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Parmenides – Philosophical thought

Contemporary philosopher and poet of Heraclitus, he lives in Elea (near Paestum) where he gives life to the Eleatic school.
He writes a poem in verse, entitled “On nature”. In the preface of the poem, the poet describes his journey towards the Truth which is the object of divine revelation. The goddess reveals and the poet listens -> unveiling of reality, truth is aletheia, “non-concealment”, “revelation”.

According to Parmenides, the truth can only be reached through REASON, through a pure Thought free from appearances that are the foundation of opinion.
With Parmenides, Ontology was born: a study on being, of what is par excellence, which does not change. Being is seen as the origin of the presence of all things and all entities.
There is no reference to the material, there is talk of being and there is no logical-consequential demonstration on being.
Thought is just thinking about being. In thinking about being Parmenides wants to achieve conformity on three levels: Reality, Thought and Language: what is the sense of reality is also what I can think and say; what is not real I can neither think nor say.
Being is and cannot not be, non-being is not and cannot be
To determine the characteristics of being in an entirely rational way, everything that implies a non-being must be excluded from being. It would be contradictory to say about being something that it is not.

Being is:

  • Ingenerate: it does not originate because, in this case, it should arise from not being.
  • Imperishable: the idea of ​​death is unthinkable because it implies a passage
  • Immutable: not subject to becoming; if we said that being “was” or “will be” we would fall into contradiction because of what it is we would say that it is no longer or that it is not yet
  • Finished and perfect: being is similar to a sphere, because this is the geometric place of all points equidistant from the center, so it expresses characteristics of homogeneity and perfection, the characteristics of being
  • Whole and unique: it is compact; if it had elements, each of them would not be the others
  • He cannot move: if he did, he would be in one place and not another.

Two ways to reach the truth:

  • Doxa: It only reaches appearances, it is fallacious. Plausible if it captures the unlikely, but still insufficient.
  • Aletheia: Truth about being, truth as unveiling, not concealment

With Heraclitus ..
Analogies: to grasp the truth you need reason
Differences: Parmenides does not distinguish past, present and future because it implies a non-being
For Heraclitus, the arch is always in motion, it is the coexistence of opposites. For Parmenides, being is always immobile.


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