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Pre-Socratic Philosophers

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Pre-Socratic Philosophers

The Pre-Socratic philosophers that had the most compelling ideas are Heraclitus and Parmenides. Heraclitus felt that everything changes and that fire's character continuously changes and is the basis of the universe. He states, "You cannot step in the same river twice." Since the river is constantly changing it is never the same river with each step. Change can apply to trees, rivers, and even the World Wide Web. It applies to people as well. It is problems of personal identity. We are not who we use to be and will not be the same person we are today in the future. While change seems like a significant part of reality, Parmenides felt differently about it. He believed that everything was permanent and that change was only an illusion of our mind. Parmenides philosophy on principles was based on things like not being able to make something out of nothing. The defense for this principle would be the failure to comprehend making something out of nothing (Moore and Bruder, 2008).

Heraclitus and Parmenides ideas were compelling because they influenced Western philosophy. While the idea that everything changes is may seem obvious or a common thing now, he was the first philosopher to suggest it. He used the river metaphor to show that nothing stays the same. Parmenides thought that change was impossible. If something changed it became something different. While Heraclitus looked around the world for candidates, Parmenides assumed the basic principle gathered from these he thought must be true of being (Moore and Bruder, 2008).

Heraclitus thought that things changed. A tree grows everyday there for yesterday's tree is not the same tree that is there today and it will be different tomorrow then it is today. His saying about the river makes perfect sense. If you step into the river it becomes a different river then when you first steps in it. A person identity is different ever second of every day. I am not the same person I was two minutes ago. I know this is something we kind of do not thing about everyday but the more you read about it the more sense it makes (Moore and Bruder, 2008).

Parmenides was the most difficult. He used the priori and the posteriori principles. For example, if I know that I have three books to be read, and I add two more books that will give me 5 books. We know this as soon as they it is understood there for it is priori principles. To understand other things that are not automatically known to be true is posteriori principles (Moore and Bruder, 2008).

References

Moore, B. N. & Bruder, K. (2008). Philosophy: The power of ideas (7th ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill.

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