Parmenides Publishing

Titles By Patricia Curd

The Route of Parmenides
A new, revised edition including a new introduction, three additional essays and a previously unpublished paper by Gregory Vlastos

457 pages • 6 x 9 1/4 • Paperback

Alexander P.D. Mourelatos
is Professor of Philosophy and Classics at The University of Texas at Austin. A member of the UT Austin faculty since 1965, he founded there, and for many years directed, the Joint Classics-Philosophy Graduate Program in Ancient Philosophy, widely recognized as one of the best such programs in North America. He received all his academic degrees from Yale University (Ph.D., 1964), and has also been awarded an honorary degree in philosophy in his native Greece (University of Athens, 1994). In 1999, he was elected Corresponding Member of the Academy of Athens.

In U.S. national competitions he has received several awards, including the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship.  On some 130 occasions, he has delivered lectures at academic venues in the U.S.A., Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.  His articles have appeared in journals in classics; philosophy; history and philosophy of science; and linguistics.

Outside Texas, he has held visiting appointments at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, at the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton, NJ), the Center for Hellenic Studies (Washington, DC), the Australian National University, Carleton College, and the University of Crete.

      In this careful study of the fragments of Parmenides' hexameter poem, "On Nature," Alexander P. D. Mourelatos combines traditional philological reconstruction with the approaches of literary criticism and philosophical analysis to reveal the thought structure and expressive unity of the best preserved, most important and coherent text of Greek philosophy before Plato.

The author shows how Parmenides' deduction of the "signposts" and "bounds" of "what-is" critically defines the concept of reality implicit in Greek-cognitive vocabulary and in early speculative cosmologies. He interprets the second part of the poem, the "Doxa," as a cosmology designed to bring out both similarities and contrasts with Parmenides' own doctrine of "what-is." The "Doxa" thus serves as a semantic commentary on the first part, the "Truth." Mourelatos' discussions of the concepts of "persuasion," "fidelity," "opinion," "belief," and "appearance" elucidate terms strategically important for interpreting Parmenides and contribute in the history of Greek philosophical vocabulary.

first-time in paperback edition includes a new Introduction by the author. Also included are three essays by him, as well as one previously unpublished paper by Gregory Vlastos. (The Route of Parmenides was first published in hardcover in 1970 by Yale University Press.)

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(from the Portuguese translation)
The book by Mourelatos is a mandatory reference for anyone who wants and intends to dedicate himself to the studies on Parmenides of Elea (sec. VI-V a.C), by the meticulous philological work, the analytic severity, the speculative breadth, the amplitude of the bibliographical debate with the critical contemporary one, that is, by the erudition that reveals in sciences of the antiquity. Everything that is placed here is to service and articulate the multiple layers of significance that is enclosed in the 116 verses that arrived of the poem of Parmenides, one of the biggest texts of the western philosophical tradition.

Full review in English (pdf)
Full review in Portuguese (pdf)
—Marcelo Marques
Journal of Ancient Philosophy
University of Sao Paulo

The Route of Parmenides constitutes a major signpost on the road to understanding not just the great Eleatic thinker but the whole trajectory of early Greek philosophical thought as well. It is a cause of serious joy that it is now available to a new generation of scholars as their guide through the twisting paths along which western philosophy took its very first and most important steps.”
—Alexander Nehamas
Princeton University

The Route of Parmenides caused a sensation when it appeared in 1970 and it is still one of the most original and suggestive studies of Parmenides’ philosophy ever written. Mourelatos presents a rich and attractive reconstruction of the ‘cognitive quest’ into the nature of ‘what is’ that Parmenides both undertook and recommended to others. A work every serious student of ancient Greek philosophy will want to read, and read again.”
—James H. Lesher
University of Maryland

“Alexander Mourelatos puts Parmenides in his historical, literary, and philosophical context in a way that has seldom been done before or since. [The Route] combines subtle philological and literary inquiry with rigorous philosophical analysis to create a remarkable synthesis. . . In the thirty-five years since its publication it has become a classic in its own right.”
—Daniel W. Graham
Brigham Young University

The Route of Parmenides is one of the most important books ever written on Parmenides and is thus required reading for any student of Greek philosophy. Mourelatos is a master of the tools of analytic philosophy, but at the same time he achieves a more sophisticated understanding of Parmenides’ philosophy through careful consideration of his position in the epic and philosophical traditions, insightful semantic and syntactical analysis of his language and illuminating discussion of the imagery of the poem. Mourelatos’ Route is one from which students of Greek philosophy, both new and old, will bring back rich tidings each time they follow it.”
—Carl Huffman
DePauw University

“Mourelatos has crafted a splendid chariot to convey the student of Parmenides from the abode of Night into Light.”
—Wallace Matson
University of California, Berkeley

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