Parmenides (early to mid 5th century BC) argued that belief in a physical world which varies over space and time is untenable: since not-being is a self-eliminating concept, that only leaves being, which without the addition of not-being can admit of neither differentiation nor division. “‘Nor is it divisible, since it is all alike”, Parmenides wrote (B8.22). Atomism arose in the mid to late 5th century largely as a response to this, its proponents being the obscure Leucippus and his pupil, the celebrated polymath Democritus. Not-being, these atomists maintained against Parmenides,
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