cover of book

After Parmenides: Idealism, Realism, and Epistemic Constructivism
by Tom Rockmore
University of Chicago Press, 2021
eISBN: 978-0-226-79556-0 | Cloth: 978-0-226-79542-3
Library of Congress Classification B235.P24R635 2021
Dewey Decimal Classification 182.3

Engages with one of the oldest philosophical problems—the relationship between thought and being—and offers a fresh perspective with which to approach the long history of this puzzle.

In After Parmenides, Tom Rockmore takes us all the way back to the beginning of philosophy when Parmenides asserted that thought and being are one: what we know is what is. This idea created a division between what the mind constructs as knowable entities and the idea that there is also a mind-independent real, which we can know or fail to know. To counter this, Rockmore argues that we need to give up on the idea of this real, and instead focus on the objects of cognition that our mind constructs. Though we cannot know mind-independent objects as they “really” are, we can and do know objects as they appear to us. If we construct the object we seek to know, then it corresponds to what we think about it.

After Parmenides charts the continual engagement with these ideas of the real and the knowable throughout philosophical history from Plato and Aristotle to Descartes, Kant, Fichte, Hegel, and Schopenhauer, Marx, and others. This ambitious book shows how new connections can be made in the history of philosophy when it is reread through a new lens.

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