Heraclitus Introduction The Milesians and Xenophanes all assumed that there was only candidate available to take the place of divine authority and poetic inspiration: As we just saw, the reliance on straight empirical investigation lead Xenophanes to conclude that real human knowledge was impossible in most fields of inquiry; if all one has to go on is observation, then where direct observation is unavailable, knowledge is impossible. Probably in response to this pessimistic conclusion, Heraclitus was the first thinker to propose an alternative to straight observation. He presents an epistemological theory of tempered empiricism, arguably much like the method of inquiry we use in science and philosophy today.
Their determination to make sense of a world that might appear chaotic represented a dramatic step towards scientific thinking and enlightenment. It is for this, that they are time and again remembered.
Every once in a while, however,… they would disagree. These men were similar in many regards. Now, while both philosophers came to the conclusion that the universe can be reduced to one thing, they had a very serious disagreement about what exactly that thing was.
Their disagreement on metaphysics would be extrapolated to include some very interesting implications. This fundamental law of the universe held all things in perfect balance. According to Heraclitus, the unity of the universe is composed of a balancing of opposites.
Day becomes night and hot will become cold.
This belief lead Heraclitus to the conclusion that all things are always in flux and that the only thing that did not change was change itself.
Fire would turn to air, air would become water and water would become one with the earth. Similarly, life is followed by death and with every death there is a birth of life.
This war within the nature of reality encompassed all things. It was not a process, because that would indicate that things only proceed in one direction. Rather, the universe and its constant changing was more like a circle, shifting back and forth constantly and without rest. Heraclitus attempted to demonstrate his idea that all the universe was in flux.
He used the example of a river. By this he means that the moment you step into a river, the water is displaced with new water and the nature of the river is changed permanently.
The man stepping in the river is also consistently changing. The man loses skin cells, his skin is made wet by the river, and he has aged every so slightly since stepping in the river.
Small, unavoidable changes in both the man and the river make them different from the way they were before.Heraclitus argued that everything that exists is in a state of flux. In other words, "Everything that is, is changing." "You cannot step into the same river twice.".
As such, Parmenides and Heraclitus are commonly considered to be two of the founders of ontology. Scholars have generally believed that either Parmenides was responding to Heraclitus, or Heraclitus to Parmenides, though opinion on who was responding to whom changed over the course of . Heraclitus Permenades Essay Heraclitus and Parmenides The two pre-Socrates philosophers Heraclitus and Parmenides who existed way back in around B.C.
both agreed that the world could be reduced in to one thing, both of their arguments are based on change although their point of view is the complete opposite. Heraclitus recognizes a divine unity behind the cosmos, one that is difficult to identify and perhaps impossible to separate from the processes of the cosmos: The wise, being one thing only, would and would not take the name of Zeus [or: Life].
Published: Mon, 5 Dec At the first sight Heraclitus and Parmenides uphold the opposite principles, with their doctrines being in dramatic contrast, while the former affirms change, becoming and cyclic recurrence of things and the latter denies their existence. Moving into the world is a significant experience in a person’s life which provides opportunities for growth and development.
Change in attitude, development of knowledge and change in identity are all aspects of moving into the world however, it is not as simple as it seems and it consists of being faced with barriers which an individual learns to overcome.