pre-socratic philosophers

pre-socratic philosophers - universal order In his view of...

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Heraclitus’ Compelling Ideas Heraclitus of Ephesus (535–475) is, in my opinion, the most influential pre-Socratic philosopher and the one with the most powerful ideas. Heraclitus’s best known idea is that of universal flux or constant change. And this is the most compelling idea of all. He believed that fire is the basic element of the world. I find his views both beautiful and truthful. Although the assertion that everything changes may seem obvious or a common place now, we must take into consideration that he was the first philosopher to formally postulate it. Heraclitus used the metaphor of the flow of a river to illustrate that nothing remains constant. And, as I see it, the concept of constant change or transformation is applicable in all areas of life. It is an irrefutable idea. But Heraclitus did not believe in chaos. The constant change he referred to was part, so he believed of a
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Unformatted text preview: universal order. In his view of constant flow, however, Heraclitus left room for the concept of permanence. Now, this may seem a contradiction, but it is not really such. “Heraclitus ‘changing’ and ‘stable’ are clearly non-contradictory properties of the universe, a point forcefully affirmed in a celebrated piece of metaphor: ‘As they step into the same river different and (still) different waters flow upon them’.” In other words, although the river is, in a way, the same river, the waters are different. It could be argued, however, that even the river is not the same. In this regard, the “stable” seems to be more a metaphor than a reality. Heraclitus exercised a powerful influence upon Friedrich Nietzsche, a philosopher whom I also admire and who focuses on the ever-changing nature of things....
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This note was uploaded on 12/15/2010 for the course PSY 220 taught by Professor Lind during the Spring '10 term at University of Phoenix.

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