The World of Parmenides: Essays on the Presocratic Enlightenment

The World of Parmenides: Essays on the Presocratic Enlightenment

Language: English

Pages: 352

ISBN: 0415237300

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

This unique collection of essays not only explores the complexity of ancient Greek thought, but also reveals Popper's engagement with Presocratic philosophy and the enlightenment he experienced in reading Parmenides. It includes writings on Greek science, philosophy and history, and demonstrates Popper's lifelong fascination and admiration of the Presocratic philosophers, in particular Parmenides, Xenophanes and Heraclitus.













continuous media and the (classical) theories of fields have to do with systems that are extended; not only over a spatial region but also, essentially, over a temporal region. (The boundary conditions are to be given, in principle, for every instant of time, and even for approximation purposes for a considerable span of time.) Thus the Laplacean idea that initial conditions for one instant of time determine the behaviour of a (closed) mechanical system for all time is mistaken (even for closed

is formed successively after the most obtuse of the plane angles. The sense remains about the same if we translate (constructing τη̑ςμβλυτάτης, as say, gen. pretii): ‘… which in adjacent order was equal to [or: came to] the most obtuse of the plane angles’. The usual misunderstandings (e.g. in Archer-Hind, Bury, Cornford, Taylor), which are grave, are due to (a) a failure to recognize the intended geometrical construction, and (b) a translation of ϕεξη̑ς as ‘next in order of magnitude’; which

they associate them with the discussions of the Milesian School. Yet Mansfeld translates them twice in the usual way (with ‘ins Unermessliche’ or, op. cit., p. 208, ‘hin ins Unbegrenzte’); and he comments on the term ‘apeiron’ that ‘in this case … this Milesian concept is here in an original manner reinterpreted: not the … Air of Anaximenes is carrying the Earth, but the Earth itself is unlimited, in one direction’ (that is, downward). So my interpretation16 is, in part, supported by Kahn and

absurdum). Parmenides mentions it by name in B7: 5. It is good that there can be no doubt about its meaning, as it derives from λέγχω (‘to disgrace’, ‘scorn’, ‘dishonour’; in this case, to dishonour an assertion). 5 Parmenides speaks therefore of the round-eyed (κύκλωπος) Selene, B10: 4. He clearly knew that she was always half lit up. 6 See DK 22A1, p. 142, 2–6. Diogenes Laertius 9.10: eclipses of the Sun and of the Moon occur when the bowls (that contain the burning fuel) are turned upwards;

real. Only the Moon as such, the dark material Moon, independently of its illumination is a thing (indeed, a compact and heavy body): the thing itself rather than the thing lit up; however, as we all know, mortal men not only have given a name to this unreal no-thing, light, but even prefer it to the real, perhaps because it appeals to one of their senses, and flatters the sense of sight: they cannot see without light. But beware of your senses, Parmenides warns, trust only your reason! It is

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