heraclitus - HERACLITUS The Complete Fragments Translation...

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HERACLITUS The Complete Fragments Translation and Commentary and The Greek text William Harris Prof. Emeritus Middlebury College
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PREFACE Heraclitus was born at Ephesus, apparently from a noble family connected with religious rites, but early retired from their social position and devoted himself to study and the development of his philosophical ideas. There are no specific dates to attach to his life, but he must have flourished about somewhere about 500 B.C. He is said to have written his thoughts out in a prose document, a very early use of prose for philosophy, of which only fragmentary quotations have survived as citations from later authors over the next fifteen hundred years. There is al- most nothing more which we know about Heraclitus' personal life and identity. This paper contains all the fragments which can authoritatively be ascribed to Heraclitus, following the listing in Diels-Kranz "Die Fragmente der Vorsokratiker" 5 ed. l934, and reprints. The interpretative commentary is designed to explicate the of- ten difficult wording of the Greek, rather than summarize the body of philological study which has been devoted to Heraclitus over the last two hundred years. The Greek is absolutely neces- sary for serious study of Heraclitus, and this edition with all the fragments in a topical order lets us look at Heraclitus in one, au- thentic location. The thought of this Greek philosopher, whom Aristotle first called "The Obscure", has exerted an important influence on modern thinking about a wide variety of subjects, including reli- gion, the nature of the universe, the concept of the continuum, and other points some of which have not yet been sufficiently fathomed. I encourage you to proceed with slow and careful reading .
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THE WAY OF THE LOGOS 1. Although this Logos is eternally valid, yet men are unable to understand it -- not only before hearing it, but even after they have heard it for the first time. That is to say, although all things come to pass in accordance with this Logos, men seem to be quite without any experience of it - - - at least if they are judged in the light of such words and deeds as I am here setting forth according to its nature, and to specify how it behaves. Other men, on the contrary, are as unaware of what they do when awake as they are when asleep. (1) tou` de lovgou tou` d' eovnto~ aiei axuvnetoi givnontai avnqrwpoi kai provsqen h akou`sai kai akouvsante~ to prw`ton. ginomevnwn gar pavntwn kata ton lovgon tovnde, apeivroisin eoivkasi peirwvmenoi kai epevwn kai evrgwn toiouvtewn /oJkoivwn egw dihgeu`mai kata fuvsin diarevwn evkaston kai fravzwn o{kw~ evcei. tou~ de avllou~ anqrwvpou~ lanqavnei oJkovsa egerqevnte~ poiou`sin o{kwsper okovsa eu{donte~ epilanqavnontai As soon as one starts to deal with the Greek and the sub- meanings of the original wording, the above translation becomes cloudy and perhaps weak. Yet it will serve as an entry text to serve as ancilla to the Greek, which has the true way into understanding the mind of Heraclitus. It is interesting that Aristotle in discussing this passage,
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This note was uploaded on 09/08/2010 for the course PHIL 70A at San Jose State University .

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heraclitus - HERACLITUS The Complete Fragments Translation...

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