Parmenides by Plato. - HTML preview

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The first of these views derives support from the falls very far short of the Hegelian identity of Be-manner in which Parmenides speaks of a similar ing and Not-being. The Being and Not-being of method being applied to all Ideas. Yet it is hard to Plato never merge in each other, though he is suppose that Plato would have furnished so elabo-aware that ‘determination is only negation.’

rate an example, not of his own but of the Eleatic After criticizing the hypotheses of others, it dialectic, had he intended only to give an illustra-may appear presumptuous to add another guess tion of method. The second view has been often to the many which have been already offered.

overstated by those who, like Hegel himself, have May we say, in Platonic language, that we still tended to confuse ancient with modern philoso-seem to see vestiges of a track which has not yet phy. We need not deny that Plato, trained in the been taken? It is quite possible that the obscu-school of Cratylus and Heracleitus, may have seen rity of the Parmenides would not have existed to that a contradiction in terms is sometimes the best a contemporary student of philosophy, and, like expression of a truth higher than either (compare the similar difficulty in the Philebus, is really due Soph.). But his ideal theory is not based on anti-to our ignorance of the mind of the age. There is nomies. The correlation of Ideas was the meta-an obscure Megarian influence on Plato which physical difficulty of the age in which he lived; cannot wholly be cleared up, and is not much and the Megarian and Cynic philosophy was a illustrated by the doubtful tradition of his retire-

‘reductio ad absurdum’ of their isolation. To re-ment to Megara after the death of Socrates. For store them to their natural connexion and to de-Megara was within a walk of Athens (Phaedr.), tect the negative element in them is the aim of and Plato might have learned the Megarian doc-Plato in the Sophist. But his view of their connexion trines without settling there.