Note 5 - Parmenides(late 6th mid 5th cent BCE From Elia in...

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Parmenides (late 6th - mid 5th cent. BCE) From Elia, in southern Italy. Probably the greatest and most influential of the Pre-Socratics. Had a profound influence on Plato.
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Question: What do you think of when you think of nothing ? You can think of a house, a tree, a dog, etc. Can you think of nothing, or something that isn’t anything at all? Parmenides: “It is impossible to think and speak of that which is not.”
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Parmenides’ basic idea: “Only that which is (this or that) is intelligible; that which is not (anything at all) is totally unintelligible.” Nothing can come to be anything from not being that thing (e.g., water from what is not water). Since all coming to be involves “not-being,” there can be no such thing as coming-to-be, or change. Therefore all change is an illusion, brought on by deceptive sense experience. Parmenides proceeded to deduce consequences from his basic idea: These include:
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Parmenides not only denied change, he also denied plurality (the belief that there are many things). So he is a “monist.” 1. Suppose there are two things, say A and B. In that case A “is not” B, and B “is not” A. 2. But the idea of “not being (B or A)” is unintelligible (his basic idea). 3. Therefore it is logically impossible for there to be more than one thing. His reasoning? Fairly simple:
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Parmenides’ Grand Conclusion: What exists is One and Unchanging!
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our faith in the reliability of our senses and our powers of logical reasoning. Parmenides:
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This note was uploaded on 07/31/2008 for the course PHL 103 taught by Professor Zeyl during the Fall '08 term at Rhode Island.

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Note 5 - Parmenides(late 6th mid 5th cent BCE From Elia in...

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