Heraclitus Essay by pumpkin

Heraclitus
Discussing the thought and impact of an ancient Greek philosopher.
# 25281 | 1,926 words | 1 source | MLA | 2002 | CA
Published on Apr 25, 2003 in Philosophy (Metaphysics) , Philosophy (History)


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Description:

This paper deals with the development of Heraclitian thought. It shows how Heraclitus was concerned with the essence of the earth's substance and existence. The writer explains how he divided his philosophy into three basic subcategories: fire, water and earth, which he believed to be the basic elements of earth. He is also credited with the theories of 'Unity in Opposites,' 'The Law of Non-Contradiction,' and 'The Cosmos in Constant Change.'

From the Paper:

"Heraclitus (c. BCE 540) was born in Ephesus, on the Ionian Coast, near present-day Turkey. Deemed as the "puzzeling, obscure philosopher" (Article 1), he is known only by the 125 fragments that have survived from his book, "On Nature," through selected references by later authors. Essentially, Heraclitus' theory is divided into three parts: the Logos, the War and the Pyr (Fire). His search for an underlying element circumvented the earlier Milesians quest for a foundational, essential "arche." He claimed to be the first to grasp the LOGOS of the cosmos. According to various English translations of the Greek, LOGOS can mean a wide range of things, the most common of which is "word," and the lesser common including "reason," "argument," and "definition." It appears that Heraclitus believed the "latent structure is master of the visible structure." However, even such a claim is ambiguous enough to warrant further discussion. If language is the latent structure, and everything else is the visible, is language the master of all else? Or if the latent structure is language, and the visible structure is the cosmos, is language all that there is? And how did Heraclitus relate the need for language to existence itself? It is highly possible that the Heraclitusian LOGOS (as a linguistic, quintessential building block for existence) was the pre-cursor to Parmenites? philosophy of thought, language and existence, in that Parmenities asserted claims such as "nothingness can exist because it is spoke of and therefore much be something," (lecture notes, Anastasia Anderson, September 2002). However Heraclitus went so far as to state that the LOGOS is everything and "common to all things" (Fragment 2, Sextus, adv.math VII, 133), a claim which is not echoed later by Parmenities, who saw more limitations in language than Heraclitus did in the LOGOS."

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