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Eleatic school

Eleatic school (ēlēătˈĭk) [key], Greek pre-Socratic philosophical school at Elea, a Greek colony in Lucania, Italy. The group was founded in the early 5th cent. B.C. by Parmenides, its greatest thinker. He denied the reality of change on the ground that things either exist or do not. Hence, there are no in-between stages, as the concept of change, or "becoming," ordinarily implies. His disciples were Zeno of Elea, who used a series of paradoxes to show the indefensibility of common-sense notions of reality, and Melissus of Samos, who systematized Eleatic views. The ultimate reality for the Eleatics was an undifferentiated "being," in contrast to the illusory testimony of the senses.

See J. E. Raven, Pythagoreans and Eleatics (1966, repr. 1981).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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