S Since The Parmenides is so very obscure the first uestion is how far we can go towards arriving at a true text Perhaps the nonsensical contradictory nature of the received text received through Cornford in this case indicates that this result reuires reexamination perhaps rejection Is there any textual tradition which allows for a coherant reading Are there any interpretative traditions which might offer cluesIn the description of this book I have placed a text which has bearing on the final uestion covering as it does the interpretative strands identified by Proclus. The 2nd major interpretative line identified by Proclus assigns P2 a metaphysical purpose An early version of this approach associated with Origen identifies the topic as the Being of the historical Parmenides with the conseuence that the exclusively negative results of the 1st hypothesis come to be viewed as adding to the pluralistic list of features denied of the singular Being in Parmenides' poem The tradition of interpretation with which Proclus himself agrees on the other hand is that beginning with Plotinus moving thru Porphyry to Iamblichus Syrianus As Proclus puts it commentators of this group take the subject to be all things that get their reality from the One which he identifies with the Republic's Good Keying upon the conclusion at Parmenides 142A that the One can be neither expressed nor conceived Proclus reads the 1st hypothesis' results as a demonstration of the ineffable transcendence of this Supreme Principle Plato's Parmenides the Dilemma of Participatio.
The second part of Plato s dialogue Parmenides is universally regarded as almost impossible to understand Cornford s translation and running commentary took me a long way to making a start on understanding what Plato is saying There are eight or nine depending on how you count them hypotheses which at a theological level might well encompass everything that can possibly be said on the nature of the relationship between God and reality For those of you who now nothing about this dialogue it purports to tell the almost certainly I read this book towards the beginning. International Library of Psychology Philosophy Scientific MethodTranslated with an introduction a running commentary by Francis Macdonald Cornford Parmenides was likely written within the last two decades preceding Plato's death in 347 BCE Despite two millennia of documented commentary scholars struggle to make sense of it Almost every major discussion of the Parmenides in this century has begun with some remark about its extraordinary difficulty no interpretation has yet been offered that a majority of commentators find persuasive The main interpretative problem of is what to make of the treatment of the several hypotheses that constitutes the 2nd portion Stephanus 137C 166C referred to as P2 One source of perplexity is that this latter portion fails to exhibit continuity of subject matter with the 1st part P1 making it difficult to determine what the whole is about To make matters worse the argumentation of the 2nd part is so extremely condensed that it sometimes appear.
Of Reginald Allen s course on Plato s Parmenides at Loyola University Chicago It was helpful as an introduction to a topic which remained unresolved by the end of the term namely the interpretation of the dialog Allen himself was thrashing it out being in the midst of preparing a book on the subjectThe course could have been taught better if attention had been paid to the matter of the textual basis of the dialog Exactly how many holographic sources have we for The Parmenides for Parmenides Proem and other writings attributed to him What are their respective provenance. S incoherent As a result not only are individual arguments hard to decipher but over it's unclear what Plato was trying to accomplish with these arguments in the 1st placeTwo major lines of interpretation were established by the time of Proclus' Parmenides Commentary in the 5th century both with prominent followers As Proclus notes in his 1st book some readers view the dialog as a logic exercise Some read P2 as a polemical tour de force in which methods of argument derived from Zeno are turned against their originator to show that Zeno's own monistic views lead to absurdities of the very sort he purports to demonstrate against pluralism's champions Others read the 2nd part at face value as a demonstration of a logical method that will enable Socrates to avoid the pitfalls in his Form theory exposed by Parmenides in the 1st part of the dialog In either case readers of this persuasion view the dialog primarily as a dialectical exercise without positive metaphysical content.
1874 1943 ClassicistCornford was educated at St Paul's School and was admitted to Trinity in 1893 being elected a Scholar the following year Cornford obtained firsts in both parts of the classical tripos in 1905 and 1907; he was awarded the Chancellor's Classical Medal in the latter year In 1897 he applied for the Chair of Greek at Cardiff but was unsuccessful However in 1899 he was elected