There is a strange contrast between, on the one hand, the prominent place generally assigned to Parmenides in the history of Greek philosophy, and on the other hand, the persistent uncertainty in the understanding of his teachings, as demonstrated by the large number of conflicting interpretations. In particular, there is no consent on the question whether Parmenides, in spite of the obvious weaknesses of his arguments, ought to be seen as the first proponent of a purely rational metaphysics, or whether, in view of his assertion of the unreality of change and plurality and of the identity of thinking and being, we should first of all view him as a precursor of Plotinus, or even as a mediator between Indian Advaita-philosophy and Neo- Platonism. That question is the central issue considered in this paper. For it, only the first part of Parmenides’ poem is relevant: his “way of truth”.
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