'It was, for all I know, the first deductive theory of the world, the first deductive cosmology: One further step led to theoretical physics, and to the atomic theory.'
(Karl R. Popper - The World of Parmenides, p. 143)

'One of Parmenides' merits is to have been the first philosopher who strove to handle general concepts like 'being', 'not-being', 'knowing', 'unity', 'identity', in their systematic connection.'
(W.J. Verdenius - Parmenides, p. 2)

'Thus the philosophy of Parmenides is a strange blend of mysticism and logic. It is mysticism, for its goal is not the gradual and cumulative correction of empirical knowledge, but deliverance from it through the instantaneous and absolute grasp of 'immovable' truth. This is not the way of techne, but the way of revelation: it lies 'beyond the path of men' (B. 1.27). Yet this revelation is itself addressed to man's reason and must be judged by reason. Its core is pure logic: a rigorous venture in deductive thinking, the first of its kind in European thought. This kind of thinking could be used against the world of the senses ... This projection of the logic of Being upon the alien world of Becoming was Parmenides' most important single contribution to the history of thought, though it is seldom recognized as such. Without it, his doctrine of Being could have remained a speculative curiosity. With it, he laid the foundations for the greatest achievement of the scientific imagination of Greece, the atomic hypothesis.'
(Gregory Vlastos - Studies in Greek Philosophy, Vol. I, p. 16 2)

'From this inheritance contemporary philosophers have continued to draw profit. Parmenides is their earliest ancestor whose work contains explicit and self-conscious argumentation. The severe conceptual difficulties posed for the first time in his verses are of perennial interest, and many of them remain in the forefront of discussion today. Recent study has thus brought his thought, in the words of another critic, 'astonishingly close to some contemporary preoccupations'. He should be viewed not only as 'the most original and important philosopher before Socrates' but as the first extant author deserving to be called a philosopher in a present-day sense of the word.'
(David Gallop - Parmenides of Elea, p. 3)

'One cannot say that the case for Parmenides is proved. If it is accepted, it is a strange freak of history that so fundamental a discovery should have been made by one for whom the whole physical world was an unreal show.'
(W.K.C. Guthrie - A History of Greek Philosophy, Vol II. p. 65)

'As Parmenides categorically threw out all observation with the senses, so this student of philosophy is inclined to throw out Parmenides as a complete waste of time! His static theories denying motion and change were in direct antithesis to the Kinetic metaphysics of Heracleitus, and his depressing monism was later refuted by the atomists Democritus and Leucippus. In a nutshell; in a word; Parmenides is Pah! - and definitely not a philosopher to take to bed with you on a long winter evening! ... [Re Zeno's paradoxes] ... Personally speaking the whole thing makes me shudder - although I do acknowledge that paradoxes and riddles are very popular with the average thirteen-year-old school boy.
Zeno however, impressed his dialectical ability on Socrates, who then began turning it loose on the average citizen in the Agora (market-place) and in consequence made himself most unpopular. I only think that it is a pity that when they asked Socrates to drink the hemlock in 399 B.C., they didn' t include Zeno and Parmenides in the invitation.'
(Maureen O' Sullivan -  The Four Seasons of Greek Philosophy,  pp. 56-57)

'[Parmenides] is the purest example of the Greek desire to comprehend, a desire which in him would have nothing to do with what was not strictly knowable. If later philosophers appear softer by comparison, it is perhaps because of a revivifying compromise they made, one more acceptable and more tolerant of the discourse we perhaps need; but, by the same token, one can perhaps be forgiven for sometimes thinking them dwarfed by the inhuman shadow of the master.'
(Scott Austin - Parmenides - Being, Bounds, and Logic, p. 154)

'Parmenides' poem is dominated by his conviction that human beings can attain knowledge of reality or understanding.'
(A.H. Coxon - The Fragments of Parmenides, p. 19)

'What is clear is that Parmenides is making a conscious attempt at some kind of a new start. Like Descartes, he is trying to find an unassailable starting-point on which something further can be built. This search is understandable, given the intellectual situation of the time. The principles of the Milesians had yielded no one clearly true system, but a number of rival ones -in itself a scandal. Heraclitus had made the whole of cosmology suspect by revealing deep-seated contradictions at its heart. In the background, the Pythagoreans were directly or indirectly stimulating new lines of thought and using them, perhaps, for their own mysterious purposes.'
(Edward Hussey - The Presocratics, Classical Life and Letters, pp. 105-106)

'Parmenides in making reasoning the guide of his inquiries is the first Greek thinker who satisfies Plato's principle of 'proceeding through argument'.'
(W.J. Verdenius - Parmenides, p. 2)

'The crisis at the heart of Parmenides' argument, 'is or is not,' rules out any candidate for an ultimate entity in an explanation of what there is that is subject to coming-to-be, passing-away, or alteration of any sort. Such an entity must be a whole, complete, unchanging unity: it must be a thing that is of a single kind ... But it does not follow from this that there can be only one such entity. Parmenides' arguments allow for a plurality of fundamental, predicationally unified entities that can be used to explain the world reported by the senses.'
(Patricia Curd - The Legacy of Parmenides, pp. 241-242)

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Karl R. Popper - The World of Parmenides, p. 143
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W.J. Verdenius - Parmenides, p. 2
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Gregory Vlastos - Studies in Greek Philosophy, Vol. I, p. 162 
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David Gallop - Parmenides of Elea, p. 3                               Reproduced here by permission of the publisher.          Copyright © 1984 University of Toronto Press.           

W.K.C. Guthrie - A History of Greek Philosophy, Vol II. p. 65
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Maureen O'Sulllivan - The Four Seasons of Greek Philosophy, pp. 56-57                                                                                           Reprinted with the permission of Efstathiadis Group S.A.

Scott Austin - Parmenides - Being, Bounds, and Logic, p. 154
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A.H. Coxon - The Fragments of Parmenides, p. 19                      Reproduced here with the permission of Van Gorcum Publishers, Netherlands.                       

Edward Hussey - The Presocratics, Classical Life and Letters, pp. 105-106
Copyright © Edward Hussey. Reproduced here by permission of Hackett Publishing and Duckworth Publishers.

Patricia Curd - The Legacy of Parmenides, pp. 241-242
Copyright © The Legacy of Parmenides by Patricia Curd. All rights reserved. You may read and browse this material at this website. However, no further copying, downloading, or linking is permitted. No part of this material may be further reproduced in any form by any electronic or mechanical means (including photocopying, recording, or information storage and retrieval) without permission in writing from the publisher. Users are not permitted to mount this file on any network servers. For permission requests and to search our online catalog, please see our website at www.pup.princeton.edu


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