What are the Ways to Understand Existence?June 27, 2021
Parmenides says that there are two ways in terms of our contact with being. The first is the way of mortals who think that everything is the way they are, and the other is the way of the philosophers who look into everything and know how to think or the way of the gods. There are two ways of thinking about existence in accordance with this picture: the way of Truth and the way of Conjecture.
The way of truth is grasped by the mind. The way of thinking is grasped with aisthesis (sensation). With this understanding of the way of truth, Parmenides put the philosophy of his predecessors on a new path, based on observations rather than logical arguments or reasoning. Before him, there was an appearance of being in the eyes of philosophers. The appearance was changing, mobile, and multiplying.
The original essence of existence was either water or air, fire or apeiron. They did not change and always remained the same. Those before him said that the truth cannot be grasped by perception. However, they still presented the truth as something we encounter in perception, for example, in the concept of water. Parmenides put the mind at the center of philosophizing by saying that philosophy cannot be comprehended based on perception, and showed that the mind rejects multiplicity and change.
According to Parmenides, the person who turns to the universe with his senses is mistaken, the person who turns with his mind grasps the unchanging truth, the reality.
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