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4.03  ·  Rating details ·  1,837 ratings  ·  101 reviews
This is an English translation of one of the more challenging and enigmatic of Plato's dialogues between Socrates and Parmenides and Zeno of Elea, that begins with Zeno defending his treatise of Parmenidean monism against those partisans of plurality.

Focus Philosophical Library translations are close to and are non-interpretative of the original text, with the notes and a
Paperback, 96 pages
Published January 1st 1996 by Focus (first published -340)
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Average rating 4.03  · 
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 ·  1,837 ratings  ·  101 reviews

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Jul 28, 2016 rated it it was ok
I am interested to discover that the doctrine of the One is still alive. It is now going by the name of blobjectivism, and is being met with the usual uninformed derision. Only fifteen minutes ago, Matt cruelly dismissed it in the following terms:
I opened the link and closed it right away. I mostly saw Is this blobjectivism?
Ah, Matt, if only Parmenides of Elea were still with us! He'd put you in your place and tell you that all you need to do is switch the coding to Windows-1252. You can find
May 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: philosophy
In part, this dialogue was simply too hard for me. I find I quickly get lost with many philosophical arguments – Sartre does this to me too, which is annoying, because other things he writes make complete sense to me. This one is again one of those dialogues that is reported from a long time before – much like The Symposium – but this one goes right back to when Socrates was a very young man. It challenges many of the assumptions associated with Plato’s view of the nature of his ‘forms’ – and ...more
May 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Parmenides is the most intriguing of plato's dialogues. I like this dialogue for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, the usual roles are reversed. Socrates here is a young and inexperienced lad and he is the one to be cross examined. Secondly it features Parmenides, whose metaphysics is very interesting.

First part of the dialogue deals with the internal inconsistencies and the incompleteness of the theory of forms. Here Plato criticises his own theory through Parmenides by reductio ad absurdum
May 09, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: st-john-s-reads
I read this dialogue and was exhausted by its repetitive and confusing arguments. Only now that I've had time to step away from it and discuss it with others has the true beauty of The Parmenides' message struck me. This book allowed me to see everything as unified in a way I could never conceive of before. Everything: humans, love, mud, table, and injustice are one. It is only because of this connection that we can afford to think of ourselves as separate entities; I can call myself "I" in a ...more
Griffin Wilson
Nov 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ph-ancient, z-plato
Extremely important dialogue. In some ways I think Plato is best understood as a response to Parmenides and Heraclitus. However, even having read Parmenides' fragments and listening to some lectures on this dialogue, I still must confess that the second half was much too obscure for me to comprehend well; hence I hope to listen to some more lectures and perhaps read some secondary literature on this profoundly impactful thinker.

It was also nice to see Socrates get owned for once.
Mar 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Maybe I should have just stuck with Green Eggs and Ham. I’m not really qualified to rate the book, and I didn’t try to struggle through many of the logic puzzles, though the Parmenides seems to be as much about ontology and to some extent language (or at least the verb “to be”) as it is about valid argument. And as is characteristic with Plato, it’s about considerably more, famously presenting serious and unresolved challenges to his Theory of Forms – part epistemology, part ontology, part ...more
Gary  Beauregard Bottomley
Aug 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I think there are three ways to see "The One". The ultimate Good and the source of all reality, our consciousness for when we think, and literally the number '1', each are different ways for how we understand the nature of existence (being). We think about being either by our understanding, our experience, our ideas, our contemplation or our lack of contemplation (Heidegger, e.g.). Each is equally valid in its on way.

I've recently read Hegel's Phenomenology and that led me to his "Science of
After a long hiatus, I picked up Plato's dialogues again in 2005. No review or notes written at the time and I don't recall my thoughts. The only thing I did was quote the following on the Book Talk Forum at BookCrossing:

Parmenides: Then the one which is not, if it is to maintain itself, must have the being of not-being, just as being must have as a bond the not-being of not-being in order to perfect its own being; for the truest assertion of the being of being and of the not-being of not-being
Notes on Parménides

1. By Zeus, this one went completely over my head. Parménides has a reputation among the Platonic oeuvre of being rather obscure and confusing so I came to it with my intellectual weapons charged and ready; it wasn't enough. That reputation is well earned. In contrasting his beloved theory of Forms to Parménides' Monism, Platón creates a dense forest of impossible arguments, each one of them harder to follow than the previous one, until reducing the reader's brain to a pulp of
May 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
Dear heavens, this book is challenging my nerve as a mathematician. My mathematician personality usually stays in dormant state when I read, and my psychoanalytic-historic-philosophic-whatever personality usually hibernates when I'm at work. I kind of like, and put a lot of effort into keeping this clear-cut dichotomy between work and private life, but, boy, the divine Plato could do what others couldn't.

All things went bloody wrong the moment they assumed that One is some entity. If I ever want
Kyle van Oosterum
Oct 13, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: philosophy
What the hell did I just read? I will give someone money if they can understand this:

"Then the one which is not, if it is to maintain itself, must have
the being of not-being as the bond of not-being, just as being must
have as a bond the not-being of not-being in order to perfect its
own being; for the truest assertion of the being of being and of the
not-being of not being is when being partakes of the being of being,
and not of the being of not-being-that is, the perfection of being;
and when
Barnaby Thieme
Nov 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy, greece
This in-depth study should dispel the misguided belief that Plato's "Parmenides" is an exercise in spinning aporiae, or intellectual puzzles. Scolincov's penetrating analysis and exegesis excavates the battle of wits going on between these seminal figures in western philosophy, and illuminates their competing conceptions of what it means for things to exist. The metaphysical and epistemological issues at stake raise important methodological considerations, and in this dialog we can clearly see ...more
Jul 17, 2015 rated it it was ok
Most difficult Plato I've read. Part 2 is basically incomprehensible in the Jowett translation, no matter how many times you read it. Looking forward to finding a more thorough analysis of all the deductions made in part 2. There are many mentions of the "one" and the "many" - presumably something to do with (or even referring to) Plato's idea of Forms, which end up being quite confusing. But even in my current state of understanding, I can follow limited trains of thought. There are echoes of ...more
Mar 30, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Another book required for Traditional Cosmologies...
I am so confused: What is the one? Does the one exist in linear or cyclic time? Is the one based on mathematics? Does it promote equality? Is the one many or many one? Does it provide knowledge? Is the one motionless? Does the one truly exist? HELP!!!
Sinem Salva
May 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Parmenides is written by Plato to understand his philosophy.
Parmenides is one of the first physicist in the Ancient Greek times.
His philosophy cannot be understood very easily, but it's unique and it's very important to understand his "ONE" for the knowledge, real, truth, being, non-being..
Tricked myself into reading this.

I'd like to read Plotinus, because there is something mysterious and intoxicating in what little of him I've approached. It's not like philosophy as I've typically been interested in; it's quasi-religious, and quasi-religion is something that interests me at present also.
There's essentially no point in reading Plotinus without a strong grasp of, and relationship with, Plato's theory of forms.

Now, I studied the Republic back when I was a teenager. Come out of
May 06, 2019 rated it did not like it
What the what?!?

Either Plato was taking too many drugs or I am taking too few.
Michael Ledezma
May 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This dialogue is amazing. The point is not to get frustrated with the lack of decisiveness in answers given, but to sit back and let Parmenides and Plato show you the heights to which conceptual thinking can aspire. The most interesting aspect of the dialogue is that the questions posed almost 2,500 years ago, are still questions that despite claims to the contrary by contemporary logicians, do offer a particularly fruitful exploration into the nature of thinking itself. I can see why Heidegger ...more
Mεδ Rεδħα
Nov 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Of all Plato's dialogues, Parmenides remains the most controversial. fascinating opus of which the Neo-Platonists have made their laboratory; a confusing work in which we could see a simple logical exercise ... The new translation proposed here could not do without a new reading. Where it will be seen that Plato, in order to test the hypothesis of the existence of an intelligible world in which the sensible world in which we are evolving, does not neglect the history of philosophy: at Parmenides ...more
Raphael Lysander
So Elmore Leonard says that readers tend to skip thick paragraphs of prose you can see have too many words in them, but no one skips dialogues. and here where Plato's genius idea comes plus to his believe that you can't actually change people's minds but you let them find the way by themselves.
Serkan Sir Kilic
Feb 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Change without change!

still influence to quantum physics and physcists (prized Noble).
A Beautiful Question: Finding Nature's Deep Design
Garrett Cash
If the Mad Hatter ever wrote a philosophy book, this would be it. Even scholars can't make any sense of it.
Feb 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
38 pages

"Then the one which is not, if it is to maintain itself, must have the being of not-being as the bond of not-being, just as being must have as a bond the not-being of not-being in order to perfect its own being; for the truest assertion of the being of being and of the not-being of not-being is when being partakes of the being of being, and not of the being of not-being—that is, the perfection of being; and when not-being does not partake of the not-being of not-being but of the being of
Jul 10, 2019 rated it liked it
"My entire discourse originates in an axiomatic decision; that of the non-being of the one. The dialectical consequences of this decision are painstakingly unfolded by Plato at the very end of the Parmenides."

Painstaking is absolutely right. The first part of this work sees young Socrates get got by the elderly Parmenides, which (I won't deny it) was very satisfying, even as a fan of Socrates' hemlock- earning antics.

The second part, however... Well. I direct you back to the Badiou quote, and
May 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: philosophy
Parmenides is both a deeper and shallower exploration into Plato's understanding of being and becoming. It is unclear when this text was written but I suspect that it was before his true outlining of being and becoming as the mental backflips Plato performs can be at times rather tenuous to follow than his rather straight forward explanation of this concept in his other works. The text is quite short and takes place as a discussion between Parmenides and a young Socrates. It outlines the idea ...more
Nov 11, 2017 rated it liked it
The contrast between Parmenides and Heraclitus is stark and their differences led to deeper and more rugged philosophies, like the skepticism of the Sophists. Perhaps, both Parmenides and Heraclitus, could have benefited from the relative perspectives of the sophist. They both were similar by their inquiry which was not dependent on god(s?) and with their absolutist approach. "Being” (it is) signifies something as omnipresent/universal and for Parmenides it is “forever identical and unchanging”. ...more
Adler Santos
Sep 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: greek-philosophy
Parmenides is but a streak of paradoxes, hand-wavy logic that eventually falls apart, while giving a glimpse of the difficulties and limits of language.

It explores the logical consequences when you assume whether One is (being) and One is not (non-being), and illustrate how you can end up with the negation of the statements you originally started with.

On a positive note, it felt like some themes were precursors (or inspirations?) for Kurt Gödel's metamathematics (which led to the incompleteness
Steven Pukallus
Oct 20, 2018 rated it liked it
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Jul 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A most difficult dialogue - that is the 2nd EXERCISE portion >> the first part is not difficult at all BUT extremely relevant to Plato's philos.! Philosophy is Thought about thought, ideas and concepts -eg. forms - are THE material... We ourselves ARE thinking entities and how we think of ourselves is naturally critical to Who we ARE....

By exercising Pure thought, Parmenides points the way to transcendence... in my opinion.
Dec 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Trying to define ‘something outside’, ‘nothing’ using the criteria of something results in inability to measure, assess, judge, define anything.

Though you may imagine properties, forms, characteristics, elements of separation, these will be ‘within’ the something qua thought.

A=A. Y A=(B...Z). Y (A=?N)? N/?
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A non formal analysis out of Plato’s Parmenide excerpts 1 2 Oct 16, 2013 02:07PM  
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(Greek: Πλάτων) (Arabic: أفلاطون) (Alternate Spelling: Platon, Platón, Platone)
Plato is a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the foundations of Western
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“In the knowledgeable realm, the form of the good is the last thing to be seen, and it is reached only with difficulty. Once one has seen it, however, one must conclude that it is the cause of all that is correct and beautiful in anything, that it produces both light and its source in the visible realm, and that in the intelligible realm it controls and provides truth and understanding, so that anyone who is to act sensibly in private or public must see it.” 3 likes
“but if you wish to get better training, you must do something more than that; you must consider not only what happens if a particular hypothesis is true, but also what happens if it is not true. 135e-136a” 0 likes
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