(Parmenides VIII, 34-41)

The relation between thinking and Being animates all Western reflection. It remains the durable touchstone for determining to what extent and in what way we have been granted both the privilege and the capacity to approach that which addresses itself to historical man as to-be-thought. Parmenides names this relation in his saying (Frag. III):

τὸ γὰρ αὐτὸ νοεῖν ἐστίν τε καὶ εἶναι.

For thinking and Being are the same.

In another verse, Fragment VIII, (34—41) he elaborates this saying. The lines read:

ταὐτὸν δ' ἐστὶ νοεῖν τε καὶ οὕνεκεν ἔστι νόημα.
οὐ γὰρ ἄνευ τοῦ ἐόντος, ἐν ᾧ πεφατισμένον ἐστιν,
εὑρήσεις τὸ νοεῖν· οὐδὲν γὰρ ἢ ἔστιν ἢ ἔσται
ἄλλο πάρεξ τοῦ ἐόντος, ἐπεὶ τό γε Μοῖρ' ἐπέδησεν
οὖλον ἀκίνητόν τ' ἔμμεναι: τῷ πάντ' ὄνομ' ἔσται,
ὅσσα βροτοὶ κατέθεντο πεποιθότες εἶναι ἀληθῆ,
γίγνεσθαί τε καὶ ὄλλυσθαι, εἶναί τε καὶ οὐχί,
καὶ τόπον ἀλλάσσειν διά τε χρόα φανὸν ἀμείβειν.

Thinking and the thought "it is" are the same. For without the being in relation to which it is uttered you cannot find thinking. For there neither is nor shall be anything outside of being, since Moira bound it to be whole and immovable. For that reason, all these will be mere names which mortals have laid down, convinced that they were true: coming-to-be as well as passing away. Being as well as nonbeing, and also change of place and variation of shining colors.*

*Cf. Diels-Kranz, Die Fragmente der Vorsokratiker, I, 238. Heidegger's citation of Fragment VIII differs from that of Diels-Kranz in two respects: he replaces the Greek semicolon (·) in lines 36 and 38 with a colon(:), and employs a variant spelling for ἔμεναι (1. 38). On the latter see below, p. 91—TR.


Early Greek Thinking

GA 7 p. 237