Pre Socratic Philosophers

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  • Topic: Pythagoras, Empedocles, Pre-Socratic philosophy
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  • Published : August 31, 2010
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Empedocles was the Pre-Socratic philosopher that I found to have the most compelling ideas. Empedocles was a Greek philosopher from 490-430 B.C.E. He felt that reality was everlasting and fixed. He also believed that the changes we go through are more than illusion, when another philosopher by the name of Parmenides believed just the opposite. Parmenides believed that "change and motion are illusions of the senses". Empedocles also partially believed what philosopher Heraclitus had said about reality being "ceaseless change". Empedocles took into account what both the other philosophers had held as truth and combined the thoughts of each. His teachings of his beliefs are still in existence today.

What Empedocles thought was that basic objects consist of water, fire, earth, and air. Also, he thought the specific outcomes depended on the different combinations of each. He went on to say that particles of these objects do not change, but the "objects of experience" do change. These ideas are compelling to me because they are still used in physics today. 

Another thought of Empedocles was that changes occur because of "love and strife", or in other words because of attraction and repulsion or good and bad. A practical example would be taking the four examples of water, fire, earth, and air, and looking at them like they were dry ingredients in a cake. Love and strife are oil and water. When mixed together well, it blends smoothly, but if left alone, separation can happen. An additional example would be yin and yang.
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