Parmenides, the Founder of Abstract Geometry: Enriques Interpreter of the Eleatic Thought

Foundations of Science 28 (3):947-975 (2023)
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The interpretation of Parmenides’ Περί Φύσεως is a fascinating topic to which philosophers, historians of philosophy and scientists have dedicated many studies along the history of Western thought. The aim of this paper is to present the reading of Parmenides’s work offered by Federigo Enriques. It is based on several original theses: (1) Parmenides was the discoverer of abstract geometry; (2) his critics was addressed against the Pythagoreans rather than against Heraclitus; (3) Parmenides discovered and applied the contradiction and the third excluded principles in the context of his research on foundation of geometry; (4) Parmenides’s metaphysical and physical conceptions have their bases in his speculation on geometry; (5) Parmenides used the principle of sufficient reason. Enriques’s reading is worth being expounded and discussed within the historical, philosophical and scientific context in which it is inserted. Since Enriques’s ideas are not widely known and discussed, my research has the purpose to fill this gap. The article also aims to provide elements to illustrate the discussion on Parmenides in the first half of the last century.



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