Epictetus was a Greek Stoic philosopher. He was born a slave at Hierapolis and lived in Rome until his banishment, when he went to Nicopolis in northwestern Greece for the rest of his life, his teachings were published by his pupil Arrian in his Discourses and Enchiridion. Epictetus taught that philosophy is not just a theoretical discipline. To Epictetus, all external events are beyond our control. However, individuals are responsible for their own actions, which they can examine and control through rigorous self-discipline. Epictetus was born c. 55 A. D. at Hierapolis, Phrygia. The name his parents gave, he spent his youth as a slave in Rome to a wealthy freedman and secretary to Nero. Early in life, Epictetus acquired a passion for philosophy and, with the permission of his wealthy owner, he studied Stoic philosophy under Musonius Rufus, which allowed him to rise in respectability as he grew more educated. Somehow, he became crippled. Origen stated. Simplicius stated. Epictetus obtained his freedom sometime after the death of Nero in 68 A.
D. and he began to teach philosophy in Rome. About 93 A. D. Emperor Domitian banished all philosophers from the city, Epictetus went to Nicopolis in Epirus, where he founded a philosophical school, his most famous pupil, studied under him when a young man and claimed to have written the famous Discourses from his lecture notes, which he argued should be considered comparable to the Socratic literature. Arrian describes Epictetus as being a powerful speaker who could "induce his listener to feel just what Epictetus wanted him to feel." Many eminent figures sought conversations with him. Emperor Hadrian was friendly with him, may have listened to him speak at his school in Nicopolis, he lived a life of great simplicity, with few possessions. He lived alone for a long time, but in his old age he adopted a friend's child who otherwise would have been left to die, raised him with the aid of a woman, it is unclear. He died sometime around 135 A. D. After his death, according to Lucian, his oil lamp was purchased by an admirer for 3,000 drachmae.
No writings by Epictetus are known. His discourses were compiled by his pupil Arrian; the main work is four books of which have been preserved. Arrian compiled a popular digest, entitled the Enchiridion, or Handbook. In a preface to the Discourses, addressed to Lucius Gellius, Arrian states that "whatever I heard him say I used to write down, word for word, as best I could, endeavouring to preserve it as a memorial, for my own future use, of his way of thinking and the frankness of his speech."Epictetus maintains that the foundation of all philosophy is self-knowledge, that is, the conviction of our ignorance and gullibility ought to be the first subject of our study. Logic provides valid reasoning and certainty in judgment; the first and most necessary part of philosophy concerns the application of doctrine, for example, that people should not lie. The second concerns reasons, e.g. why people should not lie. While the third, lastly and establishes the reasons; this is the logical part, which finds reasons, shows what is a reason, that a given reason is a correct one.
This last part is necessary, but only on account of the second, which again is rendered necessary by the first. Both the Discourses and the Enchiridion begin by distinguishing between those things in our power and those things not in our power; that alone is in our power, our own work. What, on the contrary, is not in our power, are our bodies, possessions and power. Any delusion on this point leads to the greatest errors and troubles, to the slavery of the soul. We have no power over external things, the good that ought to be the object of our earnest pursuit, is to be found only within ourselves; the determination between what is good and what is not good is made by the capacity for choice. Prohairesis allows us to act, gives us the kind of freedom that only rational animals have, it is determined by our reason, which of all our faculties and tests itself and everything else. It is the correct use of the impressions that bombard the mind, in our power:Practice from the start to say to every harsh impression, "You are an impression, not at all the thing you appear to be."
Examine it and test it by these rules you have, firstly, chiefly, by this: whether the impression has to do with the things that are up to us, or those that are not. We will not be troubled at any loss, but will say to ourselves on such an occasion: "I have lost nothing that belongs to me. Nothing beyond the use of our opinion is properly ours; every possession rests on opinion. What is to cry and to weep? An opinion. What is misfortune, or a quarrel, or a complaint? All these things are opinions.
Melissus of Samos
Melissus of Samos was the third and last member of the ancient school of Eleatic philosophy, whose other members included Zeno and Parmenides. Little is known about his life, except that he was the commander of the Samian fleet in the Samian War. Melissus’ contribution to philosophy was a treatise of systematic arguments supporting Eleatic philosophy. Like Parmenides, he argued that reality is ungenerated, indivisible and motionless. In addition, he sought to show that reality is wholly unlimited, infinitely extended in all directions. Not much information remains regarding the life of Melissus, he may have been born around 500 BC. The little, known about him is gleaned from a small passage in Plutarch’s Life of Pericles, he was the commander of the Samian fleet in the Samian War, defeated Pericles and the Athenian fleet in 440 BC. Plutarch claims that Aristotle says that Melissus had defeated Pericles in an earlier battle. In his Life of Themistocles, Plutarch denies Stesimbrotus’ claim that Melissus was held in high regard by Themistocles, claiming that he is confusing Themistocles and Pericles.
Melissus was reputed to have been the pupil of Parmenides, the teacher of Leucippus, though one must regard such claims with a fair amount of skepticism. Much of what remains of Melissus’ philosophical treatise, On Nature, has been preserved by Simplicius in his commentaries on Aristotle’s Physics and On the Heavens, several summaries of his philosophy have come down to us. Most of the remaining fragments can be found in Diels–Kranz. Unlike Parmenides, Melissus wrote his treatise in prose, not poetry making it easier to follow than that of his teacher. Like Parmenides, he claims that Being is one, indestructible, changeless and the same. Melissus’ philosophy differs from that of Parmenides in two respects: Parmenides claims that Being is limited, while Melissus claims that it is wholly unlimited. McKirahan claims that Parmenides argues for Being as spatially limited, but this is a contentious point. Melissus argues that since The One neither came to be nor is subject to destruction, it is therefore eternal.
While fragment 1 is a summary of Parmenides’ arguments against coming to be and perishing, fragment 2 provides Melissus’ argument. Melissus’ argument is twofold, addressing the temporal aspect of The One somewhat as a timeline: granting the reality of the present moment, he argues that The One has existed eternally into the past and will exist eternally into the future, his argument is as follows: Whatever comes to be must have a beginning. According to fragment 1, The One did not come to be. Therefore, The One does not have a beginning. Therefore, The One is eternal.in addition: Whatever has a beginning must end. According to fragment 1, The One did not have a beginning. Therefore, The One will not end. Therefore, The One is eternal, he restates his argument for The One as eternal in fragments 6 and 9.1. It is in this respect that Melissus differs from Parmenides, although some argue that the difference is not as important as it might seem. Parmenides’ view is that there is only one moment, while Melissus argues for an infinite number of moments.
The existence of a changeless, eternal present is an arguable position. There are several problems with Melissus’ reasoning, his second argument is based on a dubious premise. Furthermore, both arguments, which can be reduced to “If A B. Melissus contends. Fragments 7 and 8 indicate that Melissus is speaking in terms of spatial infinity, although regarding fragment 3, which first argues this point, Simplicius explicitly denies this: “But by ‘magnitude’ he does not mean what is extended in space.” Simplicius undoubtedly had more of Melissus’ treatise at his disposal, as well as other commentaries and notes which have not survived to the present day. In any case, Melissus’ argument for this claim is unclear, it is possible that it has not been preserved for us. Alternatively, he may intend for this argument to follow from the arguments of fragments 1 and 2, either directly or indirectly. In the former case, unless the argument is based on a now lost theory on the relationship between time and space, it is, as McKirahan says, “grossly fallacious”.
In the latter case, granting the “beginning” and “end” of fragment 2 spatial as well as temporal qualities leaves Melissus open to the charge of equivocation. In fragment 6 Melissus connects the quality of being unlimited. Melissus may have argued for this quality due to certain issues arising in Parmenides’ thesis; the argument is as follows: Whatever has a beginning and end is neither eternal nor unlimited. Being has no end. Therefore, it is unlimited; this argument, as fragment 3, is logically flawed, being basically: “If not-A not-B”. Melissus’ argument for the oneness of what-is, given in fragments 7 and 8, is undoubtedly his best, his argument is clearer and more concise than the one provided by Parmenides
Epicurus was an ancient Greek philosopher who founded a influential school of philosophy now called Epicureanism. He was born on the Greek island of Samos to Athenian parents. Influenced by Democritus and the Cynics, he turned against the Platonism of his day and established his own school, known as "the Garden", in Athens, he and his followers were known for eating simple meals and discussing a wide range of philosophical subjects, he allowed women to join the school as a matter of policy. An prolific writer, he is said to have written over 300 works on various subjects, but the vast majority of these writings have been lost. Only three letters written by him—the Letters to Menoeceus and Herodotus—and two collections of quotes—the Principle Doctrines and the Vatican Sayings—have survived intact, along with a few fragments and quotations of his other writings, his teachings are better recorded in the writings of authors, including the Roman poet Lucretius, the philosopher Philodemus, the philosopher Sextus Empiricus, the biographer Diogenes Laërtius.
For Epicurus, the purpose of philosophy was to attain the happy, tranquil life, characterized by ataraxia—peace and freedom from fear— and aponia—the absence of pain— and by living a self-sufficient life surrounded by friends. He taught that the root of all human neurosis is death denial, the tendency for human beings to assume that death will be horrific and painful, which he claimed causes unnecessary anxiety, selfish self-protective behaviors, hypocrisy. According to Epicurus, death is the end of both the body and the soul and therefore should not be feared. Epicurus taught that the gods, though they do exist, have no involvement in human affairs and do not punish or reward people for their actions. Nonetheless, he maintained that people should still behave ethically because amoral behavior will burden them with guilt and prevent them from attaining ataraxia. Like Aristotle, Epicurus was an empiricist, meaning he believed that the senses are the only reliable source of knowledge about the world.
He derived much of his cosmology from the earlier philosopher Democritus. Like Democritus, Epicurus taught that the universe is infinite and eternal and that all matter is made up of tiny, invisible particles known as atoms. All occurrences in the natural world are the result of atoms moving and interacting in empty space. Epicurus deviated from Democritus in his teaching of atomic "swerve", which holds that atoms may deviate from their expected course, thus permitting humans to possess free will in an otherwise deterministic universe. Though popular, Epicurean teachings were controversial from the beginning. Epicureanism reached the height of its popularity during the late years of the Roman Republic, before declining as the rival school of Stoicism grew in popularity at its expense, it died out in late antiquity in the wake of early Christianity. Epicurus himself was popularly, though inaccurately, remembered throughout the Middle Ages as a patron of drunkards and gluttons, his teachings became more known in the fifteenth century with the rediscovery of important texts, but his ideas did not become acceptable until the seventeenth century, when the French Catholic priest Pierre Gassendi revived a modified version of them, promoted by other writers, including Walter Charleton and Robert Boyle.
His influence grew during and after the Enlightenment, profoundly impacting the ideas of major thinkers, including John Locke, Thomas Jefferson, Jeremy Bentham, Karl Marx. Epicurus was born in the Athenian settlement on the Aegean island of Samos in February 341 BC, his parents and Chaerestrate, were both Athenian-born, his father was an Athenian citizen. Epicurus grew up during the final years of the Greek Classical Period. Plato had died seven years before Epicurus was born and Epicurus was seven years old when Alexander the Great crossed the Hellespont into Persia; as a child, Epicurus would have received a typical ancient Greek education. As such, according to Norman Wentworth DeWitt, "it is inconceivable that he would have escaped the Platonic training in geometry and rhetoric." Epicurus is known to have studied under the instruction of a Samian Platonist named Pamphilus for about four years. His Letter of Menoeceus and surviving fragments of his other writings suggest that he had extensive training in rhetoric.
After the death of Alexander the Great, Perdiccas expelled the Athenian settlers on Samos to Colophon, on the coast of what is now Turkey. After the completion of his military service, Epicurus joined his family there, he studied under Nausiphanes. Epicurus's teachings were influenced by those of earlier philosophers Democritus. Nonetheless, Epicurus differed from his predecessors on several key points of determinism and vehemently denied having been influenced by any previous philosophers, whom he denounced as "confused". Instead, he insisted that he had been "self-taught". According to DeWitt, Epicurus's teachings show influences from the contemporary philosophical school of Cynicism; the Cynic philosopher Diogenes of Sinope was still alive when Epicurus would have been in Athens for his required military training and it is possible they may have met. Diogenes's pupil Crates of Thebes was a close contemporary of Epicurus. Epicurus agreed with the Cynics' quest for honesty, but rejected their "insolence and vulgarity", instead teaching that honesty must be coupled with courtesy and kindness.
Epicurus shared this view with the comic playwright Menander. Epicurus's Lett
Cynicism is a school of thought of ancient Greek philosophy as practiced by the Cynics. For the Cynics, the purpose of life is to live in agreement with nature; as reasoning creatures, people can gain happiness by rigorous training and by living in a way, natural for themselves, rejecting all conventional desires for wealth, power and fame. Instead, they were to lead a simple life free from all possessions; the first philosopher to outline these themes was Antisthenes, a pupil of Socrates in the late 5th century BC. He was followed by Diogenes. Diogenes took Cynicism to its logical extremes, came to be seen as the archetypal Cynic philosopher, he was followed by Crates of Thebes, who gave away a large fortune so he could live a life of Cynic poverty in Athens. Cynicism spread with the rise of the Roman Empire in the 1st century, Cynics could be found begging and preaching throughout the cities of the empire. Cynicism declined and disappeared in the late 5th century, although similar ascetic and rhetorical ideas appear in early Christianity.
By the 19th century, emphasis on the negative aspects of Cynic philosophy led to the modern understanding of cynicism to mean a disposition of disbelief in the sincerity or goodness of human motives and actions. The name Cynic derives from Ancient Greek κυνικός, meaning'dog-like', κύων, meaning'dog'. One explanation offered in ancient times for why the Cynics were called "dogs" was because the first Cynic, taught in the Cynosarges gymnasium at Athens; the word cynosarges means the "place of the white dog". It seems certain, that the word dog was thrown at the first Cynics as an insult for their shameless rejection of conventional manners, their decision to live on the streets. Diogenes, in particular, was referred to as the "Dog", a distinction he seems to have revelled in, stating that "other dogs bite their enemies, I bite my friends to save them." Cynics sought to turn the word to their advantage, as a commentator explained: There are four reasons why the Cynics are so named. First because of the indifference of their way of life, for they make a cult of indifference and, like dogs and make love in public, go barefoot, sleep in tubs and at crossroads.
The second reason is that the dog is a shameless animal, they make a cult of shamelessness, not as being beneath modesty, but as superior to it. The third reason is that the dog is a good guard, they guard the tenets of their philosophy; the fourth reason is that the dog is a discriminating animal which can distinguish between its friends and enemies. So do they recognize as friends those who are suited to philosophy, receive them kindly, while those unfitted they drive away, like dogs, by barking at them. Cynicism is one of the most striking of all the Hellenistic philosophies, it offered people the possibility of freedom from suffering in an age of uncertainty. Although there was never an official Cynic doctrine, the fundamental principles of Cynicism can be summarized as follows: The goal of life is eudaimonia and mental clarity or lucidity - "freedom from smoke" which signified false belief, mindlessness and conceit. Eudaimonia is achieved by living in accord with Nature. Arrogance is caused by false judgments of value, which cause negative emotions, unnatural desires, a vicious character.
Eudaimonia, or human flourishing, depends on self-sufficiency, arete, love of humanity and indifference to the vicissitudes of life. One progresses towards flourishing and clarity through ascetic practices which help one become free from influences – such as wealth and power – that have no value in Nature. Examples include Diogenes' practice of walking barefoot in winter. A Cynic defaces the nomos of society, thus a Cynic has no property and rejects all conventional values of money, fame and reputation. A life lived according to nature requires only the bare necessities required for existence, one can become free by unshackling oneself from any needs which are the result of convention; the Cynics adopted Heracles as epitomizing the ideal Cynic. Heracles "was he who brought Cerberus, the hound of Hades, from the underworld, a point of special appeal to the dog-man, Diogenes." According to Lucian, "Cerberus and Cynic are related through the dog."The Cynic way of life required continuous training, not just in exercising judgments and mental impressions, but a physical training as well: used to say, that there were two kinds of exercise: that, namely, of the mind and that of the body.
None of this meant. Cynics were in fact to live in the full glare of the public's gaze and be quite indifferent in the face of any insults which might result from their unconventional behaviour; the Cynics are said to have invented the idea of cosmopolitanism: when he was asked where he came from, Diogenes replied that he was "a citizen of the world."The ideal Cynic would evangelise.
Ancient Greece was a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Three centuries after the Late Bronze Age collapse of Mycenaean Greece, Greek urban poleis began to form in the 8th century BC, ushering in the Archaic period and colonization of the Mediterranean Basin; this was followed by the period of Classical Greece, an era that began with the Greco-Persian Wars, lasting from the 5th to 4th centuries BC. Due to the conquests by Alexander the Great of Macedon, Hellenistic civilization flourished from Central Asia to the western end of the Mediterranean Sea; the Hellenistic period came to an end with the conquests and annexations of the eastern Mediterranean world by the Roman Republic, which established the Roman province of Macedonia in Roman Greece, the province of Achaea during the Roman Empire. Classical Greek culture philosophy, had a powerful influence on ancient Rome, which carried a version of it to many parts of the Mediterranean Basin and Europe.
For this reason, Classical Greece is considered to be the seminal culture which provided the foundation of modern Western culture and is considered the cradle of Western civilization. Classical Greek culture gave great importance to knowledge. Science and religion were not separate and getting closer to the truth meant getting closer to the gods. In this context, they understood the importance of mathematics as an instrument for obtaining more reliable knowledge. Greek culture, in a few centuries and with a limited population, managed to explore and make progress in many fields of science, mathematics and knowledge in general. Classical antiquity in the Mediterranean region is considered to have begun in the 8th century BC and ended in the 6th century AD. Classical antiquity in Greece was preceded by the Greek Dark Ages, archaeologically characterised by the protogeometric and geometric styles of designs on pottery. Following the Dark Ages was the Archaic Period, beginning around the 8th century BC.
The Archaic Period saw early developments in Greek culture and society which formed the basis for the Classical Period. After the Archaic Period, the Classical Period in Greece is conventionally considered to have lasted from the Persian invasion of Greece in 480 until the death of Alexander the Great in 323; the period is characterized by a style, considered by observers to be exemplary, i.e. "classical", as shown in the Parthenon, for instance. Politically, the Classical Period was dominated by Athens and the Delian League during the 5th century, but displaced by Spartan hegemony during the early 4th century BC, before power shifted to Thebes and the Boeotian League and to the League of Corinth led by Macedon; this period saw the Greco-Persian Wars and the Rise of Macedon. Following the Classical period was the Hellenistic period, during which Greek culture and power expanded into the Near and Middle East; this period ends with the Roman conquest. Roman Greece is considered to be the period between Roman victory over the Corinthians at the Battle of Corinth in 146 BC and the establishment of Byzantium by Constantine as the capital of the Roman Empire in AD 330.
Late Antiquity refers to the period of Christianization during the 4th to early 6th centuries AD, sometimes taken to be complete with the closure of the Academy of Athens by Justinian I in 529. The historical period of ancient Greece is unique in world history as the first period attested directly in proper historiography, while earlier ancient history or proto-history is known by much more circumstantial evidence, such as annals or king lists, pragmatic epigraphy. Herodotus is known as the "father of history": his Histories are eponymous of the entire field. Written between the 450s and 420s BC, Herodotus' work reaches about a century into the past, discussing 6th century historical figures such as Darius I of Persia, Cambyses II and Psamtik III, alluding to some 8th century ones such as Candaules. Herodotus was succeeded by authors such as Thucydides, Demosthenes and Aristotle. Most of these authors were either Athenian or pro-Athenian, why far more is known about the history and politics of Athens than those of many other cities.
Their scope is further limited by a focus on political and diplomatic history, ignoring economic and social history. In the 8th century BC, Greece began to emerge from the Dark Ages which followed the fall of the Mycenaean civilization. Literacy had been lost and Mycenaean script forgotten, but the Greeks adopted the Phoenician alphabet, modifying it to create the Greek alphabet. Objects with Phoenician writing on them may have been available in Greece from the 9th century BC, but the earliest evidence of Greek writing comes from graffiti on Greek pottery from the mid-8th century. Greece was divided into many small self-governing communities, a pattern dictated by Greek geography: every island and plain is cut off from its neighbors by the sea or mountain ranges; the Lelantine War is the earliest documented war of the ancient Greek period. It was fought between the important poleis of Chalcis and Eretria over the fertile Lelantine plain of Euboea. Both cities seem to have suffered a decline as result of the long war, though Chalcis was the nominal victor.
A mercantile class arose in the first half of the 7th century BC, shown by the introduction of coinage in about 680 BC. This
Augustine of Hippo
Saint Augustine of Hippo was a Roman African, early Christian theologian and philosopher from Numidia whose writings influenced the development of Western Christianity and Western philosophy. He was the bishop of Hippo Regius in north Africa and is viewed as one of the most important Church Fathers in Western Christianity for his writings in the Patristic Period. Among his most important works are The City of De doctrina Christiana and Confessions. According to his contemporary Jerome, Augustine "established anew the ancient Faith". In his youth he was drawn to Manichaeism and to neoplatonism. After his baptism and conversion to Christianity in 386, Augustine developed his own approach to philosophy and theology, accommodating a variety of methods and perspectives. Believing that the grace of Christ was indispensable to human freedom, he helped formulate the doctrine of original sin and made seminal contributions to the development of just war theory; when the Western Roman Empire began to disintegrate, Augustine imagined the Church as a spiritual City of God, distinct from the material Earthly City.
His thoughts profoundly influenced the medieval worldview. The segment of the Church that adhered to the concept of the Trinity as defined by the Council of Nicaea and the Council of Constantinople identified with Augustine's On the Trinity. Augustine is recognized as a saint in the Catholic Church, the Eastern Christian Church, the Anglican Communion and as a preeminent Doctor of the Church, he is the patron of the Augustinians. His memorial is celebrated on 28 August, the day of his death. Augustine is the patron saint of brewers, theologians, the alleviation of sore eyes, a number of cities and dioceses. Many Protestants Calvinists and Lutherans, consider him to be one of the theological fathers of the Protestant Reformation due to his teachings on salvation and divine grace. Protestant Reformers and Martin Luther in particular, held Augustine in preeminence among early Church Fathers. Luther himself was, from 1505 to 1521, a member of the Order of the Augustinian Eremites. In the East, his teachings are more disputed, were notably attacked by John Romanides.
But other theologians and figures of the Eastern Orthodox Church have shown significant approbation of his writings, chiefly Georges Florovsky. The most controversial doctrine associated with him, the filioque, was rejected by the Orthodox Church. Other disputed teachings include his views on original sin, the doctrine of grace, predestination. Though considered to be mistaken on some points, he is still considered a saint, has had influence on some Eastern Church Fathers, most notably Saint Gregory Palamas. In the Orthodox Church his feast day is celebrated on 15 June. Historian Diarmaid MacCulloch has written: " impact on Western Christian thought can hardly be overstated. Augustine of Hippo known as Saint Augustine, Saint Austin, is known by various cognomens throughout the Christian world across its many denominations including Blessed Augustine, the Doctor of Grace Hippo Regius, where Augustine was the bishop, was in modern-day Annaba, Algeria. Augustine was born in the year 354 AD in the municipium of Thagaste in the Roman province of Numidia.
His mother, Monica or Monnica, was a devout Christian. Augustine considered the father like a stranger. Scholars agree that Augustine and his family were Berbers, an ethnic group indigenous to North Africa, but that they were Romanized, speaking only Latin at home as a matter of pride and dignity. In his writings, Augustine leaves some information as to the consciousness of his African heritage. For example, he refers to Apuleius as "the most notorious of us Africans," to Ponticianus as "a country man of ours, insofar as being African," and to Faustus of Mileve as "an African Gentleman". Augustine's family name, suggests that his father's ancestors were freedmen of the gens Aurelia given full Roman citizenship by the Edict of Caracalla in 212. Augustine's family had been Roman, for at least a century when he was born, it is assumed that his mother, was of Berber origin, on the basis of her name, but as his family were honestiores, an upper class of citizens known as honorable men, Augustine's first language is to have been Latin.
At the age of 11, Augustine was sent to school at Madaurus, a small Numidian city about 19 miles south of Thagaste. There he became familiar with Latin literature, as well as pagan practices, his first insight into the nature of sin occurred when he and a number of friends stole fruit they did not want from a neighborhood garden. He tells this story in The Confessions, he remembers that he did not steal the fruit because he was hungry, but because "it was not permitted." His nature, he says, was flawed.'It was foul, I loved it. I loved my own error—not that for which I erred, but the error itself." From this incident he concluded the human person is inclined to sin, in need of the grace of Christ. At the age of 17, through the generosity of his fellow citizen Romanianus, Augustine went to Carthage to continue his education in rhetoric, though it was above the financial means of his family. In spite of the good warnings of his mother, as a youth Augustine lived a hedonistic lif
Parmenides of Elea was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher from Elea in Magna Graecia. Parmenides has been considered the founder of metaphysics or ontology and has influenced the whole history of Western philosophy, he was the founder of the Eleatic school of philosophy, which included Zeno of Elea and Melissus of Samos. Zeno's paradoxes of motion were to defend Parmenides' view; the single known work by Parmenides is a poem, On Nature, only fragments of which survive, containing the first sustained argument in the history of philosophy. In it, Parmenides prescribes two views of reality. In "the way of truth", he explains how all reality is one, change is impossible, existence is timeless and necessary. In "the way of opinion", Parmenides explains the world of appearances, in which one's sensory faculties lead to conceptions which are false and deceitful, yet he does offer a cosmology. Parmenides philosophy has been explained with the slogan "whatever is is, what is not cannot be", he is credited with the phrase out of nothing nothing comes.
He argues that "A is not" can never be thought or said truthfully, thus despite appearances everything exists as one, unchanging thing. This is considered one of the first digressions into the philosophical concept of being, has been contrasted with Heraclitus's statement that "No man steps into the same river twice" as one of the first digressions into the philosophical concept of becoming. Scholars have believed that either Parmenides was responding to Heraclitus, or Heraclitus to Parmenides. Alexius Meinong held a view similar to Parmenides, that the "golden mountain" is real because it can be talked about; the rivalry between Heraclitus and Parmenides has been re-introduced in discussions over the A theory and B theory of time. Parmenides was born in the Greek colony of Elea, according to Herodotus, had been founded shortly before 535 BC, he was descended from a illustrious family. It was said, his dates are uncertain. Parmenides was the founder of the School of Elea, which included Zeno of Elea and Melissus of Samos.
His most important pupil was Zeno, who according to Plato was 25 years his junior, was regarded as his eromenos. He was said to have been a pupil of Xenophanes, regardless of whether they knew each other, Xenophanes' philosophy is the most obvious influence on Parmenides. Though there are no obvious Pythagorean elements in his thought, Diogenes Laërtius describes Parmenides as a disciple of "Ameinias, son of Diochaites, the Pythagorean"; the first purported hero cult of a philosopher we know of was Parmenides' dedication of a heroon to his Ameinias in Elea. According to Sir William Smith, in Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology: "Others content themselves with reckoning Parmenides as well as Zeno as belonging to the Pythagorean school, or with speaking of a Parmenidean life, in the same way as a Pythagorean life is spoken of."Most conclude he was responding to Heraclitus. For one, Heraclitus seems older than Parmenides. Parmenides is one of the most significant of the pre-Socratic philosophers.
His single known work, a poem conventionally titled On Nature, has survived only in fragments. 160 verses remain today from an original total, near 800. The poem was divided into three parts: A proem, which introduced the entire work, A section known as "The Way of Truth", A section known as "The Way of Appearance/Opinion"; the proem is a narrative sequence in which the narrator travels "beyond the beaten paths of mortal men" to receive a revelation from an unnamed goddess on the nature of reality. Aletheia, an estimated 90% of which has survived, doxa, most of which no longer exists, are presented as the spoken revelation of the goddess without any accompanying narrative. Parmenides attempted to distinguish between the unity of nature and its variety, insisting in the Way of Truth upon the reality of its unity, therefore the object of knowledge, upon the unreality of its variety, therefore the object, not of knowledge, but of opinion. In the Way of Opinion he propounded a theory of the world of seeming and its development, pointing out, that, in accordance with the principles laid down, these cosmological speculations do not pretend to anything more than mere appearance.
In the proem, Parmenides describes the journey of the poet, escorted by maidens, from the ordinary daytime world to a strange destination, outside our human paths. Carried in a whirling chariot, attended by the daughters of Helios the Sun, the man reaches a temple sacred to an unnamed goddess, by whom the rest of the poem is spoken; the goddess resides in a well-known mythological space: where Night and Day have their meeting place. Its essential character is, he must learn all things, she tells him – both truth, certain, human opinions, which are uncertain – for though one cannot rely on hu