Parmenides Publishing

Titles By Arnold Herman

Plato's Parmenides
Text, Translation & Introductory Essay

—Foreword by Douglas Hedley
—Translation in collaboration with Sylvana Chrysakopoulou
  and edited by Glenn W. Most

1 September 2010
272 pages • 6 1/2 x 9 1/2 • Hardcover

272 pages • 6 1/4 x 9 1/4 • Paperback

is an independent researcher and  philosopher specializing in Presocratic philosophy, Metaphysics, and methods of thinking. He is the author of To Think Like God: Pythagoras and Parmenides—The Origins of Philosophy (Parmenides Publishing, 2004 & 2005), both the illustrated as well as the fully annotated edition. He is currently working on Plato's Eleatic Project.


is a researcher at the Hellenic Parliament Foundation. For the past five years she has been teaching ancient Greek Philosophy at the Universities of Patras and Crete. She received her doctorate from the Sorbonne (Paris IV) in 2004. During her doctoral years, she was an Onassis Scholar in Paris IV and a Leventis Scholar at Cambridge (Clare College). In 2005 she received a post-doctoral fellowship from the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa, and she worked on the present translation under Glenn Most's supervision.

This translation is the result of a collaboration between Arnold Hermann and Dr. Sylvana Chrysakopoulou. Heeding the challenge of balancing intelligibility with faithfulness—while maintaining sufficient consistency to allow the discernment of technical terms—great pains have been taken to secure both accuracy and accessibility. In his Foreword, Douglas Hedley gives an insightful account of the way the Parmenides was received by different cultures and philosophical schools throughout the centuries to the present day.

Hermann’s Introduction, aimed at first time readers and professional interpreters alike, offers an overview of the most noted philosophical problems addressed in the dialogue, and of its historical background. In view of the fact that certain individual issues have been exhaustively explored by generations of scholars, Hermann chooses to focus also on subjects that have at times been passed over, or trivialized: the debt the dialogue may owe to the works of earlier thinkers, or whether it constitutes a response to certain critics of the Theory of Forms; as for the Theory itself, whether it is bolstered or superseded by the dialogue’s conclusions, or whether there is such a thing as a “simple,” unparticipated Form, and if there is, why it cannot be the subject of an account; also, the issue of the “interweaving of Forms,” (the Sophist) is discussed, in light of its possible relevance to the Second Part of the Parmenides. Finally, Hermann provides an overview with a listing and summaries of the individual conclusions to each of the eight central arguments of the dialgoue’s Second Part (plus Coda).

ForeWord Magazine
Book of the Year Awards 2010
- Honorable Mention
(click here)

In his 70-page introduction, Arnold Hermann sees the First Part of the dialogue as targeting ‘naive misreadings’ (15) of the Theory of Forms, and the Second Part as ‘a successful attempt to illuminate the difficulties raised by the First’ (17). For instance (to take an easy example), a form is ‘itself by itself’, and such simplicity or straightforwardness is explored in Argument I of the Second Part. Or again, since Forms have to interweave, they can be seen as complex, such as the ‘One Being’ of Argument II. These are not original lines of thought, but the introduction well conveys the author's enthusiasm for a dialogue that strikes many as rather dry. Throughout, Hermann corroborates his views by drawing connections with the thought of the Parmenides and Zeno, and other Platonic passages. The eight Arguments of the Second Part are subjected to a particularly close analysis (41–54), and Hermann concludes that they are primarily concerned with the interweaving and isolation of canonical Forms. Especially useful, to my mind, is the final section of the introduction, where Hermann lists the major issues and offers solutions.

(Read entire the review here)

—Robin Waterfield
The Heythrop Journal

"Arnold Hermann has rendered a major service to every student of Plato by presenting us with a new translation (in collaboration with Sylvana Chrysakopoulou) of the dialogue Parmenides conveniently facing the Greek text, together with a challenging introductory essay that calls attention to the important Eleatic dimension pervading all of Plato’s work. Thus Hermann’s insightful commentary pursues the close connections between the Sophist and the Parmenides, while also recognizing the Zenonian character of many of the arguments in Parmenides Part Two. The result is a fuller picture of the links between Parmenides and Plato, as well as between the Parmenides and the other dialogues.
There is a thoughtful Foreword by Douglas Hedley tracing the Parmenidean philosophical legacy through Neoplatonism down to Schopenhauer and Wittgenstein."
—Charles H. Kahn
Professor of Philosophy
University of Pennsylvania
"It is always enlightening to re-read Plato, however often one does so, and to re-read the Parmenides in the company of Arnold Hermann and Sylvana Chrysakopoulou's lucid and elegant translation, with its fine introduction and notes, is a pleasure indeed. We will no doubt never quite solve all the puzzles presented by this most troublesome of Plato's works, but this new edition is a powerful stimulus to try once more."
—John M. Dillon
Emeritus Professor of Greek
Trinity College, Dublin
“Plato’s Parmenides is a notoriously complex and difficult work that has been controversial since antiquity. Arnold Hermann’s new book, consisting of the Greek text, a translation, and a brief interpretative commentary, is therefore most welcomed… Hermann and Chrysakopoulou's translation is vivid, well phrased, and often helps to clarify obscure and debatable passages of the text. [The] interpretative essay contributes greatly to the understanding of the dialogue, giving the various alternative interpretations and presenting many fresh ideas. Especially helpful and illuminating is the systematization of the eight hypotheses and the conclusions drawn from them in the second part of the dialogue. Although there is a vast literature on the Parmenides, Hermann’s book offers original insights into central problems of the dialogue. The book will be valuable for all scholars and students of Plato.”
—Vassilis Karasmanis
Professor of Philosophy
National Technical University of Athens
"The Parmenides is Plato's most formidable dialogue, posing interpretive problems that remain unresolved despite two millennia of commentary. These problems stem in part from difficulties in translation to modern languages. The translation of Arnold Hermann and Sylvana Chrysakopoulou is one of the three or four best currently available in English. This, along with Hermann's thoughtful introduction, makes Plato's Parmenides a welcome addition to contemporary Plato scholarship."
—Kenneth M. Sayre
Professor of Philosophy
University of Notre Dame