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TA112 (Müller)

 

Commentary 15  (to R14)

 

( PARMENIDES AND GORGIAS )
by Fred Abraham
4 November 2009, posted 14 November 2009

 

 

<1>
Thank you, Herbert FJ Müller, for this helpful commentary.
This fundamental issue is a foundation of some material I am developing for some lectures in May, and your comments will prove helpful.

 

<2>
Heraclitus of Ephesus (c. 544-484 B.C.) [who] argued that the entire substance of the world is in a ceaseless process of change, while the Eleatic philosopher Parmenides (c. 540-470) held to the opposing theory that the ultimate substance (Being) is unchanging and unchangeable, permanent (Sahakian,1968, 6).

 

<3>
Parmenides' goddess reminds me of another seemingly contradictory, and thus similarly destabilizing quote, of Gorgias:

 

   1. Nothing exists;

   2. Even if something exists, nothing can be known about it; and

   3. Even if something can be known about it, knowledge about it can't be

   communicated to others.

 

<4>
"The argument has largely been seen as an ironic refutation of Parmenides <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parmenides>' thesis on Being.
Gorgias set out to prove that it is as easy to demonstrate that being is one, unchanging and timeless as it is to prove that being has no existence at all."

 

(from Wikipedia, today).

 

<5>
Gorgias was thus in the Heraclitus tradition, rather than the Parmenides-Platonic tradition.

 

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(Additional note received 7 November 2009 :)

 

For a more immediate informant for Heidegger on *Dasein*, check out Kakuzō :

 

 ”According to Tomonobu

Imamichi<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomonobu_Imamichi>,

Heidegger <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heidegger>'s concept of

*Dasein*<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dasein> in

*Sein und Zeit* <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sein_und_Zeit> was inspired —although Heidegger remains silent on this — by Okakura Kakuzo's concept of *das-in-der-Welt-sein* (to be in the being of the world) expressed in *TheBook of Tea *to describe Zhuangzi <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zhuangzi>'s philosophy, which Imamichi's teacher had offered to Heidegger in 1919, after having followed lessons with him the year before." (from Wikipedia, 10/30)

 

Jaspers developed the idea further under the term *Existenz*.

 

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Fred Abraham

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