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Heraclitus of Ephesus

 

Heraclitus lived in Ephesus, an important city on the Ionian coast of Asia Minor, not far from Miletus, the birthplace of philosophy.
"No man can cross the same river twice, because neither the man nor the river are the same."
" Everything flows, nothing stands still"

Heraclitus of Ephesus - Herakleitos The Obscure - About 535 - 475 BC

Heraclitus of Ephesus (about 535 - 475 BC), known as 'The Obscure,' was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher. He disagreed with Thales, Anaximander, and Pythagoras about the nature of the ultimate substance and claimed instead that everything is derived from the Greek classical element fire, rather than from air, water, or earth.

 This led to the belief that change is real, and stability illusory.

For Heraclitus everything is "in flux", as exemplified in his famous aphorism "Panta Rhei":


Everything flows, nothing stands still

He is famous for saying: "No man can cross the same river twice, because neither the man nor the river are the same."

Heraclitus' view that an explanation of change was foundational to any theory of nature was strongly opposed by Parmenides, who argued that change is an illusion and that everything is fundamentally static.

Only fragments of Heraclitus' writings have been found. He appears to have taught by means of small, oracular aphorisms meant to encourage thinking based on natural law and reason.

The brevity and elliptic logic of his aphorisms earned Heraclitus the epithet 'Obscure'.
 

Heraclitus of Ephesus - Greek Ηρακλειτος  Herakleitos : The Obscure - About 535 - 475 BC

Heraclitus lived in Ephesus, an important city on the Ionian coast of Asia Minor, not far from Miletus, the birthplace of philosophy.

We know nothing about his life other than what can be gleaned from his own statements, for all ancient biographies of him consist of nothing more than inferences or imaginary constructions based on his sayings.

Although Plato thought he wrote after Parmenides, it is more likely he wrote before Parmenides. For he criticizes by name important thinkers and writers with whom he disagrees, and he does not mention Parmenides.

On the other hand, Parmenides in his poem arguably echoes the words of Heraclitus.

Heraclitus criticizes the mythographers Homer and Hesiod, as well as the philosophers Pythagoras and Xenophanes and the historian Hecataeus.

All of these figures flourished in the 6th century BCE or earlier, suggesting a date for Heraclitus in the late 6th century.

Although he does not speak in detail of his political views in the extant fragments, Heraclitus seems to reflect an aristocratic disdain for the masses and favor the rule of a few wise men, for instance when he recommends that his fellow-citizens hang themselves because they have banished their most prominent leader. (Daniel W. Graham DK22B121 in the Diels-Kranz collection of Presocratic sources).

More Info :

www.iep.utm.edu/h/heraclit.htm