Parmeneides has traditionally been given a rather dry academic treatment by scholars, who universally view him as being a monist, in addition to being the first formal user of logic. This book unpacks the traditional view and exposes the claim of being a monist as a combination of numerous misunderstandings and a misuse of Aristotelian logical forms.
Before analysing the two works associated with Parmeneides, namely his poem and the so-called Platonic dialogue, a lengthy excursion is made into the world of intuitive induction, which formed the inspiration to his cosmological insights. The physical, societal and intellectual conditions in which intuitive induction was discovered and then developed are explored from earliest archaeological and historical records and a thesis is built to describe how it then emerged simultaneously in the Archaic Greek and Indian worlds, explaining why the philosophies of those two civilisations were so similar. This diversion is a necessary counter-argument to the traditional scholarly view that intuition plays no role or carries no weight in the interpretation of Parmeneides' poem. On the contrary, the author maintains that it is an essential precondition to its understanding.
Hand-in-hand with this novel insight is a unique explanation of the science of Classical Greece, describing its cosmology in terms of universal principles rather than the forces of modern science. This understanding is a vital prelude to understanding the self and its place within the universe.
Parmeneides' poem, rather than being a dry exploration of linguistic forms according to current scholastic opinion, is then shown to be a template first to understand the mysterious cosmology of our universe and second to navigate a path through the maze towards the ultimate philosophical prize of eudaimonia. Along the way, Parmeneides' ground-breaking description of the universal principle of paradox is explained.
The author maintains that the poem and the dialogue need to be read together. This claim is based on a heretical reading of the dialogue as being a factual account of the meeting of the three great Classical philosophers, Parmeneides, Zenon and Sokrates. The justifications are taken from the author's first book, Sokrates - Soul Scientist. When the poem and the dialogue are read in sequence, the dialogue can be seen to be a logical rendering of the intuitional insights discovered in the poem. This forms a satisfying dualistic relationship between intuitive induction and logical reasoning.
The author concludes by demonstrating that Parmeneides' dialogue constitutes the world's first logical proof of the principle of paradox, and as such lays the foundations for today's quantum mechanics.
This book is available to purchase at YPD Books
Other titles by Aretí