The Spicy Lotus

August 8, 2010

Parmenides, Plato

Filed under: Uncategorized — pha9 @ 11:47 pm

Parmenides is one of the dialogues of Plato. It is widely considered to be one of the more, if not the most, challenging and enigmatic of Plato’s dialogues.

The Parmenides purports to be an account of a meeting between the two great philosophers of the Eleatic school, Parmenidesand Zeno of Elea, and a young Socrates. The occasion of the meeting was the reading by Zeno of his treatise defending Parmenidean monism against those partisans of plurality who asserted that Parmenides’ supposition that there is a one gives rise to intolerable absurdities and contradictions.

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6 Comments »

  1. This is really really confusing. I might have to read it over a few times before I understand anything.

    Comment by pha9 — August 8, 2010 @ 11:47 pm | Reply

  2. So we are basically debating whether the forms and single entities exist or whether they are many different things. That’s what I take from the first discussion with Paramenides.

    A single form, like largeness is present in many different things that are large. However, largeness itself is not different or the idea or form of being large.

    Comment by pha9 — August 14, 2010 @ 12:49 pm | Reply

  3. The third man argument. If three large things participate in the form of largeness, then there must be another form in which the three large things and the form itself participate in. Therefore, there will always be another form or conception and this will go on forever.

    Comment by pha9 — August 14, 2010 @ 12:50 pm | Reply

  4. Parmenides says, we cannot know the forms because they make up their own world which is not perceivable by us. This sounds like agnosticism to me. How can we understand the divine world when we are of the mortal world? Similarly, we can only understand the forms in relation to other forms and that is not our world.

    Comment by pha9 — August 14, 2010 @ 12:53 pm | Reply

  5. I honestly cannot make any sense of the discussion with Aristoteles. From what I read, the one is one, but it is also many, but it is not many, but it has different characteristics, but it doesn’t. And it either exists or doesn’t exist or maybe it has existed. That’s about all I can understand from this. What is Plato talking about here? I have no idea.

    Comment by pha9 — August 14, 2010 @ 12:58 pm | Reply

  6. It seems like Socrates was heavily influenced by Parmenides. From doing a little research it looks like Parmenides actually had the idea first that we cannot trust the senses but must use reason to perceive the world. He also used the method of reducing his opponents arguments to absurd paradoxical statements.

    Comment by pha9 — August 14, 2010 @ 1:20 pm | Reply


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