Remembering Heraclitus

Remembering Heraclitus

by Richard Geldard

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780940262980
Publisher: SteinerBooks, Incorporated
Publication date: 10/28/2000
Pages: 176
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.41(d)

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Remembering Heraclitus 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
DirtPriest on LibraryThing 17 days ago
Heraclitus was an early pre-socratic philosopher of profound influence who lived in Ephesus (the Ephesians of that pesky Bible), living around 500 BC. The details of his life are sketchy, and there is no known example of his writings. All that are left are a list of several fragments, quoted from authors of antiquity who were familiar with his work. These fragments point to a highly developed intellect, who devised methods for explaining the fundamentally unexplainable spirit realm of the ancient Greeks, the Logos. The Logos being the Absolute cosmic law, existant in all things, all things making up the Logos, the Word in the Beginning, again back to that pesky Bible. His approach used a method of paradox and negation, as well as exploring the perceptive ability of the human mind.Fragment 53 - I searched my natureFragment 10 - ...Out of diversity there comes unity, and out of unity, diversity.Fragment 15 - Nature prefers to hide.Fragment 39 - You would not find out the limits of the soul, even by traveling along every path, so deep a Logos does it have.Fragment 35 - The One, the only wisdom does and yet does not consent to be called Zeus.Fragment 49 - We should not act like the children of our parents.This leads to an introspective, questioning way of trying to comprehend the force or forces that created the universe or universes, and may or may not be at the helm right now. There's another one of those paradoxes that Heraclitus delighted in. Still, there is no sign of doubt or disbelief in such a system. To Heraclitus' mind, the doubters were doing their part for the Logos, whether they believed or cared. One of his running themes was that the Logos existed as a sort of river. While it always looks the same, if a person steps into the river, it is a unique event that fundamentally changes that river. You cannot step into the same river twice. Hence Fragment 21 - New and different rivers flow around those who step in to the same river. It disperses and comes together, flows in and out, towards us and away.Heraclitus was concerned with the equality of man, irregardless of beliefs, as well as the laws man used to govern himself. His thoughts affected what are generally considered to be the earliest of the philosopher/scholars, men like Plato and Socrates, Hippocrates, Aristotle, and Pythagoras, and on down that river to Jacob Boehme, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Roger Penrose. He was truly a profound thinker a bit ahead of his time, as many of the greatest minds are.For prospective readers, this is a nice compact short book, and is not filled with tiny print detailing dates or anything like that. It is a very readable and sensical look at an ancient way of thinking about complex issues in a simple manner. Things like this are the true greatest legacy of the Greek culture, to my mind. The Socratic method of arguing, phrasing your points so that your opponent in an argument must agree to, saying yes over and over until he has no choice but to agree with it is another. There is too much focus on specialization these days and no attempt to understand even a fraction of general knowledge that is out there. How can things progress as a whole if the ends of knowledge can't be all connected together into a river of knowledge. I'm a pretty good mathematician, or at least was, and the maths used by astrophysicists is just about incomprehensible to me, let alone geology, or biology or sociology or whatever specialist field there is out there. Things have grown to be too complex for the human mind to encompass it all, but I'm going to try.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago