Tuesday, November 12, 2019

The Parmenidean Paradox Of Motion Essay -- essays research papers

Philosophical thought begins with the Milesians, where intellectual curiosity propelled thinkers like Anaximander and Heraclitus to attempt to explain the phenomena of the universe by means of specific physical elements. During the 6th century BC, Eleatics, like Parmenides and Zeno, had rejected physical phenomena and propounded metaphysical paradoxes that cut at the roots of belief in the very existence of the natural world. Parmenides uproots the theories of his predecessors by bearing to light the logical possibilities of any philosophical inquiry. He argues that that the only things about which we can inquire about must exist, else our search is fruitless. Through deductive reasoning, Parmenides proves that if something exists, then it cannot come to be or perish, change or move, nor be the subject to any imperfection. His proteges were left with an enormous problem: how could one reconcile Parmenides’ rejection of change with the possibility of giving a rational account of the changing world of sense experience? By accepting only certain parts of his doctrine of being, his successors ultimately fail in their attempts to explain the changing universe in light of the Parmenidean paradox. How does Parmenides draw the conclusion that if something is, then it is unchanging? A more formal examination of his arguments regarding subjects of inquiry shows how he comes to the conclusion that all is one. The only ways of inquiry there are for thinking: the one, that it is and that it is not possible for it not to be, is the path of Persuasion (for it attends upon the Truth), the other, that it is not and that it is necessary for it not to be, this I point out to you to be a path completely unlearnable, for neither may you know that which is not (for it is not to be accomplished) nor may you declare it (Curd fr.2 ll.3-8, pg.45). Parmenides’ subject of inquiry, as show in the fragment, either you must assume that your subject is or it is not. Careful consideration of the statement ‘is not’ shows that it is impossible to point out what does not exist, because it has no attributes or true predicate. Parmenides concludes that if something does not exist, then its non-existence cannot allow for it to come into being or perishing, because if it comes to be, then formally, it previously did not exist. Since we cannot know anything about things that do not exist, coming... ...rmenidean doctrine that substances are uncreated and eternal; however, by positing that there are four creative and two controlling substances, he dubiously maintains that combination and separation, through their endless cycles bring about a whole. If Empedocles were to follow the Parmenidean notion of being absolutely, then his separation and combination would never take place, because each element would be continuously attracted and negated, so that no combination could ever take place.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  The Pluralists want to reconcile everything that they perceive through their senses with the Parmenidean idea of an uncreated, eternal, unchanging whole. The problem of such a task lies in the fact that Parmenides’ notion of being goes against everything that our sense experience tells us. With our eyes we see motion and change every day, be it our own self-motion or that of others around us. Furthermore, we experience coming-into-being and perishing through the cycle of birth and death. The Pluralists would had made better progress in extrapolating their own ideas if they would have either sided completely with Parmenides or taken means to discredit his work.

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