Over the centuries, Plato’s Parmenides has been an enigma for scholars. Scores of interpretations have been published by commentators who cannot seem to come to agreement about the meaning of this dialogue. Why does Parmenides remain fascinating and controversial?

The fascination is due, in part, to the fact that this dialogue represents the initiation into philosophy of a very young Socrates by the legendary Parmenides of Elea. In addition, Parmenides is one of Plato’s most carefully-crafted works, and yet it seems to be thoroughly contradictory. More significantly, in this dialogue Plato reevaluates his own earlier work, for Parmenides is an …

3100 words

Citation: Wood, Kelsey. "Parmenides". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 28 October 2006 [, accessed 24 March 2023.]

13438 Parmenides 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.