The ontological import of Parmenides' metaphor: a reading of the proemium


The aim of this essay is to consider the nature of the philosophical task and of the conditions of its possibility according to Parmenides and Plato. With these thinkers, the task of the philosopher necessitates a propaedeutic activity that makes the doing of philosophy possible; that is, both Parmenides and Plato identify the need for a philosophical education that would alleviate the obstacles that would make philosophy impossible to practise, ensuring and accounting for the possibility of philosophical practice. The impossibility of philosophical practice concerns the philosopher’s claim and obligation to occupy a place (τόπος) from which to contemplate being. The problem becomes conspicuous, for the first time, in the first lines of the first fragment of the first text of pure ontology: in the proemium of Parmenides’ poem. I will argue that the proemium has a crucial philosophical function that binds it integrally to the argument of the poem. This function consists in the implementation of a philosophical propaedeutic that makes possible the articulation of the goddess’s critique. The need for a propaedeutic stems from the nature of the project that lies ahead, that is, the project of the youth’s education. Such education takes the form of the delimitation of the realm of the beings that νοῦς can concern itself with.



External links

  • This entry has no external links. Add one.
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

  • Only published works are available at libraries.

Similar books and articles


Added to PP

344 (#7,144)

6 months
138 (#132,853)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Yannis Chatzantonis
Dundee University (PhD)

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references