The silence of the extant fragments, which have not one word about the unity of Being, favours the one view; the voice of antiquity, which proclaims Xenophanes the founder of Eleaticism, has been thought to favour the other.
Accordingly his assertion of the unity of God was at the same time a declaration of the unity of Being, and in virtue of this declaration he is entitled to rank as the founder of Eleaticism, inasmuch as the philosophy of Parmenides was his forerunner's pantheism divested of its theistic element.
Thus Eleaticism, though professedly dogmatic, was inconsistent in its theory of the One and its attributes, and openly sceptical in regard to the world of nature.
5, 6), show that, in defending these propositions, Gorgias availed himself of the arguments which Zeno had used to discredit the popular belief in the existence of the Many; in other words, that Gorgias turned the destructive logic of Zeno against the constructive ontology of Parmenides, thereby not only reducing Eleaticism to nothingness, but also, until such time as a better logic than that of Zeno should be provided, precluding all philosophical inquiry whatsoever.
To Xenophanes, the founder of Eleaticism - whom he must have known, even if he was never in any strict sense of the word his disciple - Parmenides was, perhaps, more deeply indebted, as the theological speculations of that thinker unquestionably suggested to him the theory of Being and Not-Being, of the One and the Many, by which he sought to reconcile Ionian " monism," or rather " henism," with Italiote dualism.
To say that the Platonism of Plato's later years, the Platonism of the Parmenides, the Philebus and the Timaeus, is the philosophy of Parmenides enlarged and reconstituted, may perhaps seem paradoxical in the face of the severe criticism to which Eleaticism is subjected, not only in the Parmenides, but also in the Sophist.
In the Parmenides reconstruction predominates over criticism - the letter of Eleaticism being here represented by Zeno, its spirit, as Plato conceived it, by Parmenides.
On the relations of Eleaticism and Platonism, see W.
In all probability Zeno did not observe that in his controversial defence of Eleaticism he was interpreting Parmenides's teaching anew.
With the severance of its two members Eleaticism proper, the Eleaticism of Parmenides, ceased to exist.
For histories of philosophy and other works upon Eleaticism see PARMENIDES.