What is Being, What Does It Mean?July 2, 2021
Becoming is the process of development of being. The early teachings of ancient Greek thought discuss the reality of becoming, which is perceived as a process of development. The Eleans (Xenophanes, Parmenides, Melissos, Zeno, Gorgias) deny becoming as mere appearance.
Heraclitus defends the reality of becoming and argues that there is no reality other than becoming. According to Heraclitus, all beings consist of the changes of a single element and the event of change will last forever, the universe is in a continuous formation.
According to Pythagoras, the essence of matter does not change, its appearance changes (first mechanistic understanding). According to Parmenides, changeability is a delusion, what is real is changelessness. According to Anaxagoras, change is in appearance, the essence does not change. According to Empedocles, the essence of matter does not change; but the main elements such as fire, water, air and earth combine with each other in various forms and proportions to form an infinite number of bodies without any change in their essence.
Becoming is explained as a universal law in Hegel (1770-1831)’s thoughtful dialectic teaching. According to Hegel, who started from the thought of Heraclitus, existence is a continuous formation.
Being, which is an opposition in itself, affirmation, negation, negation of negation (thesis, antithesis, synthesis). The negation of every negation is a new affirmation (synthesis) and clashes with a new negation (antithesis). However, the organizer of this process is absolute thought (absolute idea), which first becomes natural and eventually reaches itself again.
This absolute thought of Hegel, an objective idealist, is in reality nothing but the God of Christianity.
The dialectical materialist laws of the transition from quantity to quality, the unity and struggle of opposites, the laws of negation of negation are the general laws of this universal becoming.
In his work ‘Anti-Dühring’, Engels defined dialectics as “the theory of the general laws of the formation of nature, man, society and thought” (Ibid, Editions Sociales, Paris 1951, p. 172). This becoming follows neither a straight line nor a circle form from the bottom up, it is a spiral formation. “Being that seems to repeat its previous stages does so in another form and at a higher level, becoming is not a truth but a spiral.”
Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer Yıldırım