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Parmenides

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4.03  ·  Rating details ·  2,091 ratings  ·  129 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
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Paperback, 96 pages
Published January 1st 1996 by Focus (first published -340)
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Average rating 4.03  · 
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Manny
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
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Kaśyap
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 argumen
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Trevor
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 so ...more
Victoria
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 co ...more
Ibis3
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
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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.
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Tim
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 every ...more
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 not-b
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Lucas
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
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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 Lo
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8314
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
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Barnaby Thieme
Nov 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: greece, philosophy
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 t ...more
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..
(http://sirbookstore.com/parmenides.html)
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Illiterate
Apr 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
On things, ideas, properties. Plato suggests monism and forms are cul-de-sacs. Where next? His method of division and, better, a rejection of forms?
Jacob Aitken
Feb 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It’s not a good feeling you get when you go to the article on this dialogue at plato.stanford.edu and the author says, “This is his most enigmatic dialogue.” Much of it, though, is quite interesting and fairly easy to follow. Plato explains his Forms and the standard responses to his view.

Problem: how can the whole Idea, being one, be participated in by man?

If something participates in an Idea, does it participate in part of the Idea or the whole? The One cannot be a whole, since wholes have par
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Andrew Fairweather
An excellent book for those who wish to understand Plato's theory of Forms that goes beyond what you were taught in philosophy 101. I suggest that this book be read in concert with the 'Sophist.' If the 'Parmenides' presents the problem of the self-predication of the theory of Forms of Plato's middle period, the 'Sophist' provides answers to this very problem, permitting the blending of forms and their predication, indeed the predication of everything on Being. Here, a critique of Parmenides him ...more
Daniel
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 m ...more
Aaron
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.
Buck
Aug 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
ill sum up this in one sentence: The groundlessness at the heart of the empty form of determinacy is all encompassing
Jack
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 th
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Julia Novaes
Aug 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Unnerving. Nearly impossible to read without accompanying commentary, for two main reasons: word repetition inside each block of argument; multiple changes of meaning both inside the hypotheses and between them. Watch out carefully for what exactly Plato means by "the One": is it a universal concept, a number, a physical being with magnitude? Even once you come to expect the clever manipulation of ambiguities implied in things like movement, difference/sameness, likeness/unlikeness etc., it's ve ...more
Lyndon Goodacre
Jul 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So far I've read through this mainly for the gist. A few years ago, I browsed a couple books about this dialogue, and a few articles also, so it isn't entirely new to me. Venturing into the dialogue itself was on the bucket list.

Parmenides looks at ideas and their opposites and shows how easily a discussion that seems reasonable leads to nonsense and contradictions. Simple opposites (simple to the point of actually universal?) are taken up systematically, and tied to each other: being/not, one/m
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M
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 t
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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
Dawn
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!!!
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. ...more
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
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Garrett Cash
If the Mad Hatter ever wrote a philosophy book, this would be it. Even scholars can't make any sense of it. ...more
John Yelverton
Feb 14, 2017 rated it liked it
This is a perfect example of classic analogy (a is to b as c is to d), yet the flair of rhetoric and sophistry mixed in is enough to drive the reader insane.
Thomas Lønn Hammer
Jan 29, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: philosophy
In Parmenides, Socrates is a young man and is positioned as the student, rather than teacher, which he usually is in Plato's dialogues. Most dialogues are very readable, this one however, is not. Highly obscure, probably needlessly so. Consequently, I'm not really sure what Plato is trying to say, but here is my take:

I think Parmenides comes down to the maxim Ex Nihili Nihil Fit - nothing comes from nothing. I tend to understand this to mean: The negation of Being is, in a sense, nonsensical. T
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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 p
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