Parmenides: The first idealist

Idealism as anti-realism

Parmenides’s cryptic claim that thought and being are the same has echoed throughout Western philosophy. In this first instalment of our idealism series, in partnership with the Essentia Foundation, Tom Rockmore argues that in making this claim, Parmenides set the foundations for the struggle between idealism and realism, and suggests that unlike many interpretations, Parmenidean idealism ultimately supports the view that we cannot know mind-independent reality.


Philosophy seeks to arrive at, analyze and choose between different views against the background of the ongoing philosophical tradition. Many exponents of philosophy, talented or otherwise, believe that, in at least some instances, there is a correct answer to the difficult questions that continue to attract philosophers. Others, including myself, believe that we cannot go further than framing or at least seeking to frame philosophical questions in

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Yuncheng Zhou 24 January 2024