Melissus of Samos

Melissus of Samos
(fl. 441–440 BC)
Possibly the least influential of the Eleatic philosophers, but a fine naval commander, since his fleet defeated the Athenians in 441 BC. He was heavily criticized by Aristotle (De Sophisticis Elenchis, 167 b and Physics, 186 a 6). Melissus held a cosmology comparable to that of Parmenides . He argued that change is impossible, on the grounds that all change involves something becoming nothing; what exists must therefore be eternal, and spatially infinite, and finally incorporeal. Melissus is principally remembered for turning the argument against non-being into an argument against the void, and in favour of the plenum, although of course it is populated by incorporeal stuff.

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