Parmenides (Greek Philosopher)


Parmenides (pärmĕn´Ĭdēz), b. c.515 BC, Greek philosopher of Elea, leading figure of the Eleatic school. Parmenides' great contribution to philosophy was the method of reasoned proof for assertions. Parmenides began his argument with the assertion that being is the material substance of which the universe is composed and argued that it was the sole and eternal reality. With this as a premise he proceeded to destroy by his dialectic argument the possibility of generation, destruction, change, and motion. All change and motion are illusions of the senses. Since being is spatially extended and is all that exists, there is no empty space, and motion is therefore impossible. Only fragments of his work have survived.

See Parmenides (text, tr., commentary, and critical essays by L. Tarán, 1965); study by A. P. Mourelatos (1970).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Parmenides (Greek Philosopher): Selected full-text books and articles

By Being, It Is: The Thesis of Parmenides By Néstor-Luis Cordero Parmenides, 2004
Plato's Reception of Parmenides By John A. Palmer Clarendon Press, 1999
The Presocratic Philosophers By Jonathan Barnes Routledge, 1989
Librarian's tip: Chap. IX "Parmenides and the Objects of Inquiry"
The Worlds of the Early Greek Philosophers By J. B. Wilbur; H. J. Allen Prometheus Books, 1979
Librarian's tip: Chap. 5 "The Eleatics: Parmenides"
Presocratic Reflexivity: The Construction of Philosophical Discourse c. 600-450 BC By Barry Sandywell Routledge, 1996
Librarian's tip: Chap. 7 "Eleatic Ontology from Xenophanes to Parmenides and Beyond"
The Theology of the Early Greek Philosophers By Werner Jaeger Clarendon Press, 1947
Librarian's tip: Chap. VI "Parmenides' Mystery of Being"
History of Western Philosophy By Bertrand Russell Routledge, 2004
Librarian's tip: Chap. 5 "Parmenides"
Rewriting the History of Ancient Greek Philosophy By V. Tejera Greenwood Press, 1997
Librarian's tip: Chap. 3 "Parmenides"
A Brief History of the Paradox: Philosophy and the Labyrinths of the Mind By Roy Sorensen Oxford University Press, 2003
Librarian's tip: Chap. Three "Parmenides on What Is Not"
A History of Ancient Philosophy: From the Beginnings to Augustine By Karsten Friis Johansen Routledge, 1998
Librarian's tip: "Parmenides" begins on p. 47
The First Philosophers: The Presocratics and Sophists By Robin Waterfield Oxford University Press, 2000
Librarian's tip: "Parmenides of Elea" begins on p. 49
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