Parmenides and Heraclitus

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This paper looks at two Greek philosophers, Heraclitus, and Parmenides. It examines their different theories as to how the universe was created, understanding of the universe, 'way of truth, ' 'way of opinion ' and the third way. The author explains that Parmenides, who came after Heraclitus, addressed part of his writings as a refutation of Heraclitus? views. He objected both to Heraclitus? view of the universe and how Heraclitus felt people could gain knowledge of it.
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"While we have discussed what both men see as the make up of the material world, it is equally important to take up how each man felt he could know what he knows about the universe. Mimicking a bit the structure of Parmenides? own writings, this section
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But between the Sophists and Socrates there was a fundamental difference. The Sophists showed that equally good arguments could be advanced on either side of any issue; they were skeptics who doubted that there could be any certain or reliable knowledge. On the other hand, Socrates was committed to the pursuit of truth and considered it his mission to seek out certain knowledge. Unlike philosophers before them, Sophists claimed to be wise enough to teach whatever you might want to know as long as you were willing to pay them the required fees. Sophists traveled more than ordinary Greeks and they learned that there is a real variety of correct ways to do things depending upon ones perspective. They believed there was no universally appropriate way of doing anything. Therefore there can be no absolutes of any kind. Appearances are reality, at least the only reality any of us can know. They were extremely doubtful about the possibility of discovering anything that was really true. Instead, they taught their followers how to get along in the world, without certain knowledge. They taught their followers how to win disputes, how to speak well and convincingly how to succeed. Their underlying theory developed from two remarks of two of the leading Sophists. Protagoras, perhaps the greatest of the Sophists, said Main is the measure of all things and Gorgias, another great sophist, proclaimed, Nothing exists, and if it did, no one could know it, and if they
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