Heraclitus V.S Parmenides
There have been many philosophers that have made impacts in history by changing the way that people about reality. Two of these philosophers had contradicting beliefs that cannot both be true simultaneously. These two pre-Socratic philosophers were Heraclitus and Parmenides. One believed in ceaseless change, while the other didn’t believe there was ever change. By looking at the philosopher’s beliefs and examining contradictions between the two theories of reality, it will be prevalent that the conflict between the two assumptions is change. One Greek noble man from Ephesus, Heraclitus, was a pre-Socratic philosopher born in 540 B.C. Heraclitus was the first to propose fire as the basic element to reality. He reasoned that everything is changing so quickly that nothing exists, the way that fire also is constantly changing with no definite form. However, unlike fire Heraclitus insisted that change was not random; it was determined by a cosmic order called “Logos.” With Logos regulating change, there is union of opposites; death for life, and life for death. Heraclitus took his assumption further to assume that a person could not be in the same exact situation twice. Therefore the speed by which everything is moving is forcing permanence to be an illusion. If this were true than people would never be able to identify who they are at an exact moment; this is called a Problem of Identification. Heraclitus’s assumption of how reality functions can be summarized as ceaseless change resulting in harmony of reality. In the early 5th century B.C another pre-Socratic philosopher developed his own theory of reality which contradicts Heraclitus’s beliefs; his name is Parmenides. This philosopher was not interested in discovering the fundamental substance of reality. Parmenides believed that knowledge could not be obtained through the senses. He assumed that instead of a fundamental substance, there were fundamental principles...
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