Pre-Socratic View on Change-Motion
In our current times, we do not stop to think about or question change or motion in our material world. We now know that change and motion exist. Even if we as individuals don’t know the properties and processes that cause change or motion, we don’t doubt that they are possible, as science has proven that they are in fact plausible. However, information about change and motion has not always been so well defined. The unknown aspects of what caused change and motion, how it affected the world, or whether change or motion was even possible led to a search for answers among many philosophers in Ancient Greece. Heraclitus, Parmenides and Zeno, and Epicurus, all pre-Socratic philosophers, were intrigued by this topic. Each of the men proposed their theories as to what caused change or motion, if they believed change or motion even existed, which not all did, and described their reasoning for their beliefs. Despite the views of these philosophers not being indefinitely accurate, their theories did lead to the formulation of better explanations of the phenomena of change and motion. The first of the pre-Socratic philosophers to touch on the topic of change was Heraclius of Ionia. Much like his monistic predecessors Thales, Anaximander, and Anaximenes, Heraclitus first sought to answer the question of what the world was made of. The search for that answer led him to his own question, “How can the one change into the many?” (Jones, pg. 14) It didn’t make sense that if the world is made up of one thing that it could also change into many things, because one and many, by definition, are opposites. Therefore the One could not be a thing, because if it were it could not possibly make sense for it to change into the many. In fact Thales, and the rest of the Milesian philosophers before Heraclitus never gave an explanation as to how the one became the many. Therefore Heraclitus believed this process of change needed to be better defined,...
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