Gorgias’ Treatise ‘On Not-being or On Nature’ – Summaries, Testimonies and Polemics

Marian Andrzej Wesoły

Beginning with a  thematic introduction, we present here, in a  new Polish translation, two extensive summaries of Gorgias᾿ treatise On Not-being or On Nature, which seems to reverse Parmenides᾿ trinitarian identity of being – thinking – saying, namely: “nothing is, if something is, it is unknowable, and if something is and is knowable, it cannot be indicated to others”. We also cite several related early testimonies and polemics around the sophistic approach to “not-being” and the resolution of this aporia undertaken by Plato and Aristotle. In addition, we cite in translation those ancient testimonies which concern Gorgias᾿ explanation of the natural phenomena of color and of fi re through certain effl uxes and pores. Gorgias probably adopted these views from his master, Empedocles of Acragas.

DOI: 10.37240/AHFiMS.2020.65.


Keywords: Gorgias of Leontini · On Not-being or On Nature · Polish translation

Marian Andrzej Wesoły – Prof. ordinarius in the Institute of Philosophy at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. Th e Head of the Research Center for Ancient and Byzantine Philosophy. Editor-in-chief of the PEITHO journal. Author of over 150 publications, mainly on the Presocratics, Plato, Aristotle and Greek philosophy in Byzantium. He also translated into Polish several Hippocratic writings (with an introduction and a commentary) and the fragments and doxography of Presocratics (in print).   »  

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