preview

The Differing Perspectives of Greek Philosophers Essay

Better Essays
Unlike Parmenides and Heraclitus, who took a clear stance on whether being is changing or unchanging, Empedocles argued that things do change, but these objects are composed of materials that do not change. The change that we see is merely a cause of the interaction and changes in position of the four basic elements (earth, air, fire, and water). Much like Heraclitus and his views that orderly change is brought about by the “logos”, Empedocles also recognized that there was a force responsible for the change brought about. In his case, changes in the forms and positions of the basic elements was an effect of two forces – love and strife (or more commonly known as the forces of attraction and repulsion/decomposition). The philosophy of…show more content…
Not until recently did we find that atoms, which were assumed to be matter's basic particles, where themselves made up of even smaller particles. So in that sense, Anaximander is correct in his philosophy of there being a “pure substance”, which is the root of everything that we see.

Heraclitus and Parmenides both recognized that the materials which make up the universe could be broken down to one basic substance, but they came to disagreement over what that basic substance was exactly, as well as the state of being. Heraclitus believed that everything was fire (or made of fire), and that it was the fundamental source of change in the universe because a main property of the universe was that it was in a constant state of changing. Parmenides argued that the entire idea of change was impossible and that the universe was essentially unmoving and unchanging. Parmenides was a Monist, so he held the idea that the world is unitary, and that all the individuals in it are part of an even greater unified whole. One of his arguments that motion and states of being are impossible.

Protagoras was a sophist, who believed that knowledge was relative. There are four main types of relativism (species, descriptive, cultural, and individual), but general main idea of each is that there is no absolute truth (comparable to agnosticism). Protagoras said that “man is the measure of all things”. We can interpret this as there is no absolute truth and
Get Access