Oct 1, 2020
Journal name not available for this finding
The modern edition of Parmenides’ poem (from Fulleborn’s 1795 work onwards) consolidated the well-known dichotomical scheme according to which its fragments are established and understood, i. e., attributing them to either one of two main “parts”, following the Proem, that is, to Truth ( Aletheia ) or Opinion ( Doxa ). A careful review of the doxographical testimonies reveals, however, sufficient indications to cast doubts over this well-accepted representation. In this paper, we would like to analyze some of these testimonials – particularly those found in Simplicius – aiming to show the evidence for an important distinction between what the Ancients called a section “On Opinion” ( ta pros doxan ) and the parmenidean Cosmogony properly. We shall see that this hypothesis implies a “reductionist” view of the Doxa , limited to verses 53-61 of fragment 8, in addition to the four verses of fragment 9. The cosmogonical account, moreover, as we would like to show, should not be simply understood as any collection of “mortal opinions” – in the sense of their devaluation in the first part of the poem (cf. B1,30; B6,4-9; B7,3-5) – but instead as importing epistemological features into the description of the origins of the present state of the universe. Finally, we extract from this picture some consequences for the understanding of the role of the argument on Being and the limits of Parmenidean “ontology”.