Parmenides argument

Parmenides of Elea (Late 6th cn.—Mid 5th cn. B.C.E.)

First, he argued that for change to occur it must progress from being to non-being, since something which was not before now is. It is thus illegitimate to suppose that everything came into being out of one thing Guthrie86—7.

These sections do not purport to present a comprehensive taxonomy of modern interpretations, nor do they make any attempt to reference all the representatives and variants of the principal types of interpretation here described.

Parmenides’s Argument in the “Way of Truth”

But how could something possible come from nothing. Appreciating that Parmenides is concerned with determining what can be inferred about the nature or character of What Is simply from its mode Parmenides argument being enables one to see that he is in fact entitled to the inferences he draws in the major deductions of fragment 8.

This approach is quite similar in some ways to the Essentialist approach. At most, these lines could only soften the negative treatment of mortal views. Companions to Ancient Thought: Tall to non-tall is not absolute change, because the I is the unchanging ground upon which the ball of change can roll.

The rest of the poem consists of a narration from the perspective of the unnamed goddess, who begins by offering a programmatic outline of what she will teach and what the youth must learn 1. Influence on the development of science[ edit ] Parmenides made the ontological argument against nothingness, essentially denying the possible existence of a void.

Parmenides bases this claim regarding the path of "it is not" on the assertion that, "that which is there to be thought or spoken of must be" 28b6. First, there is substantial objection particular to such accounts.

In any case, these lines are probably best dealt with once one already has settled upon an interpretative stance for the overall poem given the rest of the evidence. Does Parmenides really mean to make an identity claim between the two—that thinking really is numerically one and the same as being, and vice-versa.

It is ugenerated and imperishable CCR passage 8, ln. According to Diogenes Laertius, Parmenides composed only a single work D. So that a thing will either be at rest or must be moved ad infinitum, unless something more powerful get in its way.

This is her essential directive to Parmenides regarding how to pursue the first path of inquiry. Mourelatos, Nehamas, and Curd all take Parmenides to be concerned with specifying in an abstract way what it is to be the nature or essence of a thing, rather than simply with specifying what there in fact is, as he is presumed to be doing on both the logical-dialectical and the more traditional strict monist readings.

Try to picture a round square, or to point one out to someone else. When starting out on a rational inquiry, according to Parmenides, there are only two logically coherent possibilities: And the decision about these matter lies in this: It is immediately evident, though, what an entity that is not and must not be is like: Here to eon functions as a shorthand designation for what is in the way specified in fr.

In explicating the essential nature of the divine qua necessary being in Reality, Parmenides can be understood as continuing the Xenophanean agenda of criticizing traditional, mythopoetic views of the divine, though he uses metaphysical and deductive argumentation, rather than the ethical appeals of his predecessor.

What one looks for along this path of inquiry is what is and cannot not be, or, more simply, what must be. Commentators have tended to understand these lines in several general ways.

In this omission they are not alone, of course, since none of the types of interpretation reviewed so far recognizes that Parmenides was the first philosopher rigorously to distinguish what must be, what must not be, and what is but need not be.

In the proem, then, Parmenides casts himself in the role of an initiate into the kind of mysteries that were during his day part of the religious milieu of Magna Graecia.

A summary of Parmenides of Elea in 's Presocratics. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of Presocratics and what it means.

Parmenides and the Question of Being in Greek Thought

Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans. Parmenides recognizes that the oneness of Being in this sense is an intermediate stage in his argument when he summarizes the thought of his opening denial of becoming by saying that "it was once" and "it will be" are inapplicable, since it is now all together, one and continuous, and when he goes on to argue at ff, as a necessary.

Parmenides of Elea, active in the earlier part of the 5th c.


BCE, authored a difficult metaphysical poem that has earned him a reputation as early Greek philosophy’s most profound and challenging thinker. The first stage of the Way of Truth seeks to establish Parmenides’s thesis that “it is, and it is not possible for it not to be.” Within that context the referent of ‘it’ is indeterminate: ‘it’ can pick out anything you like (witness premise 3 in the argument above).

In fact, this is probably the best argument for thinking any Pythagorean influence upon Parmenides is likely in the first place, as the primary Pythagorean school was. So they have to come to terms with Parmenides argument.

By and large they agree with Parmenides that coming into being from what is not is unthinkable or unintelligible.

Parmenides argument
Rated 4/5 based on 46 review
Plato's Parmenides (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)