Ancient Philosophers: The Eliatic School, Melissus

Classic Philosophers: The Great Thinkers of Western Philosophy

Ancient Philosophers: The Philosophy of the Early Greek Naturalists, by Jonathan Dolhenty

I. The Eliatic School: Melissus

An illustration of Melissus of Samos from the Nuremberg Chronicle

Among the Eleatics must be numbered Melissus, who was born at Samos and lived during the fifth century B.C. He accepts and defends Parmenides’ doctrine of being, but unlike his master, he maintains that being is infinite, because it cannot be limited, neither by another being, in so far as being is one, nor by non-being, which does not exist. In agreement with Parmenides he maintains that change and motion do not exist in nature, for both imply an absurd transition from being to non-being.

The Eleatic School had the merit of calling the attention of philosophers to the concept of being and becoming, of motion, of time, of space, and of continuity. Its importance is such that all succeeding thought represented a victory over the one-sided and apparently contradictory conceptions held by Parmenides (unchanging being) and Heraclitus (successive becoming).

The late Dr. Jonathan Dolhenty was the Founder and President of The Center for Applied Philosophy and the Radical Academy, and is Honorary Philosophy Editor at Self-Educated American. Self-Educated American has adopted these projects beginning with a republishing and preserving of all of Dr. Dolhenty’s work. “Classic Philosophers: The Great Thinkers of the Western World” was designed and organized by Jonathan Dolhenty, Ph.D. Copyright ©1992 -2011 The Radical Academy. Copyright renewed in © 2011 -2013 The Radical Academy (a project of Self-Educated American).



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