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Download PDF Plato versus Parmenides: The Debate over Coming-into-Being in Greek Philosophy

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Main article: Apology Plato. Main article: Protagoras dialogue. Main article: The Republic Plato. Main article: Laws dialogue. Disputed [ edit ] Successful people never worry about what others are doing. Alleged source in Plato unknown. Earliest occurrence to have been located is a Tweet from Ignorance, the root and stem of all evil. Attributed to Plato on quotes sites but never sourced. Misattributed [ edit ] Atheism is a disease of the soul, before it becomes an error of the understanding.

Misattributed to Plato in Laws by Conservapedia. Only the dead have seen the end of war. Attributed to Plato by General Douglas MacArthur , earliest source found is work of George Santayana who doesn't attribute it to anyone. Attributed to Plato by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin , as quoted in "Aspiring philosopher Palin quotes 'Plato'" 9 July Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. It has also been wrongly attributed to Philo.

It is a variant of the Christmas message "Be pitiful, for every man is fighting a hard battle," written by the Scottish preacher Ian Maclaren also known as John Watson in Philo of Alexandria? Necessity is the mother of invention.

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Commonly misattributed due to Benjamin Jowett 's popular idiomatic translation of Plato's Republic , Book II, c as "The true creator is necessity, who is the mother of our invention. III "Notes", , p.

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It gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, a charm to sadness, gaiety and life to everything. It is the essence of order, and leads to all that is good, just, and beautiful, of which it is the invisible, but nevertheless dazzling, passionate, and eternal form. This quotation is not known to exist in Plato's writings. We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light. This quotation, often attributed on the Internet to Plato, cannot be found in any of Plato's writings, nor can it be found in any published work anywhere until recent years.

Parmenides' influence on Empedocles and Anaxagoras Plato's Socrates and his theory of causation The Parmenides : Plato's proof of coming to be The Theaetetus : Plato's proof that the objects of knowledge are indivisible. Notes Includes bibliographical references p.

View online Borrow Buy Freely available Show 0 more links None of your libraries hold this item. Found at these bookshops Searching - please wait We were unable to find this edition in any bookshop we are able to search. These online bookshops told us they have this item:. Tags What are tags? Add a tag. Or is he trying to show that temporal and spatial notions are as problematic as the metaphysical notions we touched on already?

Or, finally, may he perhaps even want to show that these notions are more coherent than the metaphysical ones we find in Parmenides? He uses them either in a metaphorical sense or in a sense that transforms their meaning in a way that they can be used for his metaphysics we will see examples of both below.

Parmenides

As mentioned above, I will concentrate on the first two deductions in the following — the first deduction claims the One to be without any parts in order not to be many, while according to the second deduction, the One is a whole, but also has parts. This is deduced from the previous result that the One can neither be similar nor dissimilar to something, nor equal nor unequal to something.

For if A is of the same age as B, this means A has been around for an equal amount of time as B; and if A is older than B it has been around for a longer and that means an unequal amount of time than B. But as we are dealing only with the One, we do not have any other relatum than itself, and so it would have to be older than itself or younger than or the same age as itself.

The background to this expression may be something like this: if something becomes hotter, it needs to be hotter than it was before, for short: hotter than itself. While this is a peculiarity of the Greek language that seems to be in the background here, Plato clearly pushes such expressions further when he claims not only that somebody has become braver or richer than herself in time in the sense that she is richer now than she was before , but also uses it for temporal changes itself, like growing older, so that the One has become older than itself.

Rather, for this relation to hold, there has to be something now in existence with respect to which it can become older, and so the One also has to be there now as being or becoming younger than the thing that is or becomes older. So the one would have to be older and younger than itself; and simultaneously the same age as itself.

By contrast, deduction 2 infers that the One is in time, becomes older and younger than itself, and is of the same age as itself.

Plato Versus Parmenides The Debate Over Coming Into Being In Greek Philosophy

While the two deductions differ thus in the consequences they draw for whether the One is in time, there are three general features that we can derive from this discussion for an understanding of being in time in both deductions that are independent of possible absurd consequences:. In both deductions it is assumed that if the One is in chronos , it should become older a and a. Thus we see that being in time is tied to at least some minimal form of change, like becoming older or younger.


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Plato presents both, a quantitative and qualitative characterisation of time, without deciding between the two in the following. Thus he leaves it open that both may be adequate in discussions about temporal notions. Time has an intimate relationship to relative terms. This does not square well with the way we think about the arrow of time, where things can only become older, but not younger. By contrast, Plato only points out that there is a direction in time, but it seems that for him there can be opposite directions, becoming older or younger, he does not restricted himself to the one direction we usually take to be the only possible one.

We find the same idea in the Timaeus , when Timaeus attempts to exclude all forms of temporal succession from our account of the model by claiming that it neither becomes older nor younger 38a. Thus he is tying the relative terms to becoming. Accordingly, with time we do not only find terms expressing positions and relations in the way we find them with space with being taller, or smaller, or of the same size, for example.

However, the fact that Plato connects these notions with becoming may already point towards the A-series, which we definitively see at work when Plato ties the puzzles about being in time to the usage of tenses, to which we now turn. If the one does not participate in time in any way, it never had become, or was becoming, or was at any time, or has now become or is becoming or is, or will become, or will have become, or will be e But if none of these tenses can be rightly attributed to the One, then, so the inference in the first deduction, it cannot be.

Similarly, in the second deduction, where we are told that the One participates in chronos and is and becomes younger and older than itself and the other, and simultaneously is also neither younger nor older e ff , Being einai is captured as tied to time:. What was and will be seem to be the things belonging to what the mortals assume on their way of doxa , as well as what we deal with in our everyday world. These things are spread out temporally, they are extended in time: they were there in some part of the past and will be there in some part of the future.

The temporal realm of the world of becoming is divided into was and will be. By contrast, what truly is, is not subject to these temporal differences, at least not in the same way. Eon is now — this can be understood either as indicating atemporality, being beyond time; 29 or as indicating some present that we can never address as past or future. For the second deduction points out that the One has to move from the before to the after through the now b ff. Thus, the now also has a special status, since whenever the One is F, this happens in the now before it was only becoming, now it is F, e.

What is often understood as the appendix to deduction 2 or to deduction 1 and 2, 34 namely e—b, focuses on this notion. Plato uses it here in order to sketch a central problem in natural philosophy — namely how we can think of the transition from motion or change to rest, or from being F to not being F, or from Being to Not-Being.

I will concentrate on the case of motion and rest. It seems clear that if something is moving, it is not resting and if something is resting it is not moving, but yet when then is it changing from motion to rest?


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  6. It cannot change from motion to rest when it is in motion, for then it has not yet changed, nor when it is at rest, for then it has already changed c-d. But if at any point in time it is either in motion or at rest, when can this change take place? Atomists can easily talk about a first and a last part of time, space, or motion.

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    By contrast, if we understand time, space, and motion as continua, as Aristotle does, they are always further divisible and accordingly do not possess a first or last part. Of a motion, there is no last moment when something is still in motion nor a first point of something having moved. If we look at the transition from motion to rest, we find that whichever interval close to the finishing point we may choose, there will always be a smaller one closer to it.

    And similarly for the transition from rest to motion: So, too, of that which has changed there is no primary part that has changed. Then if BG is taken to be indivisible, two things without parts will have to be contiguous which is impossible : if on the other hand it is taken to be divisible, there will be something prior to G to which the thing moved has changed, and something else again prior to that, and so on to infinity, because the process of division may be continued without end.

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    Thus there can be no primary 'where' to which a thing has changed a26—b16, translation by Hardie and Gaye with modifications. And we find the same difficulty with determining an end point of a change, the coming to a standstill of a locomotion and the beginning of rest taken up later in the Physics b36—a If we look at a motion from A to B, we cannot determine a first instant of motion taking place after A — for whichever point after A we chose, there will be another point closer to A — nor a last instant of motion taking place just before B.

    For Plato, nothing can change immediately from rest to motion, since motion and rest are contradictories, 38 and changes seem to be thought of as continuous processes, at least to some degree. This means that an instant is not a part of time, since at any part in time things are either in motion or at rest. It is in between motion and rest, and the only point that does not separate motion from motion or rest from rest.

    We do not have a Zenonian paradox that deals with the transition from motion to rest, but it seems like a rather natural extension, a very Zeno like topic that could be worked into a paradox, perhaps following along the lines of c-d: if something moves and then rests, it needs to change between motion and rest. But when does it do so? Neither can it change from motion to rest while it is moving, since then it is still moving, nor can it change from motion to rest while it is already resting, since then it is already resting.