Leonardo Franchi

Concerning Parmenides’ Role in Plato’s Sophist (Soph. 236 d -241 b )

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Parmenides; Plato; Not-Being; Ontology; Sophist.

According to what is commonly believed, Parmenides conceived the absolute Not-Being, in order to deny it by highlighting its being unthinkable. Plato, in turn, refused Parmenides’ position, by pointing out a way according to which a certain Not-Being is allowed to be and to be thought. A closer look at Plato’s Sophist, however, can point out a quite different scenario. Parmenides B 7. 1-2 DK, quoted by Plato, is not dealing with the absolute not Being (mhdamw'~ o[n ), but rather with several Not-Beings (mh; ejovnta). In addition, it is not declaring that Not-Beings cannot be thought, but rather that we should not think them as if they were Beings. This paper aims to focus on the difference between Plato’s mhdamw'~ o[n and Parmenides’ mh; ejovnta, in order to point out how Plato overturned Parmenides’ krivsi~ concerning e[sti and oujk e[sti, and how such an overturning led him, Plato, to his mhdamw'~ o[n .

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