• Bahasa Indonesia
  • English

Biography Of Parmenides

Feelosofi – Parmenides was a presocratic philosopher who lived around 515–450 BC in the city of Elea, now known as Velia, Italy. He is known as a figure who played an important role in the history of philosophical thought because his work entitled “On Nature” is one of the earliest writings that still exists in the history of Western philosophy. This work is one of the main contributions in the development of metaphysics, a branch of philosophy that focuses on nature and existence.

Parmenides introduced the philosophical concept that reality is single and fixed, denying the idea of ​​change and diversity. For Parmenides, only ‘being’ truly exists, and ‘nothingness’ is an illusion. This concept raises fundamental questions about the relationship between reason and sensory observation in human efforts to understand the universe.

His thinking became the basis for thinkers such as Plato and Aristotle, who expanded and developed his ideas in the tradition of ancient Greek philosophy. Although Parmenides’ thought has had a continuing influence in the history of philosophical thought, his original work survives only in the form of fragments and quotations in the writings of other philosophers. Nonetheless, Parmenides’ great contribution to philosophical thought has inspired many in-depth discussions about reality, existence, and the nature of the universe in the context of philosophy.

Parmenides Thought


Monism, the central concept in Parmenides’ thought, is a philosophical view that states that only one reality truly exists and that diversity or change is just an illusion. Parmenides formulated monism in the context of “being,” which is considered to be a single and eternal nature or existence. In Parmenides’ monism, reality cannot be divided or varied; rather, it is a fixed and unchanging unity. This idea highlights the fundamental essence of unshakable existence, which demands fixity in philosophical thought.

Parmenides’ monist thinking had a major impact on the history of philosophical thought because it created the basis for many subsequent philosophical concepts and views. In the tradition of Greek philosophy, Plato adopted and developed Parmenides’ idea of monism with the concept of “ideal nature,” in which a single reality of abstract forms exists. Likewise, Aristotle used monist thinking as a basis for developing metaphysics by examining the nature of existence and ultimate goals.

In essence, Parmenides’ monism sparked deep discussions about the nature of the universe as well as the relationship between reason and sensory observation in human efforts to understand reality.

Nothingness Is An Illusion

The statement “Nothingness is an Illusion” put forward by Parmenides reflects a fundamental concept in his thinking. Parmenides claimed that nothingness, or “non-existence,” was merely an illusion and had no real existence. For Parmenides, only that which “is” or “exists” has legitimate existence. He argued that humans are often tempted by sensory observations that depict changes and variations in the universe, and this gives rise to a false understanding of reality. For him, true reality is something constant, fixed, and unshakable, so the idea of nothingness has no solid basis.

This concept of “nothingness is an illusion” invites questions about the nature of existence and changes in philosophy. Parmenides asserted that a single, eternal, and unchanging reality is the only thing that can be a valid object of knowledge. Although his ideas have been received with skepticism by some philosophers who regard change as an obvious reality in human experience, Parmenides’ contribution to leading philosophical thought towards a deep examination of the nature of existence and understanding of reality remains valuable in the history of Western philosophy. This idea has also become the basis for the development of philosophical thought about metaphysics and epistemology and has inspired further thoughts about the nature of existence and the nature of truth.

Unity And Certainty

In his thinking, Parmenides emphasized the concepts of unity and certainty as the main basis for understanding reality. For him, existence is an indivisible, unchanging, and definite unity. He argued that reality is something that is fixed and cannot change because any change would involve nothingness, which, according to him, is an illusion. This concept describes a static view of the world, where change, variation, and uncertainty are considered a false understanding of reality. With a strong emphasis on certainty and unity, Parmenides viewed the universe as a homogeneous and unshakable entity.

This idea of unity and certainty raises deep philosophical questions about the nature of existence and the nature of reality. Although Parmenides’ ideas have given rise to various criticisms and challenges from subsequent philosophers who are more accepting of the idea of changes in the understanding of reality, his contribution to the development of philosophy cannot be ignored. This concept became the basis for the subsequent development of philosophical thought in the Western philosophical tradition, and it has sparked discussions about the relationship between change, variation, and certainty in philosophical thought that continue to this day.

Knowledge Through Reason

Parmenides believed that true knowledge could only be achieved through reason and rational thinking, not only through sensory observation. This concept became an important part of his philosophical thought, emphasizing that a true understanding of reality cannot be obtained solely through sensory experience, which can mislead the perception of an ever-changing universe.

For Parmenides, reason is the primary tool for overcoming illusions and achieving a true understanding of existence. He claims that only by thinking rationally and using reason can humans understand the eternal and unchanging nature of existence.

Metaphysical Abstraction

This metaphysical abstraction leads to a deeper exploration of philosophical thought about the existence and nature of reality, inviting thinkers to look beyond the illusion of change and variation in the universe.

Parmenides’ notion of “metaphysical abstraction” provided the foundation for the further development of philosophical thought, especially in the field of metaphysics. His concept of existence as a single, unshakable reality became the starting point for philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle in the development of their views on the ideal world and the nature of existence. This thinking has provided a strong foundation for discussions of change, variation, and existence in philosophy and has influenced the development of subsequent philosophical thought.

Parmenides’ Works

  • On Nature


Parmenides was a presocratic philosopher who lived in ancient Greece, and his thought had a significant impact on the history of philosophy. One of the main concepts he promotes is monism, which states that there is only one true reality, namely “existence” or “being.” For him, the real world is fixed and unchanging, so the changes we witness are just illusions. He also distinguished between opinion (doxa) and knowledge (episteme), believing that true knowledge can only be discovered through reason and rational argumentation, whereas opinion originates from erroneous sensory experience.

One of Parmenides’ most important thoughts was his rejection of the concept of movement and change in reality, which he considered to be a false and contradictory idea.

This thought challenged the general view of his time, which accepted change as a natural thing. The influence of Parmenides’ thinking was felt strongly in the development of Western philosophy, influencing the thinking of Plato, Aristotle, and many later philosophers. Therefore, Parmenides’ philosophical legacy is still very relevant today, forming the foundations of metaphysics and epistemology in the history of Western philosophy.


What Is Parmenides’ Main Idea About “Existence”?

Parmenides believed that “existence” was the only true reality. For him, existence is eternal, constant, and unchanging. He considers all phenomena that we witness in the real world to be just illusions, while only existence really exists.

Why Did Parmenides Reject the Concept of Change?

Parmenides rejected the concept of change because he saw it as contradictory. For him, change would result in existence and nonexistence, which is impossible. Therefore, he considers change to be an illusion that cannot exist in true reality.

What Is the Difference Between “Opinion” and “Knowledge” in Parmenides’ Thought?

Parmenides differentiated between “opinion” (doxa) and “knowledge” (episteme) by saying that opinion is an erroneous view and comes from sensory experience, while knowledge is true understanding and is obtained through reason and rational argumentation.

How Did Parmenides’ Thinking Influence the Development of Western Philosophy?

Parmenides’ thinking greatly influenced the development of Western philosophy. He became one of the main figures in pre-Socratic thought and influenced the thinking of Plato and Aristotle. His concepts of monism and constant reality form the foundations of metaphysical and epistemological thought.

Are Parmenides’ thoughts relevant to modern philosophy?

Parmenides’ thinking still has relevance in modern philosophy. His concept of an eternal reality and his resistance to change are still the subject of debate in contemporary thought. Modern philosophers have also studied Parmenides’ concepts in the context of issues such as uncertainty, relativity, and subjective reality.


  • The Presocratic Philosophers – Parmenides: A Text and Translation with an Introduction – by Parmenides, Richard D. McKirahan, and Patricia Curd (2010).
  • Parmenides – by Peter Kingsley (2003).
  • “The Way of Truth: The Life and Works of Parmenides” – by Hermann Fränkel (2014).

Video Recommendations

Raymond Kelvin Nando, "Parmenides," Feelosofi, 2 November 2023,
Raymond Kelvin Nando
Writer, Researcher, & Philosophy Enthusiast