Parmenides

Updated on: 19.08.2014

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Born: 515/540 BCE in Elea, Magna Graecia

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Parmenides of Elea (late sixth or early fifth century BCE) was an ancient Greek philosopher born in Elea, a Greek city on the southern coast of Magna Graecia.

He was the founder of the Eleatic school of philosophy.

The single known work of Parmenides is a poem, On Nature, which has survived only in fragmentary form. In this poem, Parmenides describes two views of reality. In "the way of truth" (a part of the poem), he explains how reality (coined as "what-is") is one, change is impossible, and existence is timeless, uniform, necessary, and unchanging. In "the way of opinion," he explains the world of appearances, in which one's sensory faculties lead to conceptions which are false and deceitful. These ideas had a strong effect on Plato, and in turn, influenced the whole of Western philosophy.

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