Good evening All,

I have been studying the great ontological authors of the western canon and have found an abrupt pause in literature after Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit. Parmenides seems to be the father of ontology however it is unclear where it ends after Hegel. Any references to works further into ontology after Hegel?

  • 1
    Ends after Hegel??? What about Heidegger, Being and Time; Whitehead, Process and Reality; Sellars, Science and Metaphysics; Deleuze, Difference and Repetition; Badiou, Being and Event; or the recent sensation Meillassoux, After Finitude?
    – Conifold
    Oct 12, 2021 at 23:59
  • Yes, you definitely want to pick up with Heidegger, whose main thrust was a return to the "meaning of being" and an ontology-based rejection of the analytical trends of his day. Oct 13, 2021 at 13:54

1 Answer 1


In a nutshell: ontology is the concern of theologians, not of philosophers who are interested in its prior, knowledge. Most of what remains of ancient Greek has been transmitted by theologically minded authors. Thus the illusion is created that ontology is somehow a fundamental philosophical question. It was Kant who rejected the theologian's view and separated again the concerns. "Existence is not a real predicate" (KRV) became the cornerstone of modern philosophy. Since Descartes it was obvious that subject comes first and everything else follows.

Fragments of Parmenides that has been preserved do not really prove any importance of ontological questions. Lebedev has forcefully argued that an incorrect reading allowed the realist interpretation of thinking and being is the same:

Zeller's... reading eliminates «idealism» from Parmendides’ text and turns it into a positivist platitude, namely that the object of thought must be something real.Zeller’ interpretation was accepted by Burnet in EGPh and through his influence has become widely accepted in the English-speaking literature on Parmenides. The ancient interpretation, however, hasbeen defended and retained by Diels-Kranz, Mario Untersteiner,Gregory Vlastos, Charles Kahn, Marcel Conche, Ernst Heitsch,Cordero among others. Zeller’s interpretation is grammatically impossible. (Lebedev, A. 2017: Parmenides ΑΝΗΡ ΠΥΘΑΓΟΡΕΙΟΣ. Monistic Idealism (Mentalism) in Archaic Greek Metaphysics, online)-

Even without Nietzsche it is clear that the theologians' claim for power and authority rests upon an ontological position. Philosophers do not have such pretensions and history shows just how their craft was co-opted as the servant of theology.

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