Mython akousas. Zum Grund der Dichtung bei Parmenides und Empedokles

Hauptsächlicher Artikelinhalt

Claus-Artur Scheier


Earliest Greek philosophy concurred with traditional poetry in its attempt to deliver cosmological thought about the Universe (τὰ πάντα); to this end, it used a paratactically descriptive prose style (Anaximander, Anaximenes). Adopted by a new kind of poetry criticizing the traditional myths as mere opinions (δόξαι) and mediated through its Pythagorean mathematization, philosophy gathers itself into its own critical principle: Identity (Xenophanes). Identity and Difference together (Heraclitus) differentiate the world-immanent Logos (λόγος ἐών). In human thought, this Logos presents itself as Judgement (κρίσις): Predication is reflected in a tropic prose style. The disentanglement of the resulting paradoxical unity of opposites calls forth the Principle of Contradiction and reinstates poetry as self-revelation of intellectual intuition (νοεῖν): while in the opinions of mortals, everything might be considered as merely asserted and ambiguous, contradiction is the ever-present presupposition in every act of thinking (Parmenides). The infinite progress of excluding contradiction (Anaxagoras) is itself dialectically shown as contradictory (Zenon): What remains is the perception of the sole, non-conceptualized phenomenon, whose apprehension existentially deepens into faith (πίστις). Linking up with pre-philosophical myth (Hesiod), it manifests itself once again as poetry, now already rhetorically (Empedocles).


Scheier, C.-A. 2022. Mython akousas. Zum Grund der Dichtung bei Parmenides und Empedokles. Internationale Zeitschrift für Kulturkomparatistik. 5 (2022), 327-350. DOI: