Parmenides IS succinct!

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Peng Huiguo
Posts: 93
Joined: April 28th, 2019, 2:02 am

Parmenides IS succinct!

Post by Peng Huiguo » January 21st, 2020, 4:27 am

ὁδοὶ µοῦναι διζήσιός εἰσι νοῆσαι
ἡ µὲν ὅπως ἔστιν τε καὶ ὡς οὐκ ἔστι µὴ εἶναι
πειθοῦς ἐστι κέλευθος···
ἡ δ΄ ὡς οὐκ ἔστιν τε καὶ ὡς χρεών ἐστι µὴ εἶναι
···παναπευθέα ἔµµεν ἀταρπόν
οὔτε γὰρ ἂν γνοίης τό γε µὴ ἐὸν···οὔτε φράσαις

Fellow liked infinitive. Reminds me of ancient chinese. Delightful.
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Peng Huiguo
Posts: 93
Joined: April 28th, 2019, 2:02 am

Re: Parmenides IS succinct!

Post by Peng Huiguo » January 22nd, 2020, 2:35 pm

Parmenides diglot

I haven't read non-koine widely, so be gentle on me. Here's how I understand that most famous part
ἡ μὲν ὅπως ἔστιν τε καὶ ὡς οὐκ ἔστι μὴ εἶναι
(one way—ὁδοί in the previous line—of thinking) is that something that exists is necessarily not non-being. (this line of thought was approved by the goddess)
ἡ δ' ὡς οὐκ ἔστιν τε καὶ ὡς χρεών ἐστι μὴ εἶναι
(and the other way of thinking) is that something that doen't exist is necessarily non-being. (disapproved)

That's the closest gloss I can come up with. It's hard to translate that loaded εἶναι. But I got from it that a thing and its being are one and the same. Exodus 3:14, hmm. As for how succinct Parmenides is, consider this couple of lines is basically the whole point of John Locke's An Essay Concerning Human Understanding. Parmenides also led me to McTaggart's fascinating concept of block time which may cast a light on greek tenses (it's not about whether tenses are temporal; it's about the nature of plot time). Ancient greek thinkers are truly geniuses, and their intellectual power is reflected in the way they used their language.
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Barry Hofstetter
Posts: 1898
Joined: May 6th, 2011, 1:48 pm

Re: Parmenides IS succinct!

Post by Barry Hofstetter » January 22nd, 2020, 7:08 pm

I'll say you picked a good one if you are starting out on "non-Koine" Greek! :D Not only intense philosophy, but dactylic hexameter to boot.

ἡ µὲν ὅπως ἔστιν τε καὶ ὡς οὐκ ἔστι µὴ εἶναι...

Notice how ἔστι is accented in both instances. The first is the existential use, the second followed by the infinitive renders possibility, something like that the first way is existence and that it is not possible not to exist...

If you have watched the 4th original Trek movie, "The Voyage Home," this is actually paraphrased when Spock is relearning everything before the computer, something to the effect of "nothing unreal has existence."

Here is the Stanford introduction to Parmenides:

Parmenides of Elea, active in the earlier part of the 5th c. BCE, authored a difficult metaphysical poem that has earned him a reputation as early Greek philosophy’s most profound and challenging thinker. His philosophical stance has typically been understood as at once extremely paradoxical and yet crucial for the broader development of Greek natural philosophy and metaphysics. He has been seen as a metaphysical monist (of one stripe or another) who so challenged the naïve cosmological theories of his predecessors that his major successors among the Presocratics were all driven to develop more sophisticated physical theories in response to his arguments. The difficulties involved in the interpretation of his poem have resulted in disagreement about many fundamental questions concerning his philosophical views, such as: whether he actually was a monist and, if so, what kind of monist he was; whether his system reflects a critical attitude toward earlier thinkers such as the Milesians, Pythagoreans, and Heraclitus, or whether he was motivated simply by more strictly logical concerns, such as the paradox of negative existentials that Bertrand Russell detected at the heart of his thought; whether he considered the world of our everyday awareness, with its vast population of entities changing and affecting one another in all manner of ways, to be simply an illusion, and thus whether the lengthy cosmological portion of his poem represented a genuine attempt to understand this world at all.

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/parmenides/
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N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.

Peng Huiguo
Posts: 93
Joined: April 28th, 2019, 2:02 am

Re: Parmenides IS succinct!

Post by Peng Huiguo » January 22nd, 2020, 10:37 pm

you picked a good one
No it picked me, by way of Alan Bunning's latest post.
"nothing unreal has existence"
Right, Kirikintha's 1st law of metaphysics :lol: It applies to the star trek universe itself. Spock went out of existence at the moment he comprehended that "law".
Notice how ἔστι is accented in both instances. The first is the existential use, the second followed by the infinitive renders possibility, something like that the first way is existence and that it is not possible not to exist
These two lines are among the most intriguing utterances of all time; I think they're driving at a paradox, and were meant to be somewhat incomprehensible.
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Barry Hofstetter
Posts: 1898
Joined: May 6th, 2011, 1:48 pm

Re: Parmenides IS succinct!

Post by Barry Hofstetter » January 23rd, 2020, 1:23 pm

Peng Huiguo wrote:
January 22nd, 2020, 10:37 pm
you picked a good one
No it picked me, by way of Alan Bunning's latest post.
"nothing unreal has existence"
Right, Kirikintha's 1st law of metaphysics :lol: It applies to the star trek universe itself. Spock went out of existence at the moment he comprehended that "law".
Notice how ἔστι is accented in both instances. The first is the existential use, the second followed by the infinitive renders possibility, something like that the first way is existence and that it is not possible not to exist
These two lines are among the most intriguing utterances of all time; I think they're driving at a paradox, and were meant to be somewhat incomprehensible.
Well, to me, perhaps the most profound utterance of all time is Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος, καὶ ὁ λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν θεόν, καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος... :)

But I'm not disagreeing with you! And I think for much the same reason, a syntactically simple composition that communicates something far beyond the simplicity of the grammar.
0 x
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.

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