Ideas of Melissus, by Theme

[Greek, c.485 - 430 BCE, Born on the island of Samos. Taught by Parmenides. An admiral in the Athenian navy.]

green numbers give full details    |    back to list of philosophers    |     unexpand these ideas    |    
7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 3. Being / a. Nature of Being
Being is one
     Full Idea: Being is one.
     From: report of Melissus (fragments/reports [c.443 BCE]) by Aristotle - Topics 104b23
     A reaction: I can only really understand this in terms of physics, as the belief that ultimately there is one simple theory which explains everything. That project doesn't look terribly promising, despite the lovely simplifications of modern physics.
27. Natural Reality / A. Classical Physics / 1. Mechanics / a. Explaining movement
There is no real motion, only the appearance of it
     Full Idea: There is no such thing as real motion, but there only appears to be such.
     From: report of Melissus (fragments/reports [c.443 BCE]) by Diogenes Laertius - Lives of Eminent Philosophers 09.4.3
27. Natural Reality / C. Space-Time / 1. Space / a. Void
The void is not required for change, because a plenum can alter in quality
     Full Idea: There is no need for void to be the cause of all change, because it is perfectly possible for a plenum to alter qualitatively (which is something Melissus overlooked).
     From: comment on Melissus (fragments/reports [c.443 BCE]) by Aristotle - Physics 214a27
     A reaction: In modern physics this presumably gives us fluctuations in a force field. Motion is like a cat being digested by a python. The atomist claim that emptiness is needed if anything is to move still has intuitive appeal.
27. Natural Reality / D. Cosmology / 2. Eternal Universe
Nothing could come out of nothing
     Full Idea: If Nothing existed, in no way could anything come into being out of nothing.
     From: Melissus (fragments/reports [c.443 BCE], B1), quoted by (who?) - where?