Parmenides: The Signs Of Truth

1562 Words 7 Pages
Parmenides two principles state that “what-is” is and there cannot be a “what-is-not” because it is unthinkable, and therefore should be disregarded because it has no being. Parmenides backs up these principles, using very sound arguments; the three main ones being “what-is” is ungenerated, complete, and fixed. Several logical premises are further given to withhold these “signs of truth”. For instance, in Fragment 8, on the principle that “what-is” is the only thing that can be, “what-is” must be ungenerated. For if it was created, it would have spawned from something else, which does not make sense because only “what-is” is. If it came from itself, this would not hold, because as he proves later on in Fragment 8, “what-is” is not divisible …show more content…
He invalidates Parmenides’ concept of “what-is” and “what-is-not” mostly by disproving key factor of Parmenides’ “what-is”. For instance, once Gorgias argument is understand, “what-is” cannot be fixed. For if “what-is” is fixed, it is in a permanent state, therefore, it does not change. However, if it is not eternal, it will cease to exist. If it ceases to exist, it will change from existing to not existing. If it changes from existing to not existing, it is not what Parmenides defines as “what-is” because he says “what-is” is …show more content…
Gorgias is more tactful than Parmenides, for he takes a much more analytical approach to validating his claim, contemplating different possibilities for the nature of “what-is” or “what-is-not”. His arguments deteriorate Parmenides’ “what-is” using appropriate premises to come to well founded conclusions which are difficult to negate. His long winded diligence works in his favor. This, however, is not to say that Parmenides does not have well formulated arguments, for he does provide evidence for his claims. Nonetheless, they are ultimately flawed because of Gorgias’ claims and because of one crucial error in his logic. Parmenides says that “what-is” is not divisible, therefore there cannot be more than one “what-is”. This is problematic because it does not allow for plurality, which is evident that it

Related Documents