Heraclitus

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Heraclitus

(hĕrəklī`təs), c.535–c.475 B.C., Greek philosopher of Ephesus, of noble birth. According to Heraclitus, there was no permanent reality except the reality of change; permanence was an illusion of the senses. He taught that all things carried with them their opposites, that death was potential in life, that being and not-being were part of every whole—therefore, the only possible real state was the transitional one of becoming. He believed fire to be the underlying substance of the universe and all other elements transformations of it. He identified life and reason with fire and believed that no man had a soul of his own, that each shared in a universal soul-fire.

Bibliography

See his Cosmic Fragments, ed. by G. S. Kirk (1954, repr. 1962); study by G. O. Griffith (1977).

Heraclitus

(dreams)

Heraclitus (c. 540–c. 480 B.C.E.) was one of the earliest Western philosophers, best known for his assertion that the world is in constant change. Historians often refer to all Greek philosophers who lived prior Socrates as the pre-Socratics, and Heraclitus is included in this group. The pre-Socratics, who as a group were active from approximately 600 to 400 B.C.E., attempted to find universal principles to explain the whole of nature.

According to their philosophy, the apparent chaos of the world conceals a permanent and intelligible order, which can be accounted for by universal causes operating within nature itself and discoverable through human reason. They openly disagreed with the content and the method of mythology, maintaining that natural processes were no longer to be at the mercy of gods with human passions and unpredictable intentions. The pre-Socratics were skeptical about dreams, and they usually took a more speculative view of them.

Heraclitus, for instance, detached the phenomenon of dreaming from the supernatural, declaring it to be a universal human trait and maintaining that each individual retreats into a world of his own during sleep. According to Heraclitus, dreams have no special meaning and can be regarded as the carryover into sleep of the cares and intentions of waking life.

Heraclitus maintained that knowledge achieved during sleep is inferior to waking knowledge, since the world that the dreamer sees is distinguished by an incommunicable privacy and by a surrealistic character. The dreamer is cut off from communication via the senses with the outside world and does not have the power to perceive things in a coherent manner. Thus, the dream world is very different from the waking world, although they resemble each other.

Heraclitus

the weeping philosopher; melancholic personality. [Gk. Phil.: Hall, 98]
See: Crying

Heraclitus

(535–475 B.C.) “Weeping Philosopher”; grieved over man’s folly. [Gk. Hist.: Brewer Dictionary, 1146]

Heraclitus

?535--?475 bc, Greek philosopher, who held that fire is the primordial substance of the universe and that all things are in perpetual flux
References in periodicals archive ?
In the history of philosophy, one who sensed the significance of what Heraclitus did and who reacted to it with intense hostility was Parmenides for he understood the implications of the Heraclitan breakthrough better than did Heraclitus, (cf.
Irish history is almost Heraclitan, in that one is reminded of Heraclitus' dictum that 'the sun that rises is a different sun every day'.
Yet, in Jeffers, there is no Heraclitan obedience, no solace from the change that the river promises.
15) As support, Grudin refers to Giordano Bruno's reliance on Platonic and Heraclitan thought, which "taught that the interaction of contraries is a dynamic and kinetic process, that indeed contraries generate each other.
Mann's conflation of science and Heraclitan philosophy is shaped within poetic contemplation that is never far removed from the reality check of living in South Africa today.
Reality was becoming ever so fluid in the Heraclitan universe of flux, which made it impossible for any one individual mind to arrest, digest and regurgitate.
In The Passion of the Western Mind Richard Tarnas highlighted the tendency of the River of Time to erode the foundations of tradition: "Many sense that the great determining force of our reality is the mysterious process of history itself, which in our century has appeared to be hurtling toward a massive disintegration of all structures and foundations, a triumph of the Heraclitan flux.
In other words, when attempting to assess Whitehead's contributions to a broadly conceived naturalism, which takes the events of Nature just as seriously as those of Culture, one can interpret his rationalistic faith that the world is intelligible in the light of the restless interplay of active and passive powers that point to an ongoing working-out of a Heraclitan Logos.
But where once the river would be glorified only by its present, local reality, now the glory comes in the way that actuality channels an ephemeral flood, a kind of universal Heraclitan flux: "In the finland of perch, the fenland of alder, on air // That is water, on carpets of Bann stream, on hold / In the everything flows and steady go of the world.
For example, in his essay on Frost, Morrow argues that "West-Running Brook" is a major poem underpinned by the philosophy of Heraclitus; as he puts it, "the Heraclitan cosmogony acts as a kind of trellis on which Frost hangs intertwining vines of playful oxymora and makes comments about men-women relationships, as well as the nature of the universe, all in a New Englandish Greek drama" (44).
The last word of the epigraph, "endurance," circles back to the beginning to make, with "Flow," the point of the Heraclitan paradox--that the only unchanging thing is change itself.
In his deeply Heraclitan poem "Theme and Variation" Hayden underscores the reality that awareness (past and present) is in a state of constant change: