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Author: Constance C. Meinwald
ISBN13: 978-0195064452
Title: Plato's Parmenides
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ePUB size: 1537 kb
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Language: English
Category: Humanities
Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (February 7, 1991)
Pages: 208

Plato's Parmenides by Constance C. Meinwald

Constance C. Meinwald. Download (pdf, . 8 Mb) Donate Read.

Plato's Parmenides book. On Meinwald's interpretation, the new distinction is associated with developments in metaphysics which take Plato well beyond the problems commonly thought to tell against Platonism. Stores ▾. Audible Barnes & Noble Walmart eBooks Apple Books Google Play Abebooks Book Depository Indigo Alibris Better World Books IndieBound.

Constance Meinwald's reading has the important virtue of providing a coherent picture of the dialogue and its role in Plato's development. This excellent book provokes one to reconsider all one's views about the Parmenides.

In this engaging introduction, Constance Meinwald shows how Plato has shaped the landscape of Western philosophy. She provides much-needed historical context, and helps readers grapple with Plato’s distinctive use of highly crafted literary masterpieces for philosophical purposes.

Constance C. Meinwald - 1991 - Oxford University Press. How to Say Goodbye to the Third Man. Francis Jeffry Pelletier & Edward N. Zalta - 2000 - Noûs 34 (2):165–202. Two Recent Interpretations of Plato's Parmenides. Egil A. Wylter - 1963 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 6 (1-4):200 – 211. J. A. Palmer: Plato's Reception of Parmenides. London: Kegan Paul, 1939.

Library descriptions. This treatise offers a new solution to the famous puzzle of the so-called "gymnastic" half of Plato's "Parmenides". The author shows that the work serves to introduce a metaphysics which had outgrown problems commonly associated with Plato's middle dialogues, creating a bridge to his later work.

New York: Oxford University Press, a991. Constance Meinwald's book on the Parmenides appears toward the end of a decade of intensive study by other scholars of that forbidding-and profound-dialogue. Perhaps unavoidably then, her work will be read in tandem with this recent scholarship. The concluding chapters of Meinwald's study, including a brief resolution of the Third Man issue (a 55-57), will be found useful only if the reader accepts this interpretive structure. In the Introduction, Meinwald distinguishes two types of Parmenides interpretation. The first, "rejectionism," assumes that the contradictions in the dialectical exercise portion of the dialogue "are real," an assumption that "produces a need to find things to reject" (so).

Predication and the Parmenides - Constance C. Meinwald: Plato's Parmenides. Pp. vii + 192. Oxford University Press, 1991.

Predication and the Parmenides Constance C.

Plato's Parmenides consists in a critical examination of the theory of forms, a set of metaphysical and epistemological doctrines articulated and defended by the character Socrates in the dialogues of Plato's middle period (principally Phaedo, Republic II–X, Symposium). According to this theory, there is a single, eternal, unchanging, indivisible, and non-sensible form corresponding to every predicate or property.

The Parmenides is notorious for the criticisms it directs against Plato's own Theory of Forms, as presented in the middle period. But the second and major portion of the dialogue has generally been avoided, despite its being offered as Plato's response to the problems; the text seems intractably obscure, appearing to consist of a series of bad arguments leading to contradictory conclusions. Carefully analyzing these arguments and the methodological remarks which precede them, Meinwald shows that to understand Plato's response we need to recognize his important distinction between two kinds of predication. Read in the light of this distinction, the arguments can be seen to be sound, and the contradictions merely apparent. Meinwald then proceeds to demonstrate the direct application of Plato's crucial innovation in solving the problems of the first part of the dialogue, including the infamous Third Man. On Meinwald's interpretation, the new distinction is associated with developments in metaphysics which take Plato well beyond the problems commonly thought to tell against Platonism.
Reviews: 4
I am lost in admiration for the negative reviewer who was able to understand Plato's theory of forms en toto on the basis of one short passage from the Parmenides, and also for the numerous readers who found his review helpful where I found it incoherent and obtuse. Ordinary mortals like myself must read this dialogue in its entirety many times, trying to relate the various parts to each other, before venturing a guess as to what Plato is trying to convey. For us amateurs, books like Plato's Parmenides are invaluable guides in grasping what is going on. Meinwald does not go over each passage as Miller does in his Plato's Parmenides: The Conversion of the Soul, which is also excellent. Rather, she focuses on two different kinds of truth that arise from two different kinds of questions, each of which is highlighted in four of the eight sections of Parmenides' explanation.

A serious reader of a Platonic dialogue is always confronted with the question of how the dialogue hangs together. This must be especially true in a dialogue whose very theme is Unity. The book is a reworked doctoral thesis, so at times the style is a bit clunky and the argument tedious; but what Meinwald has to say and (most of all) show is invaluable in understanding the whole and gaining new insights into Plato's thought. After all that has been written over the centuries regarding the Parmenides, it is very much to her credit that she has put forward a comprehensive and convincing new approach to this most "metaphysical" of Plato's works.
This review will be brief. It's for those who know the Parmenides fairly well, have heard this book endlessly discussed in the literature, and are trying to decide whether it's worth the time.

Though Meinwald claims to find a a solution to the six problems posed by Parmenides against the early Socrates' Theory of Forms, that is not the real meat of this book. She proposes a theory that does indeed dissolve these problems, but the implications of that theory on the structure of the second part of the dialogue are perhaps more important than its ability to solve the problems of part 1. (For a summary of Meinwald's solution to this problem, check out her article in the Cambridge Companion to Plato (ed. Kraut, 1992).) Meinwald gives us a way to systematically interpret the eight hypotheses in the second part of the Parmenides. For nearly 2,500 years, the fact that four hypothesis (if the one is, what follows for the one; if the one is, what follows for the others; if the one is not, what follows for the one; if the one is not, what follows for the others) each seem to be asked twice, and that each answer derives contradictory sets of conclusions, has eluded commentators. This has led to interpretive "solutions" such as treating the dialogue as a joke, rejecting half of its hypotheses, or viewing it as an exercise in logic, and so on. Meinwald's solution is to argue that the second part of the Parmenides does not ask four questions, so there are no answers that contradict another question's answers - because each of the questions (each hypothesis) is different. Rather, eight questions are asked, half of which are governed by a type of predication QUA ONE (pros heuto/pros allo), and half of which are governed by a type of predication QUA OTHERS (pros talla/pros heauta). The argument for treating each hypothesis as governed by one of these modes of predication is that Parmenides uses these qualifiers three times in the transition between the first and second part that explains the exercise to follow (134-7ish), and again at the end of the fourth hypothesis (160ish) and the end of the eighth hypothesis (166ish).

I simply wouldn't read a book on the Parmenides that doesn't cite this in the bibliography.
Meinwald's is a ground breaking work on the Parmenides whose central lesson is that some of the dialogue's later pages shed light on what's going on in the early bits. Sounds uncontroversial? You bet. No one's ever taken care to work out this simple idea into something workable. Meinwald tries, and in the course of doing so presents us with an elegant reading of the dialogue. That does not make her book easy to digest or 100% correct. I think it's far from either. But it's still the most helpful book on the dialogue you'll ever lay eyes on. Why? Because working out whether to agree or disagree with Meinwald's profound reading will make you think extremely hard about what this dialogue is trying to tell us. Meinwald's book will quickly teach you to reject the easy fixes. Already in that regard it's much more congenial to Plato's original than most other things written about it. This book does not talk about midwifery: it accomplishes it.

That said, the book is not for the faint hearted. To begin with, unless you know Greek, a good many of the book's finer (and finest) points will be lost on you. You'll get irritated at the undecipherable font.
Moreover, if you're coming to the dialogue for the first time, simply skip this. You'll be overwhelmed in a most unhelpful way. Rather go with Mary Luise Gill's 'Parmenides' (published by Hackett), which will equip you with a solid working base on most issues the dialogue has triggered. And hey, then it's quality time. Then you can start brooding and cooking up your own theory of what this most difficult of all dialogues is meant to tell us. And then Meinwald's gem can become your trusted companion.