November 16, 2009
Quote of the Day: Aristotle on Parmenides
Parmenides seems to speak with rather more insight: for not considering, aside from being
, anything that is not
worthy to be
, he thinks that from necessity it - that is, being
- is one, and nothing else ... But being compelled to follow the phenomena, he supposes that it is one according to reason [or: in account], but many according to sense perception (Aristotle, Metaphysics
986b27-33, my translation, after Ross).
The surviving fragments of Parmenides speak of a 'path of persuasion' and a 'way of mortal opinion.' These seem to have been two sections of his original poem. In the former, he denies the reality of plurality or change. Puzzlingly...
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February 2, 2008
The Idealist Strategy
There is a particular strategy of argument generally employed by idealists in their arguments against materialism/physicalism/scientific realism and/or substance dualism. The strategy originates primarily with Berkeley. Some of the Parmenides fragments sound similar, but, absent context, it is not possible to determine exactly what he intended. Hume and Kant developed their metaphysical systems largely in response to it, and it is similar to the arguments of the so-called "modern Idealists" which Moore set out to refute.
Finally, the strategy is, in recent literature, explicitly adopted in John Foster's The Case for Idealism
, which I am currently reading. The strategy goes like this...
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December 22, 2006
My Five Favorite Philosophers
Recently, while I was busy with finals, Clarke at Mormon Metaphysics
and Johnny-Dee at Fides Quarens Intellectum
posted lists of their favorite philosophers. I thought that today I would do the same. I won't get fancy with pictures and stuff, because that's not my style (as you can plainly see if you are looking at this page), but I do have a list, roughly in order...
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October 29, 2006
Preserving Ambiguity in Translation
I'm studying Plato's Parmenides
in a graduate seminar this semester. It is rather a baffling text, and there is a wealth of secondary literature which contains little consensus on anything. Today, as I was reading Constance Meinwald's guidebook to the dialog, I came across an issue in the translation of the text which I think is relevant to a number of discussion about Bible translation that I've had on-blog, and thought I would share. The issue is one of preserving a (probably intentional) ambiguity in the original in translation, and thus with the degree of interpretation done by translators, and the degree left up to readers of the translation.
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March 13, 2006
I feel the need to point to this post about Parmenides over at Mathetes simply because ... well, because I approve of blogging about Parmenides! The post gives a good overview of Parmenides' argument for the establishment of monism. To which let me add three things: This is the oldest deductively valid argument in surviving literature. It is contained in a hexameter poem (written, presumably, in imitation of Homer and Hesiod) which begins with an appeal to divine revelation (a narrative about being carried in a chariot to meet a strange goddess who promises to reveal "the way of truth"...
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