What changes? Parmenides and Heraclitus on Being and Becoming

Course Dates: 23/07/18 - 06/08/18
Time: 12:30 - 15:30
Location: KS - Keeley Street
Tutor: John Goff

For Parmenides, being is eternal, static and unitary - change is not fundamentally real. For Heraclitus, everything changes, nothing remains the same, being is a dynamic becoming. Are these founders of Western philosophy really opposed?


What is the course about?

Why things change and what – if anything – lies behind it became a central question for Early Greek philosophers. On the surface, Heraclitus and Parmenides offer very different accounts. For Parmenides to think that things change (how can Being change?) is a delusion, whereas for Heraclitus things are always in flux. However, their accounts of the role that reason plays in understanding change may well concur. We will ask whether Heraclitus and Parmenides have more in common than might at first appear.

What will we cover?

The core philosophies of both Heraclitus and Parmenides through key textual fragments.
An examination of the concepts of Being and Becoming and how these relate to Parmenides and Heraclitus’ thinking.
The role of ‘logos’ (thinking, reasoning) in Parmenides and Heraclitus’ understanding of Change, Being and Becoming.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- Explain some of the key differences between Parmenides and Heraclitus understanding of change.
- Discuss the role that reason plays in the philosophies of Parmenides and Heraclitus.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

Introductory, having done any courses on or reading in philosophy will help.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

Course will run in seminar format with short presentations including discussion and Q&A. There will be some readings discussed in pairs or small groups in the sessions. Slides and relevant links will be available online. No work outside class.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

Notemaking equipment of your own choice.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

Other Classical civilisations or philosophy classes from September.

General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details


Book your place

Course Code: RC258

Mon, day, 23 Jul - 06 Aug '18

Duration: 3 sessions (over 3 weeks)

Full fee: £89.00
Senior fee: £71.00
Concession: £45.00
Add to Basket

Or call to enrol: 020 7831 7831

Download form & post

Any questions? classics@citylit.ac.uk
or call 020 7492 2652

Add to my wishlist

Please note: Different fees may apply for international students. Read full guidance.