Course Content (Syllabus)
The Parmenides is one of the most difficult but also most fascinating Platonic dialogues. In the first part of the dialogue, the young Socrates discusses with the old Parmenides and the middle-aged Zeno several problems that arise from the Parmenidean teaching about the One (“if things are not one, then insurmountable paradoxes arise”) and from its Zenonian defence ("If things are many, then insurmountable paradoxes arise"), as well as from the (Platonic) theory of Ideas ("things are both one and many, since they participate in different Ideas"). In the second part of the dialogue, Parmenides re-examines his philosophical monism by discussing with the young Aristotle (one of the thirty tyrants) the conclusions that result from different assumptions about the one and the many. The range and depth of the dialogue is such that it has been interpreted quite differently from antiquity up to the present time: a theological dialogue par excellence for the ancient Platonists (the "hypotheses" examined in the second part describe the One and the degrees of Being, which correspond to different divinities), Parmenides is now read mostly as a an aporetic and possibly subversive work, in which Plato realizes and sets forth the problems that arise from his own teaching about the Ideas. The present course privileges a reading that interprets the dialogue as a primarily dialectical exercise, which leads the reader to a better and more secure conception of the Ideas – as is the job of dialectics to do.
Course Bibliography (Eudoxus)
1) Πλάτων. Παρμενίδης (ή περί ιδεών), Αθήνα: Κάκτος, 1993.
2) Nicholas P. White, Ο Πλάτων για τη γνώση και την πραγματικότητα, Αθήνα: Gutenberg, 2012.
Additional bibliography for study
1) Πλάτων. Λάχης – Μένων – Παρμενίδης, Εισαγωγή, μετάφραση, σχόλια: Β. Τατάκης, Η. Λάγιος, Αθήνα: Δαίδαλος, 1960.