A biography of heraclitus an ancient greek philosopher

References and Further Reading 1. Life and Times Heraclitus lived in Ephesus, an important city on the Ionian coast of Asia Minor, not far from Miletus, the birthplace of philosophy.

A biography of heraclitus an ancient greek philosopher

He was a native of Ephesus, an important Ionian city just north of Miletus on the western coast of Asia Minorand his father's name was Bloson. If the story can be credited that he voluntarily surrendered to his brother a hereditary right to a ceremonial kingship, Heraclitus would be the oldest son of an old noble family.

His birth and death dates are uncertain, but the evidence of our doubtful sources would place his floruit in the reign of Darius I of Persia. The authors Heraclitus names make it impossible for his single book to be dated much before the end of the sixth century, and since he is fond of naming his rivals, the lack of any reference or allusion in his surviving words to Parmenides of Elea argues for dating Heraclitus's book before the publication of Parmenides's poem.

Tradition tells us that Heraclitus deposited his book at the great temple of Artemis in Ephesus. His dedication of his book to the goddess may be tantamount to publishing it and to making his thoughts publicly available rather than hiding his thoughts away from the vulgar, as some have surmised.

This publicity would be in keeping with Heraclitus's conviction that the truth is common and open to anyone and is not a private possession of the privileged few.

From antiquity, Heraclitus is infamous for his obscurity, and he was dubbed early on "the dark. He highlights the indirection of the lord because of his conviction that the nature of things reveals itself indirectly, and he may mimic in his obscure writing what he takes to be the obscurity in reality itself.

The Milesian natural philosophers Anaximander and Anaximenes wrote on cosmology and cosmogony, while their fellow Milesian Hecataeus composed the first comprehensive geography of the Greeks, which in part he based upon what he learned from his own voyages.


The fragments of Heraclitus's book, of which there are more than a hundred, provide the first substantial sample of Greek prose. Yet Heraclitus is also the most poetic of the early prose authors; he displays skillful use of traditional poetic devices, such as parallel and antithetical sentence constructions, chiasmus, alliteration, assonance, rhyme, and ring composition, as well as an adept use of wordplay that enhances his message.

A biography of heraclitus an ancient greek philosopher

His book was probably not a continuous treatise of unbroken prose but a sequence of short passages, some of which are pithy enough in their moral import to look like a maxim of the Seven Wise Men: Despite his much-heralded obscurity, many of his sayings are as straightforward as this astute observation on moral psychology.

The Logos and the Unity of Opposites Like his older contemporary Xenophanes of Colophon, Heraclitus is openly critical of the poets of the ancient past, but he also includes among his targets contemporary intellectuals.

He is critical of "Hesiod and Pythagoras, and also Xenophanes and Hecataeus" for their "polymathy" that does not yield "understanding" frag.

They live in a private world of their own making, comparable to dreams, but those who harken to the Logos live in the one public world of the wakeful frag.

Along with Xenophanes, Heraclitus is among the first of the new breed of intellectuals to make an issue of the human epistemic condition. The nature of this Logos is contested. Some scholars understand it as the nature or essence of reality, as it shows itself in discourse, others as a universal principle or law that regulates the basic workings of reality, and a few render it as Heraclitus's true account of reality in the form of his own book, or logos.

With his predilection for wordplay, Heraclitus could well allow Logos to stand for both his book and the subject of his book. He lays down a telling parallel when he urges "those speaking with understanding" to hold to what is "common to all things," presumably the Logos, just as a city holds to its "laws.

What is comparable to "human laws" is also what they are "nourished by," "by one, the divine," which in his ambiguity Heraclitus may intend to be "the one divine law" frag.

The importance of what sustains "human laws" devolves upon them, so that "The people must fight for the law as for a city wall" frag. The one surviving explicit message of the Logos declares that "all things are one" frag.

This unity is not the oneness of the monism Aristotle credits the earliest natural philosophers with advocating, but the unity of opposites.

This "connection" lies "unseen" frag. A "strife" between opposing powers lies hidden within the nature of each thing, and without this strife, the cosmos and everything in it would perish. While contesting with one another, the opposing powers within the essence of each thing cooperate with one another and yield a unified object:For both the ancient, and the more modern philosopher, one's inability to embrace change and accept conflict as a natural and necessary part of one's life causes the .

Ancient Greek Philosophy / Metaphysics: Heraclitus. Discussion of the metaphysics of Ancient Greek Philosopher, Heraclitus (Logos: All is Flux, All is Becoming, All is Opposites). Explaining the dynamic unity of reality (as conceived by Ancient Greek Philosophy) with the Metaphysics of Space and the Wave Structure of Matter.

Heraclitus quotes, pictures, biography. The Greek philosopher Heraclitus (active B.C.) attempted to explain the nature of the universe by assuming the existence of the logos, that is, order or reason, as the unifying principle which guides all things and by specifying fire as the basic substance which underlies physical reality.

Heraclitus was born in the lonian city of Ephesus and is. Thales of Miletus: Thales of Miletus, philosopher renowned as one of the legendary Seven Wise Men, or Sophoi, of antiquity (see philosophy, Western: The pre-Socratic philosophers).

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He is remembered primarily for his cosmology based on water as the essence of all matter, with the Earth a flat disk floating on a vast.

Ancient Greek philosopher: Heraclitus Heraclitus was born in Ephesus. He belonged to an aristocratic family but refused to have a political life.

His writing style is unusual, in that many of the surviving fragments are written in short and often cryptic phrases. He was known as the "weeping philosopher". The Life of Heraclitus.

A biography of heraclitus an ancient greek philosopher

There is little history and much anecdote to describe the life of Heraclitus, but what is known is generally agreed upon by historians and philosophers.

Heraclitus | Greek philosopher | caninariojana.com