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Word Count: 759
Parmenides and Plato were both concerned with ontology from the Greek onta or being and questioned the nature of the real They both concluded that the world around is a dream or an illusion and that the senses as opposed to reason cannot aid us in our quest for truth Parmenides was the first of the ancient philosophers to make use of deductive argument and he did this in order to underline the dichotomy between what was commonly believed to be true ie change motion and growth etc and what the reason illuminates as real In Parmenides own words But the decision about these matters lies in this it is or it is not What is not cannot be for is not is simply a privation of is it is not a piece of Being with matter and form That which is is necessarily corporeal as J Burnet explains There is no real doubt that this is what we call a body It is certainly regarded as being spatially extended for it is quite seriously spoken of as a sphere For Parmenides this perfect sphere of being is eternal unchanging and immovable There is no more of it in one part than another it is perfectly equal and hence there can be no room for movement or growth Melissus and Zeno developed such arguments Zeno famously postulating the paradox of motion if a tortoise were given a head start in a race with Achilles Achilles would not logically be able to overtake the tortoise despite being faster because by the time he reaches the point where the tortoise was the tortoise will have moved ahead of that point As long as the tortoise keeps moving it will always stay ahead no matter how small the lead By the same principle Zeno argued that a man could not run from one end of a stadium to the other because he must first reach the halfway point
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