Review: Pre-Socratic Philosophers
Key People & Ideas
- The ultimate reality is Water
- It explains ontology or being
- It explains the relationship of solids, liquids, or gases
- It explains motion
- Air is the answer to the three questions of being, essence and motion
- No definite substance is “the” answer, so it must be indefinite
Heraclitus of Ephesus
- Everything that exists is in a state of flux—whatever is, is changing
- “You cannot step into the same river twice” was his motto
- He was a Monist, but saw whatever was the “one” as being dynamic
Parmenides of Elea
- “Whatever is, is”, or, that which truly exists is not in flux
- This was counter to Heraclitus by saying that if objects are truly in constant flux, they cannot be said to “be” anything
- Even if they were once “something”, they are not now because the object changed to something different
Zeno of Elea
- A pupil of Parmenides
- He made the reductio ad absurdum argument famous
- His main opponents were the pluralistic Pythag oreans
- His four arguments against motion were the stories of Achilles and the tortoise, stadium (half-way argument), flying arrow, and moving rows
The One and the Many: Explores the relationship between unity and diversity.
Monists: All reality is one (pantheism). God is “the One”
Pluralists: All reality is various, like a multitude of “seeds.” Democritus best summed up this position with his belief that all reality was made up of tiny particles, also called atoms.
Corporeal and Incorporeal Monists: Either one substance or one spiritual entity make up reality.
Corporeal and Incorporeal Pluralists: Either many particles or many spiritual particles make up reality.
Apeiron: A boundless, ageless and infinite material, also known as the “5th Essence”; the being conceived was not personal, but purely transcendent