Plato's Parmenides (an attempt)

Plato's Parmenides is considered by many  to be not only Plato's hardest work, but to be one of the hardest works in all of the Western Canon.

We will be meeting three times for this dialogue.

Each time, participants will have read the dialogue, so that on the last meeting we will have read the dialogue three times.

At the meeting we will read through the dialogue, stopping to discuss whenever we need to.

Hopefully by the end of this series we will have some strong hypotheses concerning what is happening in this mysterious work.

Difficulty Rating:
Be as scholarly as possible, but on topic.  We are trying develop our own interpretive skills, so no need for secondary literature that will do this work for us.

Contention Level:
Hopefully none.  We aren't here to evaluate the truth of the text, but to determine ways in which such a truth could be evaluated.  Each can draw their own conclusions from the various approaches we develop.

Text:
http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/parmenides.html

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  • Elizabeth

    "Non-rivalrous good" is the economic term I was looking for which indicates that its use by one person does not subtract from or prohibit its availability to another.

    2 · June 19

    • Imran M.

      Also, a "diligence" is a large French stagecoach that was popular in the 18th and 19th century, if that helps explain Erik's comment about all the lightning.

      1 · June 19

    • Brian

      Light chit-chat about homemaking and the weather..

      1 · June 19

  • Marissa V.

    Similarly will try to make it -- depends on when I get off work.

    June 18

    • A former member
      A former member

      Same here

      June 18

  • Rick O.

    Favorite s lines so far: 133.B, 135.B

    makes you go ahhh...

    June 18

    • Imran M.

      It's a long passage, but it basically says if the ideas of things are true and permanent, they have to exist "on their own," e.g. they would still be there even after we perish are not seeing reflections in our world of the concepts they define. These ideas or definitions just relate to other ideas and definitions and don't depend on us. Mastership in the abstract relates to slavery in the abstract. People who are masters, on the other hand, relate to people who are slaves, but in no way to the abstract idea of mastership or slavery. (The notion that we can infer the relationships of ideas from the relationships of things we see was critiqued earlier). The consequence is that not only are we barred from knowing how things are permanently and independently of us, but that God, whose mind only deals with the permanent and true, can't know anything about the knowledge we come up w/ about the things we see.

      1 · June 18

    • Rick O.

      In 133.B Parmenides, in speaking of the Platonic forms, says that the 'supposed' problems could only be resolved by a "man of wide education and ability... [who was] willing to follow the proof through many long and elaborate details." - Like Hegel, who has to go through 300 pages to get to Being-For-Self as Imran points out above.

      June 18

  • Imran M.

    I'd really like to relate parts 2 and 3 of this to hegel's quality section next week, or at an hegel supplemental. This gives more flesh to being in itself/being for other moving to limitation, infinity and finally being for itself. That's the mystery of how you get determination from just pure determinacy.

    June 18

  • Brian

    Il be late, work

    June 17

  • A former member
    A former member

    Is this the first of three sessions?

    May 29

  • Brian

    So it is a live reading, continuous over three sessions. But we should read in advance (all of it). Correct?

    May 29

    • Erik C.

      Read all of it three times, and we'll also live read it. I think our live reading will try to dig into the text more, and perhaps illustrate parts of it that are difficult

      May 29

    • Brian

      Sounds great.

      May 29

  • K. Scot S.

    could attend sessions were they later in evening (wrk sched conflicts)

    May 29

    • Brian

      Hope you'll be able to join at least partly. Take care

      1 · May 29

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