Timothy Clarke’s monograph offers a detailed explication of Aristotle’s Physics 1.2–3, two difficult chapters where, as a preliminary to his survey of views on the natural principles, Aristotle examines the thesis of Parmenides and Melissus that what is (to on) is one and unchanging. Clarke intends this explication to serve as the basis for a comprehensive account of Aristotle’s understanding of these thinkers. He contends that Aristotle represents them as propounding both “entity monism,” the view that reality consists of just a single entity, and “essence monism,” the view that reality is all of the same essence.

In chapter 1, Clarke concludes Aristotle must have understood Parmenides and Melissus as entity monists because he says considering their view that what is (to on) is one and unchanging does not properly belong to an inquiry into the natural principles, for their view entails that there are no...

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