Being Itself and the Being of Beings : Reading Aristotle’s Critique of Parmenides (Physics 1.3) after Metaphysics
Backman, J. (2018). Being Itself and the Being of Beings : Reading Aristotle’s Critique of Parmenides (Physics 1.3) after Metaphysics. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy, 22 (2), 271-291. doi:10.5840/epoche20171220103
Published inEpoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy
© Epoché, 2018. This is a final draft version of an article whose final and definitive form has been published by Villanova University. Published in this repository with the kind permission of the publisher.
The essay studies Aristotle’s critique of Parmenides (Physics 1.3) in the light of the Heideggerian account of Platonic-Aristotelian metaphysics as an approach to being (Sein) in terms of beings (das Seiende). Aristotle’s critique focuses on the presuppositions of the Parmenidean thesis of the unity of being. It is argued that a close study of the presuppositions of Aristotle’s own critique reveals an important difference between the Aristotelian metaphysical framework and the Parmenidean “protometaphysical” approach. The Parmenides fragments indicate being as such in the sense of the pure, undifferentiated “is there” (τὸ ἐόν)—as the intelligible accessibility of meaningful reality to thinking, prior to its articulation into determinate beings. For Aristotle, by contrast, “being itself” (αὐτὸ τὸ ὄν) has no other plausible meaning than “being-something-determinate as such” (τὸ ὅπερ ὄν τι), which itself remains equivocal. In this sense, Aristotle can indeed be said to conceive being in terms of beings, as the being-ness of determinate beings. ...