Parmenides Of Elea >>
Aristotle, too, gave greater definiteness to the idea of zones conceived by Parmenides, who had pictured a torrid zone uninhabitable by reason of heat, two frigid zones uninhabitable by reason of cold, and two intermediate temperate zones fit for human occupation.
It took its name from Elea, a Greek city of lower Italy, the home of its chief exponents, Parmenides and Zeno.
Its foundation is often attributed to Xenophanes of Colophon, but, although there is much in his speculations which formed part of the later Eleatic doctrine, it is probably more correct to regard Parmenides as the founder of the school.
At all events, it was Parmenides who gave it its fullest development.
In the hands of Parmenides this spirit of free thought developed on metaphysical lines.
See further the articles on Xenophanes; Parmenides; Zeno (of Elea); Melissus, with the works there quoted; also the histories of philosophy by Zeller, Gomperz, Windelband, &c.
Parmenides of Elea (544-430 B.C.) distinguishes five of these zones, viz.
Remigius is thus a Realist, not so much in the sense of Plato as in the spirit of Parmenides, and Haureau applies to this form of Realism Bayle's description of Realism in general as " le Spinosisme non developpe."
Whether Xenophanes was a monotheist, whose assertion of the unity of God suggested to Parmenides the doctrine of the unity of Being, or a pantheist, whose assertion of the unity of God was also a declaration of the unity of Being, so that he anticipated Parmenides - in other words, whether Xenophanes's teaching was purely theological or had also a philosophical significance - is a question about which authorities have differed and will probably continue to differ.
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.
The Platonic testimony, if it proved anything, would prove too much, namely, that the doctrine of the unity of Being originated, not with Xenophanes, but before him; and, in fact, the passage from the Sophist no more proves that Plato attributed to Xenophanes the philosophy of Parmenides than Theaetetus, 160 D, proves that Plato attributed to Homer the philosophy of Heraclitus.
Most famous in connexion with this kind of poetry are Xenophanes and Parmenides, the Eleatics and Empedocles of Agrigentum.
42) describes their doctrine as a "nobilis disciplina," and identifies them closely with Parmenides and Zeno.
Following Parmenides, Philolaus regarded the soul as a "mixture and harmony" of the bodily parts; he also assumed a substantial soul, whose existence in the body is an exile on account of sin.
For his doctrine (a combination of the principles of Parmenides and Socrates) see Megarian School.
A new departure was taken by the Eleatic Parmenides (q.v.), who, expressly noting that, when Thales and his successors attributed to the supposed element changing qualities, they became pluralists, required that the superficial variety of nature should be strictly distinguished from its fundamental unity.
Hence, whereas Thales and his successors had confounded the One, the element, and the Many, its modifications, the One and the Not-One or Many became with Parmenides matters for separate investigation.
Was a scepticism from which the thought of Greece did not emerge until Plato, returning to Parmenides, declared the study of the One and the Many, jointly regarded, to be the true office of philosophy.
The same authority says he was a pupil of Parmenides and of Heraclitus, but the statement is improbable, owing to discrepancy in dates.
His works, fragments of which are preserved by Simplicius and attested by the evidence of Aristotle, are devoted to the defence of Parmenides' doctrine.
22b), he differed here from Parmenides in distinguishing being and absolute being (TO arXi s 6v).
The weapons which they forged in the interests of Parmenides were to be used with equal effect against themselves.
Thus, though, in so far as he asserted his fundamental doctrine without doubt or qualification, he was a dogmatist, in all else he was a sceptic. Again, the Eleatic Parmenides, deriving from the theologian Xenophanes the distinction between E 71'caT77 /, 07 and (W a, conceived that, whilst the One exists and is the object of knowledge, the Multiplicity of things becomes and is the object of opinion; but, when his successor Zeno provided the system with a logic, the consistent application of that logic resolved the fundamental doctrine into the single proposition " One is One," or, more exactly, into the single identity " One One."
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.
Various as were the phases through which sophistry passed between the middle of the 5th century and the middle of the 4th, the sophists - Socrates himself being no exception - had in their declared antagonism to philosophy a common characteristic; and, if in the interval, philosophical speculation being temporarily suspended, scepticism ceased for the time to be peculiar, at the outset, when Protagoras and Gorgias broke with the physicists, and in the sequel, when Plato raised the cry of " back to Parmenides," this common characteristic was distinctive.
The first may have linked on to the series of Plato's dialogues of search, and to put the Parmenides before it is impossible.
The second, though it might still have preceded the Parmenides might equally well have followed the negative criticism of that dialogue, as the beginning of reconstruction.
His grand but obscure hexameters, after the example of Parmenides, delighted Lucretius.
While, on one hand, he combines much that had been suggested by Parmenides, Pythagoras and the Ionic schools, he has germs of truth that Plato and Aristotle afterwards developed; he is at once a firm believer in Orphic mysteries, and a scientific thinker, precursor of the physical scientists.
Parmenides, Cratylus; (3) the third group, combining both qualities harmoniously, i.e.
PARMENIDES OF ELEA (Velia) in Italy, Greek philosopher.
According to Diogenes Laertius he was " in his prime " 504-500 B.C., and would thus seem to have been born about 539 Plato indeed (Parmenides, 127 B) makes Socrates see and hear Parmenides when the latter was about sixty-five years of age, in which case he cannot have been born before 519; but in the absence of evidence that any such meeting took place this may be regarded as one of Plato's anachronisms. However this may be, Parmenides was a contemporary, probably a younger contemporary, of Heraclitus, with whom the first succession of physicists ended, while Empedocles and Anaxagoras, with whom the second succession of physicists began, were very much his juniors.
Belonging, it is said, to a rich and distinguished family, Parmenides attached himself, at any rate for a time, to the aristocratic society or brotherhood which Pythagoras had established at Croton; and accordingly one part of his system, the physical part, is apparently Pythagorean.
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.
Tradition relates that Parmenides framed laws for the Eleates, who each year took an oath to observe them.
Parmenides embodied his tenets in a short poem, called Nature, of which fragments, amounting in all to about 160 lines, have been preserved in the writings of Sextus Empiricus, Simplicius and others.
In " Truth," starting from the formula " the Ent (or existent) is, the Nonent (or non-existent) is not," Parmenides attempted to distinguish between the unity or universal element of nature and its variety or particularity, insisting upon the reality of its unity, which is therefore the object of knowledge, and upon the unreality of its variety, which is therefore the object, not of knowledge, but of opinion.
In the phenomenal world then, there are, it has been thought [and Parmenides accepts the theory, which appears to be of Pythagorean origin], two primary elements - namely, fire, which is gentle, thin, homogeneous, and night, which is dark, thick, heavy.
In the truism " the Ent is, the Nonent is not," iv 'rrt, 51, ovK g o-TC, Parmenides breaks with his predecessors, the physicists of the Ionian succession.
Their answers, Parmenides conceived, by attributing to the selected element various and varying qualities, reintroduced the plurality which the question sought to eliminate.
Parmenides sought to reduce the variety of nature to a single material element; but he strictly discriminated the inconstant 7retOri from the constant oboia, and, understanding by " existence " universal, invariable, immutable being, refused to attribute to the IraO'q anything more than the semblance of existence.
Having thus discriminated between the permanent unity of nature and its superficial plurality, Parmenides proceeded to the separate investigation of the Ent and the Nonent.
These propositions having been reached, apart from particular experience, by reflection upon the fundamental principle, we have in them, Parmenides conceived, a body of information resting upon a firm basis and entitled to be called " truth."
Thus, whereas the Ionians, confounding the unity and the plurality of the universe, had neglected plurality, and the Pythagoreans, contenting themselves with the reduction of the variety of nature to a duality or a series of dualities, had neglected unity, Parmenides, taking a hint from Xenophanes, made the antagonistic doctrines supply one another's deficiencies; for, as Xenophanes in his theological system had recognized at once the unity of God and the plurality of things, so Parmenides in his system of nature recognized at once the rational unity of the Ent and the phenomenal plurality of the Nonent.
First, whereas it has been assumed above that Xenophanes was theologian rather than philosopher, whence it would seem to follow that the philosophical doctrine of unity originated, not with him, but with Parmenides, Zeller, supposing Xenophanes to have taught, not merely the unity of God, but also the unity of Being, assigns to Parmenides no more than an exacter conception of the doctrine of the unity of Being, the justification of that doctrine, and the denial of the plurality and the mutability of things.
This view of the relations of Xenophanes and Parmenides is not borne out by their writings; and, though ancient authorities may be quoted in its favour, it would seem that in this case as in others, they have fallen into the easy mistake of confounding successive phases of doctrine, "construing the utterances of the master in accordance with the principles of his scholar - the vague by the more definite, the simpler by the more finished and elaborate theory " (W.
Secondly, whereas it has been argued 'above that " Opinion " is necessarily included in the system, Zeller, supposing Parmenides to deny the Nonent even as a matter of opinion, regards that part of the poem which has opinion for its subject as no more than a revised and improved statement of the views of opponents, introduced in order that the reader, having before him the false doctrine as well as the true one, may be led the more certainly to embrace the latter.
The teaching of Parmenides variously influenced both his immediate successors and subsequent thinkers.
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.
Thus may be explained the selection of an Eleatic stranger to be the chief speaker in the latter, and of Parmenides himself to take the lead in the former.
In the Sophist criticism predominates over reconstruction, the Zenonian logic being turned against the Parmenides metaphysic in such a way as to show that both the one and the other need revision: see 241 D, 244 B seq., 257 B seq., 258 D.
In particular, Plato taxes Parmenides with his inconsistency in attributing (as he certainly did) to the fundamental unity extension and sphericity, so that "the worshipped dv is after all a pitiful j.) " (W.
In the Parmenides reconstruction predominates over criticism - the letter of Eleaticism being here represented by Zeno, its spirit, as Plato conceived it, by Parmenides.
In short, Parmenides was no idealist, but Plato recognized in him,!
Diels, in Parmenides Lehrgedicht, griechisch u.
ZENO OF ELEA, son of Teleutagoras, is supposed to have been born towards the beginning of the 5th century B.C. The pupil and the friend of Parmenides, he sought to recommend his master's doctrine of the existence of the One by contro verting the popular belief in the existence of the Many.