Parmenides: Stage 1 Issues among Presocratics studied so far: change vs. permanence. Milesians looked for a permanent reality underlying change. They thought that change was real, but could be understood only in terms of something permanent. Heraclitus found change itself to be the only thing that was permanent. The search for a permanent material substratum is illusory, he thought. Now comes Parmenides — a turning point in the history of western philosophy - for he denies the reality of change. For Parmenides, change is impossible. The very notion of change is incoherent. This is not just an assumption that Parmenides makes. Nor is it based on observation. (Quite the contrary: things certainly do appear to change.) Rather, it is the conclusion of a strictly deductive argument , from more basic premises. And it is not the only startling conclusion Parmenides draws. For he also holds that there is no coming into existence, or ceasing to exist. According to Parmenides, everything that exists is
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