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Parmenides
PARMENIDES
of the writer is not expressly stated. The date is
uncertain; the relation to the other writings of
Plato is also uncertain; the connexion between
the two parts is at first sight extremely obscure;
and in the latter of the two we are left in doubt
as to whether Plato is speaking his own senti-
ments by the lips of Parmenides, and overthrow-
ing him out of his own mouth, or whether he is
propounding consequences which would have
been admitted by Zeno and Parmenides them-
selves. The contradictions which follow from the
hypotheses of the one and many have been re-
garded by some as transcendental mysteries; by
others as a mere illustration, taken at random,
of a new method. They seem to have been in-
spired by a sort of dialectical frenzy, such as may
be supposed to have prevailed in the Megarian
School (compare Cratylus, etc.). The criticism on
his own doctrine of Ideas has also been consid-
ered, not as a real criticism, but as an exuber-
ance of the metaphysical imagination which en-
bby
PLA
Translated by Benjamin Jowett
INTRODUCTION AND ANALYSIS.
YSIS.
THE AW E WITH which Plato regarded the character
of ‘the great’ Parmenides has extended to the
dialogue which he calls by his name. None of the
writings of Plato have been more copiously illus-
trated, both in ancient and modern times, and
in none of them have the interpreters been more
at variance with one another. Nor is this surpris-
ing. For the Parmenides is more fragmentary and
isolated than any other dialogue, and the design
3
ARMENIDES
by
LLA
LLATO
TTO
ranslated by Benjamin Jowett
INTRODUCTION AND ANAL
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