The world of philosophy has always been concerned with the concept of permanence and change. The earliest of the philosophers were beset with this metaphysical question. In fact, one of the first metaphysical questions to be discussed and analyzed was on the issue of permanence and change. This was felt necessary in order to explain the realities of our existence.
The earliest of the philosophers like Heraclitus believed that nothing is permanent or there is nothing called permanence. Everything is in a flux. Everything has to change and this is the actual reality of life. That is the reason he said the famous quote that “you cannot step into the same river twice”.
Carrying this discussion further there were many other philosophers who thought that there is permanence and there is change and they both exist as separate entities. Those philosophers believed that whatever exists is permanence and what does not exist is change. The foremost proponent of this idea was the philosopher Permenides. He explained it by his famous quote “Being is, nonbeing is not”.
Let us understand the above idea of Parmenides based on our phenomena of existence. When we are not born, we are actually in the “change” phase as we are changing forms in the womb. We become a reality of permanence only when we are born. But the moment we die, we again change form and so we do not exist.
These two schools of thought which belonged to the pre-Socratic period almost dominated the metaphysical school of philosophy. Even among the general intellectual class these debates still rages on. Here also there are proponents and opponents of these schools of thoughts. There were many other schools of thought on permanence & change and it still continues to this day. In the world of metaphysics this debate will forever remain to test our intellectual enterprise.
What do you think is permanence and change?