This paper reconsiders the debates around the interpretation of Parmenides’ Being, in order to draw out the preconceptions that lie behind such debates and to scrutinize the legitimacy of applying them to a text such as Parmenides’ poem. With a focus on the assumptions that have driven scholars to seek clarity within the notoriously ambiguous verse of the poem, I ask whether it is possible to develop an analysis of Parmenides’ Being that is sympathetic both to his clear interest in argument, logic, knowledge and truth and to his ambiguous expression and cultural and literary resonances.
Comment: This article offers a critical overview of recent debates concerning Parmenides' philosophy, which it does a good job of summarizing for the reader without presupposing much knowledge about the Presocratics. The article clearly identifies a number of tacit interpretive assumptions underlying dominant readings of Parmenides' poem, highlighting the complexities involved in reconstructing Parmenides' philosophical motivations within his proper cultural milieu. This article can easily be integrated into introductory courses on Parmenides and/or Presocratic philosophy.