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Monists Melissus and Anaximander

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Philosophers have given various views that have created different flavors of monism where everything is made out of one substance or the approach to monism where it has been suggested that real things are unified and homogenous. In these terms, it is possible to view Melissus as a monist, and to better understand his approach to monism. it can be compared to the ideas regarding monism given by Anaximander and other modern and ancient philosophers. Amongst the variations involved in monism, the commonality comes from the idea of oneness while the differences come from what the philosophers see as being ‘one’ and what they count as being ‘one’ with other matter around it. This separates monism into two broad categories i.e. existence monism that looks at objects in the world and sees one object as simply a form of an existing token of the same object, and priority monism where only one concrete object is present and that object takes priority over all others.Clearly it is difficult to distinguish the two simply by looking at them individually and it becomes important to understand what the philosophers connected with the idea of monism were saying before a discussion can be had about their differences. In this context, Melissus can be seen as a monist if the ideas concerning existence monism are applied to the idea. Existence monism has been supported by Parmenides and Melissus from the same school but the case of Melissus is complicated by the fact that his ideas were slightly different from the ones presented by Parmenides even though he was continually defending the approach taken by Parmenides (Curd, 1998).As opposed to early pre-Socratic philosophers, later pre-Socratic were large of the opinion that the change which can be observed by us is only physical in nature and they do not change the object in any real terms. However, Melissus goes beyond Parmenides when it comes to considering changes since he suggests that the idea of pluralism is anathema to a calculation of the correct amount of matter around us Curd (1998).