Early Greek Philosophy by John Burnet, with Burnet's notes
153. Things Likenesses of Numbers 155. Life of Zeno

From Chapter VIII., The Younger Eleatics

154. Relation to Predecessors
THE systems we have just been studying were all fundamentally pluralist, and they were so because Parmenides had shown that, if we take a corporeal monism seriously, we must ascribe to reality a number of predicates inconsistent with our experience of a world which everywhere displays multiplicity, motion, and change (§ 97). The four "roots" of Empedokles and the innumerable "seeds" of Anaxagoras were both of them conscious attempts to solve the problem Parmenides had raised (§§ 106, 127). There is no evidence, indeed, that the Pythagoreans were directly influenced by Parmenides, but it has been shown (§ 147) how the later form of their system was based on the theory of Empedokles. Now it was just this prevailing pluralism that Zeno criticised from the Eleatic standpoint; and his arguments were especially directed against Pythagoreanism. Melissos, too, criticises Pythagoreanism; but he tries to find a common ground with his adversaries by maintaining the old Ionian thesis that reality is infinite.








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