Hegel’s Reading of Plato’s Parmenides

  • Allegra de Laurentiis

Abstract

In interpreting Plato’s Parmenides during the early Jena period, Hegel focuses largely on its methodological value as a radical exercise in negative skepticism—and, as such, as an introduction to proper philosophizing. In his ‘Relation of Skepticism to Philosophy’ (1801), for example, Hegel characterizes Plato’s dialogue as exhibiting ‘the negative side of the knowledge of the absolute [die negative Seite der Erkenntnis des Absoluten].’1 According to this interpretation, the dialogue’s role in the history of philosophy is twofold.

Keywords

Posit Peri Prefix Avant Clarification 

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Notes

  1. 10.
    H. Diels/W. Kranz, Die Fragmente der Vorsokratiker (Dublin/Zuerich: Weidmann, 1966), vol. I, pp. 227–45.Google Scholar
  2. 14.
    See for example the very influential study by H.F. Cherniss, ‘Parmenides and the “Parmenides” of Plato,’ The American Journal of Philology, 53 no. 2 (1932) 122–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 17.
    B. de Spinoza, Ethica ordine geometrico demonstrata (1677), Part I: Concerning God, Definition 1: ‘Per causam sui intelligo id cuius essentia involvit existentiam sive id cuius natura non potest concipi nisi existens.’ In: Opera, C. Gebhardt ed. (Heidelberg: C. Winter, 1925) vol. 2.Google Scholar
  4. 43.
    My analysis is based on the following selection: H. Cherniss, ‘Parmenides and the “Parmenides” of Plato,’ American Journal of Philology, 53/2 (1932).Google Scholar
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  10. 44.
    This is the translation in B. Jowett, ed. and trans., Plato. Dialogues (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1953) vol. 2.Google Scholar
  11. 45.
    In F. MacDonald Cornford, Plato and Parmenides. Parmenides’ Way of Truth and Plato’s Parmenides (New York: Humanities Press, 1939) p. 108.Google Scholar
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    M. Ficinus, Platonis opera omnia (Biponti: ex typographia Societatis, 1787).Google Scholar
  13. 50.
    For an exact reconstruction of the fascinating history of the editions of Ficino’s translation see J. Hankins, ‘Some Remarks on the History and Character of Ficino’s Translation of Plato’ in G.C. Garfagnini, ed., Marsilio Ficino e il ritorno di Platone (Firenze: Leo Olschki Editore, 1986) vol. 1.Google Scholar
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    Interestingly, H.G. Liddell and R. Scott’s augmented Greek-English Lexicon (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996) does not provide even 55.Google Scholar
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    E.V. Maltese ed., Platone. Tutte le Opere (Roma: Newton & Compton, 1997) vol. 2, p. 167.Google Scholar

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© Allegra de Laurentiis 2005

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  • Allegra de Laurentiis

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