Pre Socratic-Philosopher Parmenides Philosophy YouTube Lecture Handouts

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Parmenides: Pre Socratic Philosopher - His Arche, Eleatic School | Philosophy

Title: Pre Socratic-Philosopher Parmenides

About Him

  • Parmenides of Elea was a pre-Socratic philosopher.
  • He is also considered to be the founder of the metaphysics (or ontology) branch of philosophy.
  • He is said to be the pupil of Xenophanes.
  • He was influenced by the philosophy of Zeno, Milesians, Socrates, Xenophanes, etc.
  • Influenced Heraclitus, Pythagoras, etc.


  • Xenophanes, “All reality is one.”
  • He believed that the world of sensible things is always becoming and nothing is permanent.
  • This comes close to the philosophy expounded by Heraclitus who was also his contemporary but he questioned Heraclitus՚ philosophy too.
  • He further questions as to how can the real (i.e.. , change) then be regarded as permanent in nature?


  • Parmenides՚s sole work titled, “On Nature” .
  • The poem is believed to have consisted of three parts, namely;
  • Preface which introduced the entire work
    • A section known as, “The Way of Truth or aletheia
    • A section known as, “The Way of Appearance/Opinion or doxa
    • The second section titled, “The Way of Truth,” deals with his own philosophy.
  • Parmenides view on Being
  • Parmenides՚ philosophy expounds an anti-thesis between the two concepts, i.e.. , Being and Non-being.
  • He came up with, Ex nihilo nihil fit
  • According to him, being is the sole reality.
  • He says the being, or the one is a spherical being with filling space or plenum.
  • Hence, there can be no empty spaces.

His Arche

  • According to Parmenides, permanence is the only reality.
  • According to him, plurality and change is known to us via our senses. Due to this, they are called “mere appearances.”
  • The reality or the one is known via reason or thought.
  • He quotes, “thought and being are one and the same.”


  • Being: Non-Being
  • Real: Unreal
  • Reason: Senses
  • Truth: Illusions
  • Permanence: Change

Eleatic School

  • Parmenides was the founder of the Eleatic school.
  • It believed that reality is one, being, eternal and unchangeable in nature.
  • On the other hand, Non-being is an illusionary concept.
  • Some of the famous members of the Eleatic school are Zeno (he was the pupil of Parmenides) , Melissus, Xenophanes, etc.


Choose the incorrect statement pertaining to Parmenides

A. He was the founder of Eleatic school.

B. Permanence is the only reality

C. “On Being,” is the name of his work.

D. Reality is known via Thought.

Answer: C

Explanation: All the statements are correct except C. “On Nature,” is the name of his sole work.

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