Please wait while we process your payment
If you don't see it, please check your spam folder. Sometimes it can end up there.
Don’t have an account?
Create Your Account
Sign up for your FREE 7-day trial
Already have an account? Log in
Choose Your Plan
$4.99/month + tax
$24.99/year + tax
Save over 50% with a SparkNotes PLUS Annual Plan!
for a group?
Get Annual Plans at a discount when you buy 2 or more!
$18.74 /subscription + tax
Subtotal $37.48 + tax
on 2-49 accounts
on 50-99 accounts
Want 100 or more?
for a customized plan.
You'll be billed after your free trial ends.
7-Day Free Trial
Renews March 1, 2024
February 23, 2024
Discounts (applied to next billing)
This is not a valid promo code.
(one code per order)
Annual Plan - Group Discount
SparkNotes Plus subscription is $4.99/month or $24.99/year as selected above. The free trial period is the first 7 days of your subscription. TO CANCEL YOUR SUBSCRIPTION AND AVOID BEING CHARGED, YOU MUST CANCEL BEFORE THE END OF THE FREE TRIAL PERIOD. You may cancel your subscription on your Subscription and Billing page or contact Customer Support at email@example.com. Your subscription will continue automatically once the free trial period is over. Free trial is available to new customers only.
For the next 7 days, you'll have access to awesome PLUS stuff like AP English test prep, No Fear Shakespeare translations and audio, a note-taking tool, personalized dashboard, & much more!
You’ve successfully purchased a group discount. Your group members can use the joining link below to redeem their group membership. You'll also receive an email with the link.
Members will be prompted to log in or create an account to redeem their group membership.
Thanks for creating a SparkNotes account! Continue to start your free trial.
Your PLUS subscription has expired
Parmenides inspired many philosophers to follow in his footsteps. The movement he founded is called the school of Elea, and its members are referred to as the Eleatics. The school of Elea was the first movement to treat pure reason as the sole criterion of truth. Logical consistency and internal theoretic coherence, rather than any sort of observational evidence, guided their entire search for knowledge. The main Eleatic positions were inherited from Parmenides:
(1) there is no genesis or corruption;
(2) there is no plurality out of unity;
(3) there is no change;
(4) it is impossible to speak or think of non-being.
Zeno of Elea was Parmenides's most eminent student and was also probably his lover. He was working at roughly the same time as Anaxagoras and Empedocles, and devoted his career to devising arguments in defense of the doctrine of the Parmenidean Real. In his famous paradoxes he attempted to shows that pluralism (i.e. the idea that there really is a plurality of existing things) runs into even greater absurdities than Parmenides' doctrine. His arguments use the method of reductio ad absurdum, in which he begins with the premise he wants to deny, and then shows that this premise leads to a logical contradiction. Zeno did not view these arguments as paradoxes, since he believed that the premises he was trying to undermine (for instance, the existence of motion) were false. Since we today believe that these premises are true, (i.e. we do believe that there is motion in the world, and we do believe that there is a plurality of existing things) we find his brilliant puzzles slightly disturbing.
Melissus of Samos was the last of the famous Eleatics, writing around 440 BCE. He argued for Parmenides's claims in his own original way, drawing on the distinction between "is" and "seems" and the metaphysical consequences of the former. If something "is" X, he claimed, then it must be X essentially, and so it can never not be X. So, for instance, if something is hot, and does not just seem hot, then it can never stop being hot. Since nothing retains properties indefinitely and through all circumstances, he argues, nothing really is, except the Parmenidean Real.
Ace your assignments with our guide to Presocratic Philosophy!