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Thought of PARMENIDES -with VIDEO and diagrams [ABSTRACT!]

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Summary of Parmenides' thought

Within the philosophers who are known as pre-Socratics, Parmenides is one of the most important. With his question about the existence of Being, the change in the world and the beginning of all things, he proposed a way of thinking that was far from his contemporary Heraclitus of him. So, in this lesson from a Teacher we will do a summary of the thought of Parmenides.

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  1. Historical context of Parmenides
  2. Parmenides theory: the philosopher of the immutable
  3. What is Being for Parmenides?
  4. Ajré of Parmenides: monism
  5. Differences between Heraclitus and Parmenides

Historical context of Parmenides.

The pre-Socratics are those philosophers who appeared before Socrates and are said to have been Thales of Miletusthe first philosopher by rethinking the origin of the world. Instead of depositing the explanation of existence in the gods and myths, Thales proposed that the principle of all things was water. This opened the way for different thinkers to enter into a dialogue regarding the origin.

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In this case, Parmenides of Elea did not propose an origin, for him the universe has always existed. What we know of the life and work of Parmenides has been through the references they made Plato and Diogenes in his texts that focus on poems and loose fragments. It is said that he wrote only one work: About nature.

Theory of Parmenides: the philosopher of the immutable.

Within the philosophy of Parmenides the ideas of eternity, uniqueness and the permanent are central. In this sense for the Greek philosopher the world is already given, there can be no change.

Everything has always existed, and what does not exist cannot be and vice versa. These maxims accompany the thought of Parmenides and from here his postulates are broken down. A) Yes, the multiplicity and difference of the world is an illusion. The only true thing is that which has always been and that maintains a unity.

Summary of the thought of Parmenides - Theory of Parmenides: the philosopher of the immutable

What is Being for Parmenides?

To clarify the previous section a bit, it is pertinent that we see in detail what is Being for Parmenides. For him this is the basis of the universe, the primordial principle, nothing exists or can exist outside of Being, because this would be non-being. From this idea his famous phrase is broken down "Everything that is, is and everything that is not, is not". This concept has a number of characteristics:

  • It is unitary: Parmenides denies multiplicity and therefore change. There is only the being that is not more than "one", anything that differs is not, therefore, it does not exist.
  • It is immutable: by denying the idea of ​​change Parmenides attributes immutability to Being. This cannot be different from what it already is, because this would imply ceasing to be. In other words, it doesn't move, it doesn't transform, it stays the same.
  • He is indestructible: basically that is a result of the other characteristics of him, if the being stops being and is no longer. Therefore, being does not have an end, it is indestructible.
  • It is unborn: just as being does not have an end, it does not have a beginning. This quality refers to the fact that being cannot be generated, it has always existed.

As a result of these postulates, Parmenides provides a totalizing vision of Being that is known as the monism.

Summary of Parmenides thought - What is Being for Parmenides?

Ajré de Parmenides: monism.

The word monism comes from greek monkeys which means "one" and ism which means doctrine. In other words, monism refers to the doctrine of one or only, in this case refers to the thought that the universe comes or exists on the basis of a unique substance.

As we could see in the previous sections, Parmenides' monism has its roots in Being; the support of the universe and the only thing that exists is the Self. With this, we could summarize his doctrine in the following two points:

  1. The basic principle of the universe is Being.
  2. Nothing can exist outside of Being, which makes the change, end or beginning of things impossible; these are mere illusions.
Summary of Parmenides' Thought - Ajré de Parmenides: Monism

Differences between Heraclitus and Parmenides.

To close this lecture by a Professor on the thought of Parmenides, it is worth mentioning the tension that was generated between the thought of Parmenides. Heraclitus and Parmenides in his time and that, therefore, marked the history of philosophy.

As we have already seen, Parmenides is the philosopher of Being and unity. Conversely, Heraclitus is the philosopher of change and movement. Becoming and the idea of ​​the universe as a flow is the basis of this philosopher's thought. For him, there is a balance between the opposites of being / not being, light / darkness, etc., which keeps existence in transformation.

It is precisely these postulates that Parmenides responds to, since for him it is impossible that something that already is, stops being and something that is not becomes. This leads him to the postulate that refutes Heraclitus' thought.

Undoubtedly, these two philosophers are of equal importance to the history of western thought. Both marked two lines of interpretation of reality that different figures have refuted and valued throughout the history of philosophy.

Summary of Parmenides' Thought - Differences between Heraclitus and Parmenides

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Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy. (2008). Parmenides.

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