The weeping philosopher By: Josh & Chris “Heraclitus is remembered for being the most famous “Greek” philosopher until Socrates was born 10 years later.”* Heraclitus was born around 535 B.C.E. in Ephesus, Asia Minor (Turkey) (he is still considered Greek…) Not much is known about his childhood… Although it is not known whether he was born rich, he ultimately was or became nobility in Ephesus Unlike most ancient Greek philosophers, he was not associated with any particular school. (4) He did not think much of his contemporaries. People disliked by Heraclitus He basically criticized every philosopher who had come before him. Heraclitus People Heraclitus would have disliked if he had not died in a tragic incident (more on that later) Heraclitus’s Philosophy He is thought to have published one book but some of it has been lost… All parts that are left are fragmented, many of them contradictory (3) Possible remnants of Heraclitus’s long lost book Doctrine of Flux and Unity of Opposites “You cannot step twice into the same river." -Heraclitus This, his most famous quote, illustrates one of his most important philosophies, that every thing is ephemeral/passing “…the fundamental character of reality is change itself” –p 24 “From Socrates to Satire: The Philosophic Quest” “Sea is the purest and most polluted water: for fish drinkable and healthy, for men undrinkable and harmful.” – Heraclitus So things can mean opposite things at the same time… Things are relative. (2) Sense Perception So as his only book was partly destroyed (), information is limited on his thoughts about sense perception. Through fractured quotes it would seem that he believed that senses were essential to understanding the world around him. That without these, men would be blind (literally/figuratively). Basically that unlike some of his contemporaries (see next slide), he thought that senses were to key to interpreting the world, that reason alone was not enough to verify existence. (1) Heraclitus vs. Parmenides They were two of the most famous pre-Socratic philosophers. Heraclitus Parmenides •Believed that unending change was the basis of the universe. The universe is defined by permanence. Change is only an illusion. •Opposites are relative and change along with the rest of the world. How can something be and then not be? •Senses trumped reason in determining context. (1) Reason is the most important way to understand the word. Senses are unreliable. Class Poll…. How did Heraclitus die? A. He fell into a pit of rattlesnakes, and survived the night, but he died when trying to get out of the pit. B. He died of dehydration while watching a gymnastics competition C. He covered himself in cow manure and went to sit in the sun for a day, to try and cure a disease, but he ended up dying instead D. He was stung by a jelly-fish while skinny dipping, and drowned while trying to swim back to shore. E. He was assassinated by a triangular ninja star, with an unknown killer. It was thought to be a follower of Pythagoras, though. F. He invented a prehistoric car while in isolation (otherwise known as hermitage) and went for a joy ride, but he crashed it into a mountain, and then it rolled into the sea. G. He was the first and last emo(tional) Greek C. He covered himself in cow manure and went to sit in the sun for a day, to try and cure a disease, but he ended up dying instead Work Cited 1. "Heraclitus [Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy]." Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Web. 11 Feb. 2011. <http://www.iep.utm.edu/heraclit/#H3>. 2. Lavine, T. Z. From Socrates to Satire: The Philosophic Quest. New York City: Bantam, 1984. Print. 3. Abel, Reuben. Man Is the Measure: a Cordial Invitation to the Central Problems of Philosophy. New York: Free, 1976. Print. 4. Heraclitus (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)." Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Web. 11 Feb. 2011. <http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/heraclitus/>.