Heraclitus:- Raj Nandi, "Ancient Greek Philosophy Continued : Heraclitus and Parmenides"
The world continues to be in a state of flux ,
Where strife (Nekos) and love (Philia) ,
Are the dividing and uniting forces in control ,
To ensure the balance and unity of the whole !
Harmony is the union of opposites ;
Just as the high and low musical notes combine ,
To create music and melody in our life !
The principle of the universe is becoming and change ,
And with his dynamic metaphysics Heraclitus tried to delve ,
The ultimate reality behind all things as he had felt !
Next we move on to Parmenides and his philosophy of ‘being’ ;
Directly opposed to Heraclitus’ notion of change and ‘becoming’ !
PARMENIDES (515 BC – 450 BC) :
Born in Elea a city south of present-day Naples ,
At the age of 65 years visited Athens ,
And was interviewed by the youthful Socrates ,
- as Plato says ! He was the founder of the Eleatic School ;
Declared all changes to be mere illusory , - and not to be fooled !
In reality it was only changelessness , - only a state of ‘being’ ;
Far removed from Heraclitus’ change and flux , and ‘becoming’ !
Since for ‘being’ to change and ‘become’ , it must have come , -
From a being , or non-being , or nothing !
To come from a ‘non-being’ or ‘nothing’ was impossible !
But if from a ‘being’ , then it has come from itself ;
And has always been an ‘identical being’,
- Parmenides strongly felt ! It was evident then ,
that from being only being can come ,
Hence there was only one eternal , indivisible being , which was continuous !
Moreover , he declared ‘being’ and ‘thought’ were one !
For what cannot be thought cannot be ,
And what cannot be , that is ‘non-being’, - cannot be thought !
‘Thought’ and ‘being’ for him were identical !
All change for Parmenides being inconceivable ,
- The world of sense he declared was an illusion !
Sense perception reveals a world of plurality and change ;
An illusory world of opinion and appearance !
Later , Bertrand Russell in his ‘History of Western Philosophy’,
Suggested Parmenides was a victim of linguistic fallacy !
Yet he gives him credit for the ‘invention of Metaphysics based on logic!’
Both Melissus and Zeno as pupils of Permenides ,
Continued his traditions in his Eleatic School of Philosophy !
Zeno’s through his four paradoxes on movement tried to demonstrate ,
The indivisibility and unchanging reality without change !
Zeno with his words of magic, is reputed to have laid the foundation of Logic !