Who is Parmenides?

Who is Parmenides?

June 26, 2021 Off By Felso

Although Parmenides is considered one of the natural philosophers, he is one of the first philosophers of the rationalism tradition in Ancient Greek philosophy. Parmenides’ BC. 600 to BC It is thought that he lived in the 500s and played an active role not only as a philosopher but also as a legislator and statesman.

According to Parmenides, nothing changes in the universe. Reality, that is, being, is absolutely one, permanent, continuous, not created, indestructible; he is eternal; There is no movement or change in it.

Parmenides, whose philosophical views were seen to be influenced by Anaximenes, Xenophanes and Pythagoreans, tended to think more conceptually in his own philosophy. He tried to distinguish between truth and conjecture over concepts. With his monistic view, he tried to prove that there is no change in the universe with some logical inferences.

For Parmenides, the only thing that can be said about being is that being exists. Parmenides said, “Being is what is, and nothing or non-being does not exist.” says and states that only what exists is thinkable and what does not exist is unthinkable.

Accordingly, the proposition is reached that the world we live in is a world of appearances and not real. Thus, the separation of appearance and reality in the ontological plane, the mental and the sensual in the epistemological plane is thus revealed.


From Parmenides, only fragments of his long poem, “On Nature”, have survived to the present day. Parmenides wrote this poem at a young age, inspired by the truth of the Goddess. In his poem, Parmenides says that he was raised to the level of the Goddess and took his verses from her. The theme of ascending into the sky or descending into hell is also common in other writers of Parmenides’ time.

The work is divided into two parts; In the first part, the truth is dealt with in the second part, the world of illusion. The sense world produces illusion. There is something unchanging, unrestricted, and indivisible behind the visible, but this cannot be directly deduced from the perception of the phenomenal world. The everyday perception of the visible physical world produces an illusion (Parmenides calls it doxa), and the reality of the world is based on “A Being” whose adjectives are listed above.

It is said that Parmenides was a prophet, magician and healer like Pythagoras, Empedocles and others, and that he acquired his philosophy through mythology and mixed mystical visions and presented it with verses; because he said that he took the philosophy he put forward from Tartaros, the Goddess of the underworld.

The following expressions of the Goddess in the work also show this:

“Welcome, young man whom immortal riders take care of and mares carry you to where we are on your journey. There is no bad fate waiting for you on this road, and this road is not a road where people in general go out of rights and justice. Here you will find everything, the unshakable heart around which the truth and opinion of mortals circles, in which there is no true belief.”


Parmenides of Elea is in many ways a turning point in Ancient Greek thought. The era of random talk is over, and it is necessary to base our views on logical arguments. The path opened by Parmenides continued until Plato within a certain framework.

With Parmenides, philosophy has started to become a metaphysics and ontology from being a nature philosophy. The subject of philosophers began to be drawn not by physical objects, but by existing ones. The question of what exists is now on the agenda of philosophy. Previously, there was the question of what is a physical object, nature. Now there is the question of what is being.

The philosophy put forward by Parmenides is called Elean philosophy because of the show of activity in the region called Elea.

According to him, if everything is eternal and nothing disappears from existence, if it does not come into existence out of nothing, if what is called change is that something disappears and becomes something new, then there is no change. Change and multiplicity are only illusions of the senses.

According to him, it is not possible to occur more than once, and it is not possible for a change to occur in existence. Everything is eternal and eternal. Being out of nothing, nothing out of being. Everything is “one” and there is only “one”. There is no change.

Thus, Parmenides made a distinction between appearance and reality, saying that appearance is sensory and deceives, and reality is an unchanging structure that can only be grasped by the mind.

According to him, the most inseparable feature of the object is its existence. Any attribute can be removed from it, but the entity cannot.

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. At the same time, according to Parmenides, thought and reality are identical. Thus, every thought is the thinking of being. Poverty is unthinkable.

Parmenides identifies thought and being, and says, in a sense, every thought is the thought of being, or everything I think is true. This makes the possibility of wrong thinking and speaking a major philosophical problem. This problem was tried to be solved by Plato.