Parmenides Influence On Nature

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The Influence of Parmenides
Parmenides is often considered one of the most influential philosophers of the Pre-Socratic era. His views on the nature of the world has influenced and drawn refutations from many other philosophers and is still a topic today. The question that this paper seeks to answer is how Parmenides’ views on nature compares with the views of two philosophies that he directly influenced: that of Empedocles and the Atomists. Empedocles and the Atomists are often considered to be directly refuting Parmenides’ arguments, but they both do it in their own unique way. This paper will compare the views among the philosophers by first explain Parmenides’ views on nature and perception. After that, the views of Empedocles and the Atomist
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in the city of Elea. All of his work was written in poem form and only small fragments can still be found today. A lot of what is known on Parmenides’ views on nature come from his poem titled “On Nature”. The main argument that Parmenides makes in this poem is that change is impossible. He comes to this conclusion by making the claim that “what-is-not” cannot exist. The reason he says this is because it is contradictory to say that something that does not exist actually does exist. He continues on from that conclusion by saying that things cannot be created or destroyed either. This is due to the fact that the “what-is-not” does not exist. In order for something to be created or destroyed it must either come from or go to nothing, which is the “what-is-not” that Parmenides claims does not exist. Building on more from the claim, Parmenides states that movement is also impossible due to the impossibility of the nothing existing. According to Parmenides, there must be an empty space between objects in order for there to be movement, and since it is impossible for there to be empty space, movement is impossible. The area between objects would be simply an empty space where nothing is. This is impossible according to Parmenides. All of these conclusions made by Parmenides lead him to make the claim that the whole world is a single object. He says that this object also does not move or change at …show more content…
The idea that a world is a single object that does not change or move at all did not appear to sit well with other philosophers in that time. This led to philosophers like Empedocles and The Atomist coming up with their own well-crafted ideas to refute Parmenides. Empedocles’ idea of there being objects called roots and forces that allow change and are responsible for our perceptions being one of them, and the Atomist idea that an infinite number of atoms that also allow change and are responsible for perception. The Atomists even directly contradicted Parmenides by arguing for the existence of a “void”, an empty space that allows movement among the atoms to exist. Parmenides clearly asked the questions that would spark debate among philosophers for centuries to come, that is what makes him one of the most influential philosophers of his

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