from psychology to metaphysics?" (pp. 130-131, a note omitted)

  32. ———. 1962. "Parmenides B2, 3." Mnemosyne no. 15:237.

    "Much ingenuity has been spent on the question as to what is the subject of ἔστιν in Parmenides B 2,3 (and 8,2), but even the most recent attempts, such as that made by G. E. L. Owen in C.Q. 10 (1960), 95, are far from convincing.

    My own suggestion (Parmenides, 32), that the subject is reality in the sense of the total of things, has not met with much approval. I now believe that the clue to the solution of this problem is to be found in B 8, 51 ἀμφὶς ἀληθείης. If Truth is the subject of the goddess' discourse, it is by implication the subject of ἔστιν." (p.237)

  33. ———. 1977. "Opening Doors (Parm. B 1, 17-18) " Mnemosyne no. 30:287-288.

    "After Dike has removed the bar (5), the doors open spontaneously at the approach of the divine maidens." (pp. 287-288)

    (5) Wiersma, [Notes on Gree Philosophy] Mnemosyne IV 20 (1967), 405 rightly points out that this idea has to be supplied from the context.

  34. ———. 1980. "Opening Doors Again." Mnemosyne no. 33:175.

    In my note on Parmenides B 1, 17-8 in this journal, IV 30 (1977), 287-8, I forgot to refer to K. J. McKay, Door Magic Epiphany Hymn, CQ [Classical Quarterly] 17 (1967), 184-94, who discusses Callim. H. 2, 6 in connection with Hom. Epigr. XV 3-5 and other texts." (p. 175)

  35. Vick, George R. 1971. "Heidegger's Linguistic Rehabilitation of Parmenides' 'Being'." American Philosophical Quarterly no. 8:139-150.

    Reprinted in: Michael Murray (ed.), Heidegger and Modern Philosophy, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1978 pp. 204-221.

    "It is a fairly well-known fact that Martin Heidegger has defended Parmenides' account of Being, (1) but the strategy of his complex semantic and etymological arguments for the meaningfulness of Parmenides' type of discourse on Being is unknown to the great majority of philosophers in Britain and America(2) - indeed is virtually unnoted even within the phenomenological-existential school (in part, perhaps, because of the abstruse character of both his thought and language).

    Furthermore, the fact that Heidegger has corrected what is ordinarily taken as an essential part of Parmenides' theory has not, so far as I know, been pointed out, even by Heidegger.(4) Nor has anyone taken note of the way in which Heidegger's correction makes what remains of Parmenides' theory more defensible. In the following pages I shall attempt to set forth and explain Heidegger's strategy (including a reason why it has been useful for him to couch his argument in language that is so abstruse). I will then go on to show the way in which his correction of Parmenides' theory strengthens its claim to being true." (p. 139)

    1 This defense is to be found primarily in the most extensive work of Heidegger's later period, his Einfuhrung in die Metaphysik (1953) in which his summer lectures at Freiburg in 1935 were revised and published. All page references will be to the English translation by Ralph Mannheim, An Introduction to Metaphysics (New Haven, 1959).

    (2) For this strategy, see especially ibid, ch. II and III, pp. 52-92. (p 139, a note omitted)

    (4) See fn. 44.

    (44) Heidegger has, indeed, distinguished his own view of the meaning of "Being" from that which he maintains has been current since antiquity (cf. Heidegger, op. cit., [Introduction to Metaphysics] pp. 203-204). And the view which Heidegger regards as having been current since antiquity is that in which Being is regarded as excluding our saying that becoming, appearing, thinking, and the ought are, and this is a view which is, except with respect to the third of these four factors, usually attributed to Parmenides. But, on the other hand, he has continually distinguished between the authentic pre-Socratic, or Parmenidean, view of Being, and the defective view which has come down to us since (Ibid., pp. 179-196). And he has, furthermore, given an exegesis of Parmenides in which he interprets him as allowing to thinking a certain distinction from Being (in that he interprets Parmenides as saying that thinking is one with Being only in a "contending sense," i.e., in a unity through opposition).

    Hence, it is not clear whether Heidegger identifies the teaching of Parmenides with the view of Being from which he distinguishes his own (a position with which exegesis of Parmenides' treatment of the relation between Being and thinking would make difficult), or whether he interprets Parmenides in such a way as to allow "is" to be predicated of becoming, etc., without being thereby identified with them (a position directly challenging the usual monistic interpretation of Pamenides, and challenging it in such an essential way that we should expect Heidegger to have made some explicit mention of the fact that he was correcting the usual interpretation of Parmenides on the very point which since Plato has probably been given most attention, i.e., his supposed monism.)

  36. Vlastos, Gregory. 1946. "Parmenides' Theory of Knowledge." Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association no. 77:66-77.

    Reprinted in: G. Vlastos, Studies in Greek Philosophy, Volume I: The Presocratics, edited by Daniel W. Graham, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1995, pp. 153-163.

    Abstract: "Parmenides' frag. 16 has been taken for a general statement of his theory of knowledge. I argue that it is no more than his doctrine of sense-perception, since it views thought as a passive record of the "much-wandering" ratio of light to darkness in the frame. Theophrastus' report that Parmenides explains "better and purer" thinking by the preponderance of light must refer to the active phases of thought, memory and judgment. When these are perfect the ratio of light to darkness must be one to zero, and the knowledge of Being must represent a state of unmixed light." (p. 66)

  37. ———. 2008. ""Names" of Being in Parmenides." In The Route of Parmenides, edited by Mourelatos, Alexander, 367-390. Las Vegas: Parmenides Publishing.

    Previously unpublished essay (1961).

    Editing note by A.P.D. Mourelatos.: The importance and continuing value of this essay is, in my judgment, fourfold. (1) Beyond what was already accomplished by Woodbwy's essay of 1958 [Parmenides on Names] Vlastos here provides the best and most sustained argument in favor of the reading onomastai at B8. 38. (2) There is an assumption many have made (doubtless, as Vlastos points out at n. 20, because of the influence of Diels, who first voiced it in 1887) [*] that Parmenides employs "naming" terms (onoma, onomaztin) only with reference to the false

    beliefs posited by "mortals." Vlastos' essay provides a decisive refutation of this quite unwarranted and misleading assumption. (3) Vlastos also shows that we gain a more coherent account of Parmenides' critique of the language of "mortals" if we read that critique as charging that mortals make statements that are false rather than meaningless.

    (4) Finally, Vlastos offers in this essay a philosophically incisive and engaging argument in support of the thesis that Parmenides' rationale for the rejection of "not-being" as a subject of thinking and speaking is quite different from that advanced by the Eleatic Stranger in Plato, Sophist (237B-C)." (p. 367)

    [*] "Ueber die ältester Philosophenschulen der Griechen," in Philosophische Aufsätze, Eduard Zeller zu seinem fünfzigjährigen Doctor-Jubiläum gewidmet [no editors listed] (Leipzig, 1887), pp. 239-60.

  38. Wedin, Michael. 2011. "Parmenides' Three Ways and the Failure of the Ionian Interpretation." Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy no. 41:1-65.

    "The middle part of Parmenides’ great philosophical poem, the section known as the Way of Truth (WT), opens with the divine declaration that only two paths of enquiry present themselves to the mind—the path of what is and the path of what is not. I regard these as Parmenides’ 'canonical' paths and shall refer to them as Path I and Path II, respectively. Fragment 2 emphatically warns against pursuing Path II, and fragment 6 is no less direct in advancing Path I as a necessary path of enquiry. According to some, Parmenides is merely expressing his preferences in these early fragments of WT. Of course he is doing so, but not just this. Rather, fragments 2 and 3 contain a deduction whose aim is to exclude what is not as a fit target for investigation because such a thing is flatly impossible, and fragment 6 certifies Path I, again deductively, on the grounds that what it investigates is nothing less than what is necessary. Her opening declaration notwithstanding, in fragment 6 the goddess goes on to warn against a third path, the path of what is and is not. This too is excluded on the basis of a crisp, but tricky, Eleatic deduction.

    This paper offers reconstructions of these three opening deductions." (p. 1)

  39. ———. 2014. Parmenides' Grand Deduction: A Logical Reconstruction of the Way of Truth. New York: Oxford University Press.

    "When I examined the arguments of the leading nouveaux interpreters, none of the contenders lived up to expectations. Each was flawed in logically telling ways.

    The results of this examination surface in the monograph in two ways. On the one hand, a contending view is sometimes discussed in the course of advancing or clarifying my own argument. On the other hand, I address them in their own right in Part III of the monograph, where the views are subjected to more systematic scrutiny. The view argued in this monograph, outré or not, favors an austere reading of Fr. 8’s ‘signs’ or deductive consequences of what is." (p. 2)

    "A general study of Parmenides’ poem would address many issues, from the influence of the epic tradition, and the significance of the Proem with its divine invocation, to the relation between the two substantive parts of the poem—the Way of Truth (WT) and the Way of Opinion. This monograph is less ambitious.

    First, I am interested almost exclusively in WT; in particular, I am interested in the logical form of Parmenides’ arguments in WT. Second, I pursue this interest by offering reconstructions of WT’s deductions, in their entirety, and only rarely do I introduce material that does not serve this project. Nonetheless, the reconstructions have global reach because the deductions of WT are the core of Parmenides’ philosophical position." (pp. 4-5, a note omitted)

  40. White, Harvey. 2005. What is What-is? A Study of Parmenides' Poem. New York: Peter Lang.

    "The interpretation of the poem which follows takes issue with what has long been the standard view, and which, only recently, has begun to be challenged. Because my interpretation ascribes many of the fragments which have been taken as the mortal view to the goddess' position, my arrangement of the fragments differs somewhat from the standard one provided by Diels and Kranz. Thus the numbers assigned to the fragments differs from theirs." (p. 2)

    "It has long been fashionable to take the ontology (and attendant epistemology) that Parmenides set forth in his poem to be characterized by "the one", or "Being", as the all encompassing single reality, which is to be distinguished from mere sensible and pluralistic being." (p. 5, notes two notes omitted)

    "Against this understanding of the Poem I will argue that:

    1. "is" is used predicationally rather than purely existentially, and as a result the text is best understood as being consistent with a pluralistic ontology rather than a monistic one; i.e., Parmenides did not claim that all reality is a single ideal universal and non-sensible "Being";

    2. Parmenides affirms the positive role of sense perception in apprehending reality, accepting as real what appears sensibly; most of what is traditionally termed the Doxa section of the poem is an elucidation of his own position;

    3. the poem's major point is that each individual object is a unity rather than a plurality constituted of opposites, even though it may come to be out of a mixture of opposites. The erroneous position held by the mortals is that an individual object is a plurality, a view that results from a confusion of what something is with the conditions out of which it is generated;

    4. the poem is critically concerned with judgement rather than perception: the error of the mortals consists of misjudgements concerning perceived reality.

    The overall perspective is that historically Parmenides does not present as radical and revolutionary an ontology and epistemology as he is commonly portrayed to advocate. His importance lies within the intellectual transition occurring in the Greek world, in that his poem is an attempt to move from the past mythos ( as in Homer and Hesiod) into the emerging scientific view of the world." (p. 6)

  41. Whittaker, John. 1971. "God, Time, Being. Two Studies in the Transcendental Tradition in Greek Philosophy." Symbolae Osloenses no. 23:16-32.

    First study: 'Parmenides, Fr. 8, 5'.

    Parmenides, fr. 8, 5 as quoted by Simplicius seems to proclaim the doctrine of the Eternal Now clearly and succinctly:

    ουδέ ποτ’ ήν ούδ’ έσται, έπεϊ νΰν έστιν όμοϋ παν.

    Simplicius is our main authority for the surviving fragments of Parmenides and his general reliability is beyond question. Yet if we accept Parmenides as the author of the above verse and as the originator of the conception there contained, many difficulties arise, as the following considerations will indicate.

    (1) The conception of non-durational eternity is not of the sort that presents itself spontaneously to the mind. Bearing in mind the abstrusity of the notion, it would seem hardly conceivable that, Stated in this bald manner, it would have been at all comprehensible to Parmenides’ contemporaries. No doubt there was much in Parmenides’ poem that his contemporaries found obscure. Yet it cannot have been Parmenides’ aim merely to mystify. If Parmenides had really formulated the notion of non-durational eternity and was teaching it in his poem, a certain degree of elaboration would have been essential. But the relevant section of the poem contains no such elaboration.

    (2) The notion in question is not accepted by Melissus; cf., e.g., fr. 1 άεί ήν δ τι ήν καί άεί έσται. Yet there is nothing in the doxographi-cal evidence to suggest that Parmenides and Melissus were at variance on this point.

    (3)The only reason Parmenides might have had for introducing the notion into the Way of Truth is that he felt that passage from past to present to future involves coming-to-be and passing-away, i.e., that duration as such entails change. But if Parmenides had stressed this aspect of duration, then he would have raised a problem which all subsequent philosophers would have had to face. Parmenides’ Presocratic successors accepted the validity of the Eleatic denial of change and were painfully aware of the predicament in which it placed them. If Parmenides had argued that duration is a process and therefore a form of change, then they would have had to tackle this problem too. Yet no post-Parmenidean Presocratic seems to have been aware that bare duration could be held to involve change. Empedocles’ philosophy, for example, is a conscientious attempt to solve the difficulties raised by Parmenides. Yet there is nothing to suggest that Empedocles was acquainted with this particular problem. The same is true of other post-Parmenidean philosophers - including, as I shall argue, Plato and Aristotle.

    Such considerations as these render it obvious that, in spite of fr. 8, 5 as cited by Simplicius, Parmenides cannot possibly have propounded the doctrine of non-durational eternity. Once this point has been established there are two courses open to the student of Parmenides: (a) he may search for another and more plausible interpretation of the text quoted by Simplicius, or (b) he may call into question the reliability of the text which Simplicius has preserved." (pp. 16-17)


    "Because of their faith in the text presented by Simplicius, students of Parmenides have not usually considered it necessary to devote attention to a rival version of fr. 8,533 preserved by Ammonius (In Interpr. 136, 24 f. Busse), Asclepius’ (In Metaph. 42, 30 f. Hayduck), Philoponus (In Phys. 65, 9 Vitelli), and Olympiodorus (In Phd. 75, 9 Norvin).

    I do not believe that this alternative version is necessarily correct as it stands, but must draw attention to one fact which speaks strongly in its favour. In Simplicius’ version fr. 8, 6 opens with the words έν, συνεχές syntactically linked to v. 5 but nevertheless left somewhat in the air, whilst Asclepius (loc. cit.) quotes the opening of v. 6 in conjunction with v. 5 as follows:

    ού γάρ έην ούκ έσται όμοΰ παν έστι δέ μοϋνον ούλοφυές.

    It can, in my opinion, hardly be doubted that Simplicius’ έν, συνεχές was originally a gloss on ούλοφυές and has supplanted that reading in Simplicius’ exemplar. Since the latter term was used by Empedocles there is no reason why it should not also have been employed by Parmenides. However, it was not current in Neoplatonic terminology and might well have provoked a textual gloss." (p. 21)


    "However, my own conviction is that one cannot feel assured that either version is close enough to the original text of Parmenides to permit of more than highly conjectural interpretation. We have already seen that fr. 8, 4 was universally corrupt by the time of Plutarch" (p. 24).


    "I would conclude that no knowledge of the teaching of the historical Parmenides can be safely derived from the versions of fr. 8, 5 which have survived. One can, however, assert with complete conviction, as was shown at the outset, that the doctrine of non-durational eternity, which Neoplatonists associated with both versions of the line, was not taught by the historical Parmenides." (p. 24, notes omitted)

  42. Wilkinson, Lisa Atwood. 2009. Parmenides and To Eon. Reconsidering Muthos and Logos. London: Continuum.

    Contents: Acknowledgments IX; Introduction 1; 1 A Route to Homer 10; 2 Homeric or “Sung Speech” 27; 3 Reconsidering Xenophanes 40; 4 Reconsidering Speech 56; 5 Parmenides’ Poem 69; 6 The Way It Seems . . . 104; Notes 118; Bibliography 147; Index 153-156.

    "I suggest that we might be able to begin to “hear” anew the wisdom of hour first philosophical texts. Hence, I take a historical-philosophical route to Parmenides. This route begins with an analysis of the significance of “Homer” in ancient Greek culture that challenges some of our common knowledge about “Homer” and how oral poetry works (Chapter 1). These challenges are supplemented by an overview of Homeric or “sung speech” (Chapter 2) that is brought to bear on assumptions about Xenophanes’ fragments (Chapter 3) and contemporary accounts of speech (Chapter 4). Having reconsidered Homer, Xenophanes, and basic assumptions about speech, the final chapters offer an interpretation of Parmenides’ poem (Chapter 5) that differs from some of our general accounts (Chapter 6)." (p. 7)

  43. Wolfe, C. J. 2012. "Plato's and Aristotle's answers to the Parmenides problem." Review of Metaphysics no. 65:747-764.

    "The questions raised by the great pre-Socratic philosopher Parmenides were perhaps the main challenge for Plato and Aristotle, two of the greatest post-Socratic philosophers." (p. 747)

    "No philosopher was able to accurately interpret and refute the Parmenides problem until Plato and Aristotle. Plato answered it in an important way in his dialogue the Sophist, and Aristotle followed this up with the complete answer in Physics book 1, chapter 8. My thesis is that Plato's answer would have been good enough to defeat Protagoras in extended argument, thereby remedying the political aspects of the Parmenides problem. However, Aristotle's answer is required to answer some additional philosophical and scientific aspects.

    The first section of this paper will summarize the history of pre-Socratic philosophy and explain why Parmenides was a turning-point.

    The second section will explain the sophist Protagoras' relation to the Parmenides problem. The third part will present Aristotle's complete answer to the Parmenides problem, and in the fourth part I will compare that approach with Plato's solution in the Sophist. Lastly, I will sum up by characterizing how I think Plato and Aristotle would have responded to Protagoras' Parmenidean sophistry in political life." (p. 748)

  44. Woodbury, Leonard. 1958. "Parmenides on Names." Harvard Studies in Classical Philology:145-160.

    Reprinted in: J. P. Anton and George L. Kustas (eds.), Essays in Ancient Greek philosophy, Albany: State University of New York Press, 1972, pp. 145-162 and in: C. Brown, R. Fowler, E. I. Robbins, P. M. Matheson Wallace (eds.), Collected Writings of Leonard E. Woodbury, Atlanta: Scholars Press, pp. 80-95.

    [The essay is a discussion of the fr. B8 34-41]

    "νοεῖν has been until now translated, for convenience' sake, as "mean" or "think", but these renderings will no longer suffice, since it now appears what is implied when νοεῖν is used, as by Parmenides, not of a word or a thought, but of the name of the world. The object of νοεῖν is that-in-being, and in consequenceνοεῖν can here stand only for that knowledge which perceives the world as it is. Knowledge of being can be found only in the meaning of the name, "being". Parmenides' philosophy of names leads directly into his ontology. But we have no text that asserts the identity of knowledge with its object, of νοεῖν with το έον. The text that has so often been thought to make this assertion says in fact something quite different. It says that νοεῖν is the same as είναι, and this must mean that knowledge, like the right thought and meaning, can be found only in the use of the name. The only way is a μυθος όδοιο, ώς ἐστίν.

    Werner Jaeger has taught us to take seriously the theological significance of Parmenides' proem and to see at the heart of his philosophy a " Mystery of Being".(39) What I should venture to propose to him is that the meaning of the goddess's revelation is that the world is expressed in "being", and that Parmenides' holy mystery is the reality of a name." (p. 157)

    (39) Cf. W. Jaeger, The Theology of the Early Greek Philosophers (Oxford, 1947), 107.

  45. ———. 1986. "Parmenides on Naming by Mortal Men: fr. B8.53-56." Ancient Philosophy no. 6:1-13.

    Reprinted in: C. Brown, R. Fowler, E. I. Robbins, P. M. Matheson Wallace (eds.), Collected Writings of Leonard E. Woodbury, Atlanta: Scholars Press, pp. 439-453.

    "Concerning the text and syntax of the passage there appears to be a wide, though not a universal, agreement. But in regard to interpretation it is agreed only that severe problems proliferate and defy clear solutions." (p. 1)

    "The proper choice is the one figured in the proem, the entrance upon a road that passes beyond the paths of Night and Day into light , under the guidance of the Daughters of the Sun, who quit the House of Night for this purpose, throwing back there at the veils that cover their faces.(24) The journey is one that is directed by Justice and has the effect of persuading the Necessity that controls the goings of mortal men under the direction of a bad dispensation . The choice of the road , it is plain , entails the choice of the guidance of light ." (p. 12)

    (24) On the allegory of Parmenides ' journey and the vicissitudes of the sun in this world, see my "Equinox at Acragas: Pindar 0l. 2 . 61 - 62" TAPA [Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association] 97 (1966) 597 - 616 , especially 609 ff . and E . Robbins in Greek Poetry and Philosophy (Ed. D.E. Gerber (Chico , California 1984), note 20) 224 . "

  46. Wyatt, William F.Jr. 1992. "The Root of Parmenides." Harvard Studies in Classical Philology no. 94:113-120.

    "Parmenides, in looking for the roots of things and for essence, examined and pondered as well on the roots of words and their essential meaning. In so doing he found linguistic support for his notions, or for some of them. He wrote at a time and in a style which allowed root meanings to appear clearly and which saw in nouns the verbal notion underlying them, and in verbs the nominal cognates. In this he is rather in the style of the choral poets such as Pindar and Aeschyulus who, it would seem, at times cared little for parts of speech but very much for the meanings conveyed in roots. I close with a Parmenidean example.

    In 7.3 he characterizes ἔθος as πολύπειρον.(19) There can be much discussion about the precise meaning of the word, but it appears to me that it contains (for Parmenides) the meaning or meanings inherent in the verb πειρασθαι "attempt," and in the noun πειρασ "limit" with its adjective ἄπειρον.(20) It will therefore have to do with mankind's tentative and uncertain steps toward truth, steps which lead to no conclusion or end. In this man is like the ανθρωποι of Heracleitus' Fr. 1." (p. 120)

    (19) For so I take it. Coxon (58 & 191) construes the adjective with τουτο. Little hinges on this, I suspect, but the Greek works better my way, which is the usual translation.

    20 Parmenides seems to have played as well with prefixes, particularly the negative prefix (ά- and the prefix "many" (πολυ-). They correspond to the way of non-being on the one hand, and of mortal uncertainty and searching on the other. Of the three words τροπος, ἄτροπος, πολύτροπος only the first has any real existence.

  47. Young, Tyler. 2006. "Perceiving Parmenides: A Reading of Parmenides of Elea's Philosophy by Way of the Proem." Dionysius no. 24:21-44.

    Abstract: "Parmenides' poem must be read as a whole, beginning with the proem and seeing it as a basis for approaching the entirety of the work. Analysis of Homer's Odyssey and Hesiod's Theogony shows that Parmenides' poem is a masterpiece of allusion, and that the proem establishes a method and imagery by which the following two sections can be read both independently and in relation to each other. Examination of the Way of Doxa in the second part of the poem provides the opportunity for an explication of Parmenides' cosmology and theology and demonstrates that the Doxa is necessary to his philosophy. The heart of his thesis lies in the juxtaposition of the two ways. The Way of Truth in the third part stands as a succinct statement of the nature of Reality and its relation to human experience."

  48. Zeller, Eduard. 1881. A History of Greek Philosophy from the earliest Period to the time of Socrates. London: Longman, Green and Co.

    With a General Introduction (pp. 1-183),

    Translated by S. F. Alleyne in two volumes from the German fourth edition of: Die Philosophie der Griechen in ihrer geschichtlichen Entwicklung, Leipzig: R. Reisland, 1876-1882.

    On Parmenides: vol. I, pp. 580-608.

    "The great advance made by the Eleatic philosophy in Parmenides ultimately consists in this, that the unity of all Being, the fundamental idea of the Eleatics, was apprehended by him in a much more definite manner than by Xenophanes, and that it was based upon the concept of Being. Xenophanes, together with the unity of the world-forming force or deity, had also maintained the unity of the world; but he had not therefore denied either the plurality or the variability of particular existences. Parmenides shows that the All in itself can only be conceived as One, because all that exists is in its essence the same. But for this reasonhe will admit nothing besides this One to be a reality. Only Being is: non-Being can as little exist as it can be expressed or conceived; and it is the greatest mistake, the most incomprehensible error, to treat Being and non-Being, in spite of their undeniable difference, as the same. This once recognised, everything else follows by simple inference." (pp. 580-585, notes omitted)