In physics, is it possible to trace the history of the idea that the known forces (electromagnetic, weak, strong and gravity) should be unified in a "Theory of Everything"? Would it go back to an influence from Parmenides' monism or is this too far-fetched?
Further, what has been the debate around this idea (if any) and what would be the different positions? This might veer into philosophy of physics, but has there been physicists opposed to seeking a ToE? (this would have to be recent history, since of course, a clear understanding that there are 4 forces probably dates back no farther than the middle of the 20th century).