Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy: Volume XXX: Summer by David Sedley

By David Sedley

Oxford stories in historic Philosophy is a quantity of unique articles on all facets of historic philosophy. The articles could be of considerable size, and comprise serious notices of significant books. OSAP is released two times each year, in either hardback and paperback.

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These emergences of being, recall, occur at crucial moments of the larger enquiry in which, seeking the ‘forms’ fundamental to all else, mortals arrive at the gateway—that is, come to understand and to say, π ν πλ ον στ ν µο φ εος κα νυκτ ς φ ντου . . All is full of Light and obscure Night together . . (9. 3) Notice how, in ‘order[ing]’ ‘[her] words’ ‘deceptive[ly]’ (8. 52) so as to give voice to the perspective of mortals, the goddess elides the ‘is’—that is, the expression of the being, as such—of the two forms.

7–8) as one content among others, is none the less the absence or the privation of . , and the thinking that is capable of not trying to take ‘it’ up ‘by itself’ thereby opens itself up to the dynamic of this ‘of . ’. (d) If we were less patient than Parmenides, we might now jump to the assumption that the ‘chasm’, ‘un-yawning’, refers us back to the opposites; for it was as the opening left by the gates, that is, as the absence of the opposites, that it first ‘yawned’—began to present itself—before us.

In these uses χαν ς signifies the openness overhead, above the upper reaches of the structures—in these examples the high walls of the labyrinth, the column tops and lintels of the temple—that define our local place below. If we let this spatial orientation reinforce Parmenides’ ‘ethereal’ at 1. 13 and itself be further reinforced by his evocation of the Homeric ‘gates of sky’ at 1. 20, then χαν ς opposes the sense of place and direction that the Hesiodic resonance of χ σµα so strongly invites: the chasm that ‘yawns’, yawns overhead, and we find ourselves gazing up, not down, through the open gateway and into the void above, not below, the world!

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