Parmenides, Heraclitus, and Zeno
Ontology: The theory of being.
One of the most important questions for philosophers is, "What is the nature of being?" "What is?"
Almost any sentence contains some form of TO BE. For instance, "I went to class." "We are in Los Altos Hills."
How to pronounce “Heraclitus.” (36.0K)
Heraclitus (lived around 500 B.C.)
Heraclitus argued that everything that exists is in a state of flux. In other words, "Everything that is, is changing."
"You cannot step into the same river twice."
Heraclitus comes up with the category of BECOMING.
One category: BEING
Another category: BECOMING
Aristotle discussed being and becoming using the terms ACTUALITY and POTENTIALITY
Potentiality: That which can possibly be, but has not yet become.
Potentiality is a descriptive term for BECOMING
Actuality: That which actually is.
Actuality is a descriptive term for BEING.
Some consider Heraclitus the father of EXISTENTIALISM.
Existentialism is the philosophy of existence.The whole idea that there are no absolutes, nothing is fixed, there is nothing stable, there’s nothing changeless, there’s nothing eternal, ONLY the now, only the individual, only existence rather than essence: THESE are the thoughts of the contemporary existentialists, and they appeal to Heraclitus as their father in the faith.
Heraclitus was a MONIST
He believed that all reality was one. However, he also believed that the one is in eternal diversity.
How to pronounce “Parmenides.” (36.0K)
He took an opposing position to Heraclitus.
The key thought of Parmenides: "Whatever is, is."
His argument is that for something to be real, something cannot be changing. Because that which is changing never truly is.
The skeptic of antiquity.
Zeno was a disciple of Parmenides.
He attacked all forms of philosophy that declared the reality of motion.
His method is called REDUCTIO AD ABSURDUM.
Reductio ad absurdum starts by assuming the conclusion that one wants to prove is false. Then the argument proceeds to demonstrate the implications of that conclusion, bringing it to a point where it is demonstrated that the conclusion's implications are absurd, hence, the conclusion must be false.
Pluralism is the opposite of monism. Pluralism is the position that the universe is two or more things.
Zeno argued that pluralism is absurd.
Zeno is famous for his arguments from motion. ZENO'S PARADOXES
The race between Achilles and the tortoise.
Because Achilles is faster than the tortoise, we give the tortoise a head start. But Achilles can never catch up to the tortoise, because he must first get halfway to where the tortoise started. Then by the time he gets to where the tortoise started, the tortoise has moved a ways. So now Achilles must get to where the tortoise is now. But by the time he gets to that point, the tortoise has moved some more. This goes on and on, and so Achilles can never pass the tortoise, because he must first get to where the tortoise was before.
Final Considerations:
Common sense says there is an "I." Even though the "I" is changing, it is.
Consider the Hebrew God. He identifies Himself to Moses as "I AM."
The conflict between Heraclitus and Parmenides set the stage for the crisis that took place in ancient Greece. This crisis would not be resolved until the appearance of Socrates.