Essay on Parmenides: the Real Being

1561 Words Nov 18th, 2005 7 Pages
Parmenides: The Real Being

Parmenides, as did Heraclitus before him, wrote about a state known as "What Is." However, they differed sharply in their view of that state. Parmenides insisted that "What Is" be viewed as a constant. Heraclitus' focus was on elements transferring to and from opposites. Parmenides concentrated on a sense of "being." Heraclitus believed in a flux or "Yin and Yang" in the world that promoted harmony and stability, "What is opposed brings together, the finest harmony is composed of things at variance." (pg29, frg49) For Parmenides, "What Is" leads us to the truth about our universe, in that it is timeless, eternal, motionless, perfectly uniform, the same all throughout. "There are signs that being
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Anaxagoras submitted that everything in the natural world contained a little bit of everything else. Therefore, if everything was everything, it couldn't be nothing, and as stated above, nothing can come from nothing, "All things were together, unlimited in both amount and smallness. And when (or, since) all things were together, nothing was manifest on account of smallness." (pg 43, frg 1) Anaxagoras also held that an outside force known as the mind controlled all actions and movement. The mind was something that was only found in certain things. It possessed a divine-like quality, "The rest have a portion of everything, but Mind is unlimited and self-ruled and is mixed with no thing, but is alone and by itself. And mind rules all things that posses life – both the larger and the smaller." (pg 45, frg 13) Empedocles had a different take on "What Is." He believed that there were four different elements: earth, air, water, and fire, "For by earth we see earth, by water, water, by aither divine aither, and by fire, destructive fire." (pg 56, frg 57) These elements provided the foundation for everything else in the natural world. He also believed in two motive forces: love and strife. He maintained that the world was caught in a cycle of love and strife, "When they were coming together, Strife was being displaced to the extremity." (pg 55, frg 50) According to

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