Parmenides (Philosophical Library)

Parmenides (Philosophical Library) - Plato, Albert Keith Whitaker 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 Logic" and that led me to this book. Hegel borrows heavily from this book. Hegel puts in his movement (dialectic) but he mostly insists that we need to understand the painting as the whole before we can understand the pieces of the painting just as Parmenides would say (actually as Parmenides does say in this dialog).

It is almost as if this book doesn't belong in the works of Plato's Socratic dialogs. So much really shouts out against what Socrates says elsewhere in Plato's dialogs. The 'forms' from our 'ideas' fall under assault by Parmenides. Opposites don't exist (proof by contradiction) are used without mercy against much of what Socrates held to be true. Socrates needs the absolute in order to defeat the sophisticated Sophists and therefore needs a starting point in order to get his negation (all determinations are negations), but he doesn't have it. Our being and becoming, the void and matter, motion and stillness, existence and nothing all need an absolute negation and Parmenides takes that away in this incredibly clever dialog. Kant has to have his intuition categories in order to get the universal. Parmenides gives only "the one".

Heidegger will start with Being (dasein, "understanding ones own understanding about ones understanding") and builds a complicated world structure (always in threes: past, present, and future) and ends in Temporarlity as if he wished to have started with time instead. What is the proper ontological foundation? Being or time? Parmenides will put 'The One" outside of time (temporally) just as the God of an Evangelical will most often be and in my opinion Spinoza does the same but many (if not most)readers of Spinoza seem to disagree.

This is an incredibly important little book which seems to relate to most of the books I've recently have been reading and I wish I had read it before reading some of the others I've recently read (Hegel, Heidegger, Spinoza, Wittgenstein, Gadamer, and Sartre). It's not a hard to follow book and I actually re-listened to parts of it to make sure I was understanding it correctly.