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The Enduring Significance of Parmenides by Raymond Tallis

The Enduring Significance of Parmenides

Part of the Continuum Studies in Ancient Philosophy Series


The Enduring Significance of Parmenides by Raymond Tallis

Parmenides of Elea is widely regarded as the most important of the Presocratic philosophers and one of the most influential thinkers of all time. He is famous, or notorious, for asserting that change, movement, generation and perishing are illusions arising from our senses, that past and future do not exist, and that the universe is a single, homogeneous, static sphere. This picture of the world is not only contrary to the experience of every conscious moment of our lives, it is also unthinkable, since thoughts themselves are events that come into being and pass away. In this important new book, Raymond Tallis critically examines Parmenides conclusions and argues that, although his views have had a huge influence, they are in fact the result of a failure to allow for possibility, for what-might-be, which neither is nor is not. Without possibility, there is neither truth nor falsehood. Tallis explores the limits of Parmenides ideas, his influence on Plato and, through him, Aristotle and finally, why Parmenides is still relevant today.

About the Author

Raymond Tallis was Professor of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Manchester, UK from 1987 to 2006. He has written for the Times Literary Supplement, The Times, the London Reveiw of Books, PN Review and Prospect. His philosophy publications include Not Saussure (Macmillan, 1995), A Conversation with Heidegger (Palgrave, 2002), and a trilogy on human consciousness, The Hand (2003), I Am (2004) and The Knowing Animal (2005), all published by Edinburgh University Press. He has received honorary degrees from the Universities of Hull (LittD, 1997) and Manchester (DLitt, 2002) for his contributions to philosophy and, in 2004, was identified by Prospect magazine as one of the top 100 public intellectuals in the UK.

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Book Info

Publication date

29th November 2007


Raymond Tallis

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Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd. an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing PLC


258 pages


Western philosophy: Ancient, to c 500



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