Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name




First Advisor

Westra, Laura,





Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


This thesis examines the fragments of Parmenides' poem "On Nature". I attempt to determine the referent of "what is" or Being in the extant fragments, and to resolve a dispute between thinkers who consider Parmenides to be a materialist and those who hold that he is an idealist. My position is that Parmenides Being is an abstract unitary totality which represents the $\rm\kappa o\sigma\mu o\varsigma$ when thought about correctly. The only way to correctly understand Being is to think unitarily, and to deny the validity of material characterisations of Being. Being cannot be thought of as an aggregate of corporeal beings, nor can it be thought of as generated in the Pythagorean manner. It is my belief that Parmenides must be seen against the backdrop of Pythagoreanism, and not Milesian philosophy. Once we understand this important historical fact, some of the imagery employed by Parmenides becomes clearer, as does his project as a metaphysician. In the course of the thesis I offer a review of significant literature on the subject, discuss Parmenides' historical placement, and then offer a consistent interpretation of the extant fragments of all three parts of his poem. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 34-02, page: 0540. Adviser: Laura Westra. Thesis (M.A.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1994.