Let’s take a look at some of the old school interpretations of the Parmenides. This dialogue is often grouped with that trilogy I’ve been writing about, as preceding it. It’s considered Plato’s Mt. Everest.
One take- it’s a polemic against Zeno
The dialogue therefore contains no positive doctrine, but is simply a destructive tour-de-force.
I might focus on the dialectical method contained within it. That’s probably more “timeless” than any of the doctrines.
Its purpose is to show that only rigorous training in logical method will enable one to avoid the various pitfalls into which unsophisticated “friends of the Forms,” like the young Socrates, are shown falling.
A further view is that it’s not merely about teaching a method with no purpose, it’s a method with the aim of understanding Being, just as the method in the Statesman is meant to reveal what a true statesman is.
Lately I’ve been realizing that I was brainwashed by Plato. You absorb the dialogues and don’t really understand what they DO to you until you read scholarship on them, and then you see, “Oh, that’s why I am the way I am.” Pick your brainwash I guess. This is arguably some of the finest “art” in existence.
This is how the bulk of the Neoplatonists see it
the dialogue is really a panoramic survey of the universe, as it derives from the One
For them, each dialogue had one “skopos”, one scope, one theme or purpose. They saw each one as one animal. A fox isn’t a rabbit.
Remember, for them, the Parmenides is the pinnacle theological dialogue. The One is deified.
“Wahhh why aren’t you a leftist then?” There are levels to the One. They’re all interlocking. It seems to me that leftism does not preserve the highest levels. I mean, they exist with or without humanity, leftism just extinguishes them on this planet.
I concur with this
[Proclus] feels obliged to point out that this is not the only way one may talk of divine matters—the inspired poets may use mythical language, and others may use a hieratic or elevated mode, or images and symbols, with mathematical terminology, as would the Pythagoreans. This austere, dialectical mode, however, is proper to the Eleatic tradition, which is eminently well suited to discussing the One.
Let’s look at a way the generation after Proclus saw this, except in the Gorgias
There isn’t really a great chart I can find to illustrate this better, here’s one
The Parmenides itself IS the One at the top. Or at least that’s the Neoplatonist view.
Socrates in the Republic forbids the young from being taught the dialectic, and in the Parmenides we have Young Socrates being taught it. This seems to imply it’s only for rare birds, that exceptions are above legislation. I know for a fact I’ve had like 15 years old reading this. Where are they now? Junkies in a cardboard box?
Anyway since you evidently have wifi in your box do you want to see how Proclus himself operates? He’s usually seen as the “Keter” of this school.
Everyone is taught the Pythagorean Theorem, no one is taught the Eleatic equivalent, probably because it’s so dangerous.
While he never admitted it, it’s clear neech for instance knew this method by heart.
Similar to shekina.mybb, Proclus refers to dialectics as “gymnastics”.
I don’t understand why one is perceived as Lucifer for using this method. Probably something to do with the fact that it’s used in Jerusalem.
Here is Proclus again, putting it in a simpler way
to divide one into many and collect many into one
It seems so innocent and yet–what is it exactly that jews don’t like about this?
Notice the irony here? We’re trying to “define”
to distinguish between these two kinds is the task of the diaeretic part of dialectic; the distinction between the remaining two belongs to the definitional aspect… collecting the many ideas, each of which is a whole, into a single definition, weaving them together [into] a single idea by grasping the many as one
This is probably all hieroglyphics to most people- the rare birds will see what’s going on here.
Some people have a talent for dialectics without even being aware of it. Europeoples in particular are skilled at it. Many probably just see it as “normal life”. Nonetheless, it can be studied similar to how the Pythagorean Theorem can be studied. It can be sharpened.
If someone has a good sense of humor this is often another way of saying they’re good at dialectics. And why do our overlords hate humor, hmmm, could it be that it’s because they suck at dialectics, hmmm…
See, I just divided dialectic itself into humor. It isn’t crystal-clear exactly what dialectic is. If it were easy to understand then everyone would be good at it. Anyway, just trying to give people a nice pair of boots for this Mt. Everest.