What did the Stoics think of Parmenides?

I wonder if Parmenides had any of the Stoic logicians concerned about Being and Time. i’m reminded of the child philosopher who asks, “why is there something rather than nothing?” Parmenides answers that something couldn’t come from nothing because only nothing could have come from nothing. Since there is something now then there could have only been something since ever. in fact, something never extinguishes and something is never generated. if something had a genesis that would violate the principle that something can only come from something. It would’ve had to come from nothing which is impossible. So there is no becoming. There is only being. In fact that which is will always be. That which is cannot change because it will have to become what is not. But nothing can’t come from something. Just like something can’t come from nothing.

Parmenides concludes that nothing ever changes. Everything always is and will never not be and will never come to be because nothing can only come from nothing. And something can only come from something. All change is an illusion. Nothing ever changes. Parmenides’s arguments that change was an illusion were buttressed by Zeno of Elea’s paradoxes that motion is impossible.

The Stoics owe their metaphysics to Heraclitus, who believed that everything was in a state of flux and everything was commanded by the Logos which was a principle of opposites (night and day, love and strife, winter and summer, etc, etc). Things are constantly generated and then dissolve and are extinguished. In fact, the universe is continuously dissolved and generated forever and ever.

I suppose Parmenides never worried the Stoics because the Stoics trusted their senses and saw that time flows, motion is possible, and that things are divisible. We see daily with our senses that things are born and die. Everything is in flux. in fact the only thing that is is becoming. There is no real being.

What do you guys think? Is there only being? Or is there only becoming? Is change an illusion or there only change?

Here’s an article that discusses Heraclitus’s ontology vs Parmenides’s


One thought on “What did the Stoics think of Parmenides?

Leave a Reply to Robert Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s