Unity in Parmenides Philosophy – The Problem of MultitudeJune 27, 2021
How can all this multiplicity, these different things in the universe, come from unity or from a single origin? How can an object be found in many places?
Until this stage, a distinction was made between an object and a quality, and an entity without an object could not be considered. After the Eleans, the definition of change has changed and a distinction has been made between the object and the quality. According to this distinction, the object is the carrier of the attributes. In this sense, an object exists only in one place. It has a certain mass and weight. Above this, there are attributes, and the attribute does not exist independently of the object. Parmenides, who distinguished between appearance and reality, thought that appearance was purely sensual and deceptive, and that the idea of change stemmed from such a sensory delusion, took it one step further by almost identifying reality with thought. Since he thought that the multitude was a deception of the senses, just like change, he went on the path of rejecting the multitude altogether and put forward an understanding of being that states that everything is One.
After Parmenides, philosophy focused on the unity-multiplicity relationship and tried to solve this relationship problem to a certain extent. In the philosophies that follow, it will be accepted that “one” (the truth) is unchanging, but it will be said that the multiplicity changes. The multiplicity is the aspect, and the aspect changes. The one is identical with the real.
Truth is unchangeable and true, it is grasped by the mind. Appearance is perceived by perception. One of the most fundamental problems of philosophy after the Eleatics will be to separate reality from appearance and open the way to natural sciences.
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