According to Heraclitus, all things are composed of fire. "This world," he says, "neither one of the gods nor of the human race has made; but it is, it was, and ever shall be, an eternally living fire." All comes from fire, and to fire all returns. "All things are exchanged for fire and fire for all, as wares for gold and gold for wares." Thus there is only one ultimate kind of matter, fire, and all other forms of matter are merely modifications and variations of fire. In his religious opinions Heraclitus was skeptical. But he does not, like Xenophanes, direct his attacks against the central ideas of religion, and the doctrine of the gods. He attacks mostly the outward observances and forms in which the religious spirit manifests itself. He inveighs against the worship of images, and urges the uselessness of blood sacrifice.
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About the Author
Stace’s first three books, A Critical History of Greek Philosophy and The Philosophy of Hegel, and The Meaning of Beauty were published while he worked as a civil servant in Ceylon. After these early works, his philosophy followed the British empirical tradition of David Hume, G.E. Moore, Bertrand Russell and H.H. Price. Empiricism for Stace did not need to be confined to propositions which it is possible to demonstrate. Instead, our common sense beliefs find support in two empirical facts: men’s minds are similar and they cooperate with the aim of solving their common problems. Stace can be considered a pioneer in the philosophical study of mysticism, Mysticism and Philosophy is considered his major work. Stace was the dissertation advisor of John Rawls when Rawls was a graduate student at Princeton, though it is not clear that he had a strong influence on Rawls. Richard Marius attributed his loss of faith partly to his intellectual engagement with Stace's essay Man Against Darkness.