Parmenides is very commonly read as a turning point in Plato's philosophical development. Most scholars assert that, in Parmenides, Plato seriously criticizes his theory of Forms. According to some proponents of this stance, Plato later came to view his own criticisms as altogether too damaging and thus subsequently abandoned his theory of Forms. Other proponents of the serious-self-criticism interpretation of Parmenides argue that, instead of abandoning his theory of Forms, Plato used Parmenides to lay the foundations for a new and improved theory. (There is little agreement on what this new theory of Forms entails.) Against these prevailing scholarly readings, Mehmet Tabak argues that Parmenides is in fact exclusively a satirical dialogue in which Plato attempts to expose the absurd nature of the doctrines and method of his philosophical opponents. Tabak's accessible, historically-sensitive, detailed, and comprehensive account is the first decisive illustration of this view, which has been sporadically defended for many centuries.
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Mehmet Tabak is the author of Dialectics of Human Nature in Marx's Philosophy and Dialectic in Hegel's History of Philosophy, Vol. 1. He is an adjunct professor at Program of International Relations, New York University, USA.Review:
"The 'Tabak interpretation' will be without doubt a welcome addition to the range of views in relation to which philosophers working on the Parmenides must position themselves." Howard Peacock, Bryn Mawr Classical Review (BMCR).
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