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Parmenides – Thought

Parmenides lived between the 6th and 5th centuries BC. , he taught at the time of the Persian wars (480 BC), he preached in Italy at Elea (current Velia, in Campania) and is considered the most monist author (from monos, one, only one principle of reality: the being ) of the monists, since it did not admit plurality. Parmenides was obsessed with not, all the words he used were preceded by α (privative alpha) to underline the disappearance of the negative, as this absolutely must not appear.

Parmenides tried to make himself appear in an indisputable truth (dogmatism, his truth must never be denied), removing all that is imperfection from reality, the error should not exist. According to the philosopher, being is all that exists and there is nothing outside it (totality of entities, being = to enai, all existing things). Parmenides believed that the world attested by the senses did not exist and that it was false (it does not exist because it is not being), therefore that it did not deserve dignity; being is only an abstract-logical dimension that exists only because man imagines it. Being pure (which has no non) is always true, but abstract. Parmenides sacrifices the real world for a perfect but abstract world, he was constantly looking for something that would never change. He used 6 adjectives to describe being:

-negenerated: he was never born, he never had anything before himself. -incorruptible: it cannot end, it is eternal.

  • immutable: it can never be different from what it is.
  • immovable: stationary, as one is different in different places. – undifferentiated: inside it does not contain multiple parts, otherwise these same parts would be different from each other

In Parmenides’ conception, movement and change (becoming) are synonymous with imperfection, being is therefore finite (perfection is something finite, defined and recognizable). Fundamental theses:

  • Being is and cannot not be.
    Non-being is not and cannot be. absolutely inconceivable to see how being and not being coexist.


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