A Critical History of Philosophical Theories

Cover of book A Critical History of Philosophical Theories
Categories: Nonfiction

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litus and Pythagoras These philosophers can be conveniently treated in the same chapter. They are not directly related, though each stands as the founder and embodiment of a system. 1. Heraclitus (circ. 535-475.)?Heraclitus, the son of Bly- son, was born at Ephesus, and was of noble family. He was a descendant of Androclus, the founder of Ephesus. His hereditary right to the chief magistracy he resigned in favor of his younger brother that he might devote himself to the study of philosophy, despairing also of accomplishing anything for the state on account of the corruptions of the people. Heraclitus stands for the opposition to the Eleatic School, and therefore denied the permanent, which the Eleatics affirmed, and affirmed the changeable, which the Eleatics denied. The Eleatics could not reconcile the permanent and changeable, and therefore denied the changeable. They took for their principle Being, that is the permanent, the unchangeable. They called the changeable not-being, the non-existent. Neither did Heraclitus attempt to reconcile the permanent and the changeable. He therefore denied the permanent, and took for his principle Becoming, unceasing change, such as we see in nature, in the vicissitudes of summer and winter, day and night, growth and decay. Unceasing change is going on in everything, though at different rates. Things apparently permanent, as rocks, have internal activities which never cease. Becoming, the principle of Heraclitus, seems therefore more perfectly to represent the universe, as it appears to us, than Being, the principle of the Eleatics. Becoming, however, is known to us empirically, through the senses, and by consciousness, and is not therefore a principle of reason. Back of all change there must be something p...

A Critical History of Philosophical Theories
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