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And if you go on and allow your mind in like manner to embrace in

one view the idea of greatness and of great things which are not the

idea, and -to compare them, will not another greatness arise, which

will appear to be the source of all these?

It would seem so.

Then another idea of greatness now comes into view over and above

absolute greatness, and the individuals which partake of it; and

then another, over and above all these, by virtue of which they will

all be great, and so each idea instead of being one will be infinitely


But may not the ideas, asked Socrates, be thoughts only, and have no

proper existence except in our minds, Parmenides? For in that case

each idea may still be one, and not experience this infinite


And can there be individual thoughts which are thoughts of nothing?

Impossible, he said.

The thought must be of something?


Of something which is or which is not?

Of something which is.

Must it not be of a single something, which the thought recognizes

as attaching to all, being a single form or nature?


And will not the something which is apprehended as one and the

same in all, be an idea?

From that, again, there is no escape.

Then, said Parmenides, if you say that everything else

participates in the ideas, must you not say either that everything

is made up of thoughts, and that all things think; or that they are

thoughts but have no thought?

The latter view, Parmenides, is no more rational than the previous

one. In my opinion, the ideas are, as it were, patterns fixed in

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