Parmenides and Conceptual ThinkingJune 27, 2021
One of the most important contributions of Parmenides to philosophy is that he opened the way to conceptual thinking. When Parmenides identifies reality and thought by saying “what does not exist”, he opened the doors of the world of concepts.
Thus, we deal with the concept of objects, not with their properties and perception. While the qualities or perception of objects vary from person to person and consist of a deceptive appearance that emerges on a sensory basis, the concept is a product of the mind, an abstraction. Parmenides says at this point that there are two kinds of worlds:
1. The thinkable world, that is, the world that is based on reason and comprehended by the mind. This world is undoubtedly the world of reality. Existence is real. The real is the thinkable and is identical with reason (noesis).
2. The field that is not real, not genuine, does not exist on its own, that is, the field of appearance. Appearance is a state created by our sensation, perception, that is, our mind, it is a delusion. It is an imaginary product of the mind.
Two forms of orientation to the world or to nature seem to be presented here. Someone who turns to nature with his senses will be deceived and fall into the illusion that there is a multiplicity and change in nature. However, someone who turns to it with his mind will deny change and multiplicity, and will be able to reach the knowledge of reality, and will grasp existence as a whole, One.
However, appearances are literally a virtual world and they have no reality ground. Indeed, their appearance is up to me. Appearances are a world produced by the human world. At this point, the distinction between appearance and reality, which has been under water since the beginning of the history of philosophy, appears. Parmenides says that you cannot say that objects change based on perception. We must prove that the world of appearance is not fake, and in the world of appearance, movement is not fake.
At this point, the subject also gains an informational dimension. On this basis, we subject objects to ourselves in two respects:
2. In terms of existential
To talk about an object in terms of information is to know what it is. To know what an object is is to reduce it under a concept. Define the object, we frame it with the concept. It is everything we have informationally about the definition and concept of an object. The thing for which we have the definition and the concept
we say. The thing exists in any way, the object is what we now know the definition of
When we approach the object from the existential point of view, we first open a definition as real or real object. What is the real object? It is an object that needs nothing but itself in order to exist, that is, an object that exists by itself and continues to exist whether we think about it or not. What is being in itself is real object. In the first group of objects that exist on their own, we put the existing ones that take up space. That is, even if no people are found, the existence of these objects will continue. In this sense, physical objects are real for a group of philosophers. We call them physicalists, realist philosophers. Some philosophers do not accept these, and some do not accept them, but they put geometric or conceptual objects in the real object. According to these thinkers, for example, triangles exist even if we don’t think about them. Because they are psychologically independent of our thinking.
Some philosophers say that some mathematical and geometric objects that we call abstract are real. They say it is independent of our perception of them. Let’s call these ideal objects. The most basic feature of the ideal object is that they do not take up space, they have space but no place. For example, Kant says that the space of mathematical objects is time.
So, for a more tidy understanding, let’s briefly see how many types of objects there are under headings:
– What is the object classification of Parmenides?
Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Omer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Sociology Department 1st Year “Introduction to Philosophy” and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade “History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook