Classical Liberalism - Parmenides and the Paradoxes of Zeno
#POB has been good to me. I decided to write a post a day for the Month of August. Most of the posts have been about the history of political philosophy on Proof of Brain. This post will touch on economics and the history of science. So, I will add the #STEM and #CENT tags.
The response to series of posts was outstanding and I crossed my investment goal of 500 POB. Well, I decided to ratchet up my investment goal to 1000 POB.
Now for the Actual Post
It appears that philosophers of Ancient Greece were deeply troubled by the discovery of irrational numbers and paradoxes.
Heraclitus of Ionia concluded that all the world was in flux. The world was in the state of becoming.
Others tried to reconcile the contradictions with ideas such as the unity of opposites.
Philosophers in Elea saw the problems that the Ionians were having with their attempts to explain the world with numbers and took an interesting approach.
Elea was a Greek town on the Eastern shores of the boot of Italy. It is now called Velia.
The Eleatic school led by Parmenides took a different approach. If attempts to explain the cosmos with sets of whole numbers was leading to paradox; then one should develop a different theory.
Parmenides of Elea wrote a poem that is commonly called "On Nature." This poem is said to have given a reasoned argument for the position that the multiplicity that we see around us is an illusion and that all is one.
The idea that all is one is not that radical if one considers the inversion operation.
i am writing this post on ProofOFBrain.io which rewards posts with the POB coin. Hive Engine tells me that there are 1,261,000 POB coins in circulation.
POB is a fungible token. That simply means that every POB has the same value. So the market value of one POB is 1,261,000th of the total market value of the POB coin.
1 POB is worth 1/1261000 or 0.0000793% of the market value of POB. My hoard of 500 POB is worth 0.0396511% the total market value of POB.
It would be possible for a person to issue a cyber currency that has just one coin. People would trade small percentages of that one coin. The price of the one coin would be the market value of the coin. I am sure that this has been done.
To an extent, the bold claim that all is one is simply an inverse of the argument that the world is made of many.
This issue of one versus many is called "multiplicity."
In response to Heraclitus, who thought that everything was in a state of becoming, Parmenides argued that universe is in a state of being and the becoming that we see is an illusion just like multiplicity is an illusion.
Zeno's Paradoxes and Dialectic
Zeno of Elea was a star student of Parmenides. Apparently Zeno believed that philosophers should learn to argue both sides of any dispute.
Some people called Zeno's method of discourse "dialectics."
The term "dialectics" plays an important role in philosophical history.
The term had a positive meaning until the modern age when Hegel and Marx made a complete hash of the term.
I do not believe that Zeno's dialectics was nihilistic. Zeno's system of argumentation appears to be aimed at discovering the nature of truth.
Zeno v. The Atomists
Some philosophers of Ancient Greece claimed that the world was composed of indivisible particles called "atoms." This school is called atomists.
Zeno developed a collection of paradoxes that showed that attempts to explain the movement of indivisible atoms would leads to paradoxes.
Zeno developed a series of paradoxes because attempts to resolve the paradoxes with one system of arguments would invariably bring the other paradoxes into play.
Zeno was essentially showing the mathematics and physics is inherently incomplete. These arguments would simply further Parmenides' claim that all is one.
I personally think that Zeno should be numbered among the greatest thinkers in human history.
The Ancient Greeks realized millennia ago that the naive idea of an individual atoms was naive. Subatomic theory stipulates that subatomic particles have paradoxical states called quanta.
Photons are quite interesting in that they appear to behave like waves in some experiments and particles in others.
I suspect that Zeno would delight in the field of subatomic physics.
Some historians claim that Zeno was opposed to the rule of Nearchus in Elea and that Nearchus had Zeno tortured and executed for his dissent.
The political class of Ancient Greece hated people who engaged in free thought just as many modern political disdain free thinkers and skeptics.
The opening picture is a bust that was labeled Parmenides drawn from Wikicommons. The closing picture (circa 1588) by Pellegrino Tibaldi is titled "Veritas et Falsitas" with Zeno Showing students the doors to Truth and Falsehood.