Plato's Parmenides

Am I actually supposed to follow the second part closely?

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  1. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Yes

    /thread

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      My fave dialogue. Felt vindicated when heard neoplatonists revered it too.

      Ofc yr supposed to pay attention to everything ya idjit

      I guess a reread it is...

      As the great David Foster Polish said, "Do 1/8 grams of mushrooms and read Parmenides!"

      Just finished drying my last yield yesterday.
      'Tmight help; thanks.

      captchka: KGB4X

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        A suggestion, if you're looking to focus on the second half.

        Consider how the gymnastic is laid out and discussed at 135e-136c. Parmenides gives Socrates a set of exercises through hypothesizing, looking at four elements: 1) what x is in itself, 2) what x is in relation to everything else, 3) what everything else is in relation to x, and 4) given x, what everything else is in relation to everything else, and these four exercises must be done both for positing that x *is* and that x *is not*. Observe how Parmenides says we have to plug in Many, Same, Other, Being, Non-Being, etc. and go through the gymnastic with these as well.

        Compare these exercises with what Socrates says at 128e-130a, where Socrates' arguments against Zeno happen to share this form.

        Once the hypotheses get started, 1-4 follow in order, but 5 corresponds to 2, 6 corresponds to 1, 7 to 4, and 8 to 3. Also, the Instant isn't an addition to the 2nd hypothesis, but the introduction to the 3rd.

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          Mmmm that's very useful, thank you very much.
          I'm starting to piece things together now

          >secondary literature should you read to understand
          Heidegger.

          https://philarchive.org/archive/BACAOA#:~:text=Heidegger%20also%20argues%20that%20the,have%20been%20composed%20before%20the

          >Hide/egger
          Of course 'twould be him to rear his ugly head here

          Tf? Walter Benjamin is breezy to read.

          Anyway, there's been hundreds if not thousands of secondary works since antiquity on the dialogue. I'd say avoid the modern and read the commentary of Proclus

          >Pythagoras
          >Parmenides
          >Plato
          >Plotinus
          >Proclus
          >Porphyry
          Alliterative sickos

          Alex Priou's Becoming Socrates is probably the best modern commentary (not that that necessarily means much by itself, most modern commentaries tend to be from a narrowly analytic perspective, and arguably miss the forest for the trees). But Priou's commentary is both very clear and immensely helpful, especially for the second half of the dialogue.

          Two of Seth Benardete's lecture courses are up on the New School website. The 1989 course:
          https://digital.archives.newschool.edu/index.php/Detail/objects/NA0015_Platos_Parmenides
          The 2001 course:
          https://digital.archives.newschool.edu/index.php/Detail/objects/NA0015_Parmenides_2001

          Proclus' commentary, per [...], is recommended as well, though with the caveat that I think he makes a mess of how the gymnastic is introduced, and the commentary, while alluding to the other hypotheses, really stops at the 2nd.

          Interesting, I'll take a look at those too, thanks.

          The part about the One not existing is the precursor to Plotinus' idea of the One as the Non-Being. Might be the part that interests you.

          Yeah, honestly that part piqued my interest the most.

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          Is it as simple as the idea that neither the One nor the Many are capable of standing alone as first principles?

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            I'm not fully sure, though I suspect that might be an implication. Maybe this is a "pessimistic" take, but given that this way of hypothesizing is supposed to be done with everything we're positing a form of (and presumably that includes the forms that is both unsure of, like man and fire, and those he wants to reject, like hair and mud), and given that the summary at the end of the dialogue doesn't actually clarify whether's it's a mere summary of all of the hypitheses, or whether they're taken to be altogether true in their manifoldness, I get the impression that we might be left with: "Oh, you wanted certainty? You gotta do a lot more forms than the One if you want that, get hypothesizin', kid."

            I think the take away from that could be that philosophy as seeking for wisdom is as close to the peak as is available to us, which is great if you love thinking, and awful if you just need the bottom line or something higher and more edifying than "hypotheses for the rest of my life." But I'll be the first to admit to only taking a wack at trying Same and Other and nothing else, so I don't have Parmenides' "lordly view of the True."

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            Kek so many spelling and grammar errors, frick phone posting

  2. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    My fave dialogue. Felt vindicated when heard neoplatonists revered it too.

    Ofc yr supposed to pay attention to everything ya idjit

  3. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    As the great David Foster Polish said, "Do 1/8 grams of mushrooms and read Parmenides!"

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      >"Do 1/8 grams of mushrooms and read Parmenides!"
      The poem or Plato's?

  4. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    This book of Plato is as obfuscatory as Walter Benjamin yet nobody mentioned what secondary literature should you read to understand

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      >secondary literature should you read to understand
      Heidegger.

      https://philarchive.org/archive/BACAOA#:~:text=Heidegger%20also%20argues%20that%20the,have%20been%20composed%20before%20the

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      Tf? Walter Benjamin is breezy to read.

      Anyway, there's been hundreds if not thousands of secondary works since antiquity on the dialogue. I'd say avoid the modern and read the commentary of Proclus

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      Alex Priou's Becoming Socrates is probably the best modern commentary (not that that necessarily means much by itself, most modern commentaries tend to be from a narrowly analytic perspective, and arguably miss the forest for the trees). But Priou's commentary is both very clear and immensely helpful, especially for the second half of the dialogue.

      Two of Seth Benardete's lecture courses are up on the New School website. The 1989 course:
      https://digital.archives.newschool.edu/index.php/Detail/objects/NA0015_Platos_Parmenides
      The 2001 course:
      https://digital.archives.newschool.edu/index.php/Detail/objects/NA0015_Parmenides_2001

      Proclus' commentary, per

      Tf? Walter Benjamin is breezy to read.

      Anyway, there's been hundreds if not thousands of secondary works since antiquity on the dialogue. I'd say avoid the modern and read the commentary of Proclus

      , is recommended as well, though with the caveat that I think he makes a mess of how the gymnastic is introduced, and the commentary, while alluding to the other hypotheses, really stops at the 2nd.

  5. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    The part about the One not existing is the precursor to Plotinus' idea of the One as the Non-Being. Might be the part that interests you.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      i wish contemporary philosophers paid more attention to plotinus

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        Even if it's only us two, it's more than fine, Anon.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        Even if it's only us two, it's more than fine, Anon.

        go on...

  6. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    >This is how what is would most of all be and what is not would not be: on the one hand, by what is, if it is completely to be, partaking of being in regard to being a being and of not-being in regard to being a non-being; and, on the other hand, by what is not, if in its turn what is not is completely not to be, partaking of not-being in regard to not-being a not-being and of being in regard to being a not-being.
    >Very true.

  7. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Are philologists actually sure that the text of Parmenides we have isn't garbled due to corruption or something? Does it actually make sense in Greek?

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      They're reasonably sure, though they'll differ over a line here or there. The text via the 9th century manuscript we have compares favorably with how other authors quote from it, especially Proclus' commentary and that of the so-called anonymous commentary on it, and scholars have good means of figuring out how well Ficino's Latin translation and commentary match up with the Greek text.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      Plato was just making fun of how autistically Paramindes' spoke. Basically the type that would elucidate upon the most exhaustive of innumerable cogitations and utilize the nethermost regions of language to expound a myriad of schizophrenic nonsense.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      Yeah, the meaning of the text is crystal clear. He basically rejects the idea of ontological hierarchies meaning that things either exist or they don't, and you can only talk about the absolute most base level of things as existing. For Parmenides, this is "the universe". Because the universe is continuous and not broken up into discrete quanta (or so Parmenides believed) there is only one thing, "the universe", which is the sole thing that actually exists. Any time we speak of trees, chairs, etc we're really just speaking of parts of "the universe" and these parts don't have any existence separate from "the universe". What we perceive of as change, decay, generation, and death are just illusions because no thing can every move from one state to another as there are no states because there's just "the universe" (which is continuous, not composed of discrete quantized states, or so Parmenides thought).

  8. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    What's the conclusion?
    All beliefs contain inherent contradictions
    or
    The one necessarily exists

  9. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    >If the one exists, it participates in being and naturally becomes two (one and being one) instead of one.
    Is this really true?
    Could Being itself act as the first principle and One is some type of byproduct?
    >I AM THAT I AM

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      In the beginning was the word. The word was with God, and the word was God.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous
  10. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    I'm not afraid to admit that this one was above me probably more than any other dialogue. It was too abstract and metaphysical.

  11. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Saved and jotted down notes from a discussion I had earlier. I don't have any arguments, but I don't want this thread to die, and maybe somebody else might be inspired to reply.
    >This would have to cautiously qualified, since, in the first place, there's strictly speaking no "theory" of forms or even unified account in Plato as we would expect of a theory, but rather, hypotheses that change in presentation from dialogue to dialogue (but their unity as hypotheses for thought seems to be consistent; this is how they're treated in Meno, Parmenides, Phaedo, and Republic; their next most consistent presentation is as interchangeable with genos, "genuses" / "classes" / "species", as in Sophist, Statesman, Philebus).
    NOTE: knowledge = classes = words? Classes don’t self-predicate as containers, only toward their contents. Knowledge is only virtually identical to its object. Words point to their referents. Insight into forms?
    >At 133b, the greatest impasse pertains to positing that each Form is separable from the beings (*a* great impasse re: participation is at 133a, so participation, while related, is also a distinct problem).
    NOTE: Why would participation be different from knowledge? Wouldn't both impasses, participation and knowledge, rely on the same "property" of forms? Wouldn't one form the foundation for the other?
    NOTE: Separation: something about how participation can happen (a collection), but can the collection itself can be abstracted from it and be said to exist in its own right?
    >Olsen seems to be saying, if I understand him, that the divided line solves a problem about the connection between the Forms and the beings, but that seems to only (obscurely) address the impasse of 133a, whereas the thing we desire to prove is that the Forms are in themselves both totally separate from what participates in them, and knowable by us.
    NOTE: It is necessary of knowledge that it is an intelligible property tied to things that can be virtually grasped by the mind
    NOTE: Takes the "great impasse" and add skepticism for capacity of knowledge
    >The consequences of the greatest impasse are spelled out from 133c-134e, among which are that we can't have knowledge of political relations (master and slave), we can't know "the god" (so piety has no bearing on anything), and that "the god" can't know anything about us (so there's no providence or divine favor). Now, the gymnastic is said to be a long fourfold exercise (that expands to eight with positive and negative determinations) that has to be done with not just the One, as shown in the dialogue, but the Many, Likeness, Unlikeness, Motion, Rest, Generation, Corruption, Being, Non-Being, etc. (Cf. 136a-c) It's admittedly hard to see how these exercises with each being or Form being posited solves the impasse, but I've also never seen anyone try to do so, and in any case, it's hard to see how Olsen solves it (and as per above, I think he's confusing the greatest impasse with a prior merely great impasse).

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      Also, I could have sworn that, a few weeks ago, I was at the cusp of figuring out the great impasses, the deductions/hypotheses, and their relation to the Great Kinds/community of forms/TMA/etc. But then I shelved the problem, got sidetracked on some other dialogues and getting busy IRL, and now I've almost completely forgotten how it was all supposed to work. FML.

      Feels like the second time that's happened too. I thought I took better note but apparently I didn't.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      >NOTE: knowledge = classes = words?
      Remember the divided line from the Republic? I think only the highest two segments are those which pertain to forms (διάνοια & νόησις).
      So they aren't "just classes"
      >NOTE: Why would participation be different from knowledge? Wouldn't both impasses, participation and knowledge, rely on the same "property" of forms? Wouldn't one form the foundation for the other?
      The way I understood it:
      Particular masters are masters of particular slaves.
      The form of the Master is a master (self-predication) to the form of the Slave.
      God, being omniscient (and the ultimate Form?) has capital K Knowledge (Form).
      We cannot possess that knowledge, because we are particulars.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        >So they aren't "just classes"
        I used the term class very loosely. As in, classes that are general, classes that are specific, classes which can belong to many things (e.g. genera/species), classes which can belong to only one thing (e.g. individuals), etc. And I'm not sure about this, but I don't dianoia applies to apprehending forms, only in terms of thinking through them.

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          So then why do you think he rejects that things like mud and hair can have forms?
          Simply because they are lowly?

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            Who do you mean by he? Socrates as a young man? You also forgot to mention that he's very uncertain about things like mankind having a form too.

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            >Socrates as a young man?
            Isn't him being young just a literary trick to show how Plato is distancing himself from that theory?
            This being a late middle platonistic dialogue makes no sense for Socrates to actually be nineteen years of age.
            >You also forgot to mention that he's very uncertain about things like mankind having a form too.
            I'd believe that. Too much sense perception for that one.

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            >Isn't him being young just a literary trick to show how Plato is distancing himself from that theory?
            Parmenides would have been dead before Socrates was in his prime. He was born sometime around ~515 BCE. He was much older than Socrates. Besides, Parmenides makes comments about Socrates's youth, too.
            >This being a late middle platonistic dialogue makes no sense for Socrates to actually be nineteen years of age.
            The dialogues were not written in chronological order.

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            >Simply because they are lowly?
            That's exactly what Parmenides says to Socrates, that he's not denying the Form of hair on any grounds other than that he's beholden to men's opinions about things, and not on account of trying to work it out.

  12. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Something that struck me the other day about the third man argument.

    Suppose we have large, and large participates in the form of large. But what exactly is supposed to come next in the participation chain? Normally, the TMA implies that we can posit a:
    >"form of a form of large"
    ... as a coherent idea, but what would that even mean? Large alone is simple enough quality, but the form of large is already a complex unity instead of a simple one. So, it's already unclear what a form of a form of something is. Furthermore, if self-predication is supposedly an answer to the TMA, then we have to explain how exactly self-predication works in a complex unity. In what sense does the form of large self-predicate? There are two approaches by which this could happen: self-predication as large, and self-predication as form.

    If we say that the form of large self-predicates as large, then we have two ways of viewing this. We could say that:
    >the form of large, in its formness, is large.
    But what would that mean? That there are many large things, as formness is defined by participation? That would be tautological, as it merely "points" us back to the things that participate in it, without telling us anything about what it means to be large qua large (and undermines any sense that the forms are separable). Likewise, we could say that:
    >the form of large, in its largeness, is large.
    Hopefully, I shouldn't need to tell you why this is also tautological.

    Now, if we say that the form of large self-predicates as form, then we have some interesting possibilities that open up. We could try saying that:
    >the form of large, in its largeness, is form.
    But that is self-tautological, basically expressing nothing more than "I am what I am because I am," because the quality of large exists, a brute fact.
    Instead, we could say that:
    >the form of large, in its formness, is form.
    Notice that we've discovered the closest thing to what a "form of form of large" would probably look like. Furthermore, we found a principle that every form participates in. The form of beauty, the form of large, the form of chair, etc., all participate in the form of forms in general. In other words, the only way to make sense of "form of form of large" is to recognize that it is the same thing as the form of form of beauty and every other similar kind.

    So, perhaps we should have been looking for the "ur-form" all along.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      Dilettante here. What's different about the "ur-form" as compared to something like the One or Hegel's Absolute or other such things? Also, at what point along the movement from the Form of the Chair to the ur-form do we lose the individuation of the chair and generalize into the ur-form, and is the idea of an ur-form coherent or useful if we mean to speak of things which are different from each other?

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        Well, we need to figure out what the ur-form is first. I have some ideas for playing around with the statements I made, but it's getting late and I have to wake up early in the morning. Maybe you could try repeating the analysis with some other concepts like chair, red, good, bad, intelligible, etc.? I'll be back tomorrow if the thread is still up.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        >dilettante that wants to know the grandest things but refuses to put in even a measly amount of work
        every single time

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          It's an honest line of questioning. If there's something I haven't read which answers these exact questions I'd love to know what it is. Or is there a problem?

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            Yeah it's a good question, but it's a question that's tantamount to "what's at the end of the rainbow", and the answer is "who the frick knows?" And then I offered some ideas to explore and he took none if it. Lazy ass mfs.

  13. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Another helpful lecture you guys might like
    It gets especially interesting around minute 50

  14. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    conclusion to the Parmenides:
    >Let this therefore be said, and let us also say the following, as it seems appropriate. Whether or not there is a unity, the unity itself and the manifold otherness, both in relation to themselves as well as to each other—all this, in every way, both is and is not, appears [phainetai] and does not appear. —This is most true [alēthestata].

    Wow, that really answers my question, it's true and not true, thanks Plato!

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