Empedocles - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Religion

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 4 pages of information about Empedocles.
This section contains 1,105 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Empedocles Encyclopedia Article

Empedocles' Physics

In his physics, Empedocles reacts to Parmenides' radical separation between being and nonbeing and its concomitant rejection of the reliance on sense perception; Empedocles reasserts the validity of sense perception as a guide to humankind's understanding of nature. In a revolutionary move, he posits four "roots" of being, which he alternately calls Zeus, Here, Aidoneus, and Nestis (Diels and Kranz, 1934, 31 B 6), or, as later interpreters clarify (with disagreement in detail) fire, air, earth, and water. The divine names underline the fundamental nature of these elements. The existence of cosmos is dominated by the forces of "Friendship" (Philotes) and "Strife" (Neikos)—under their influence, the elements either congregate into bodies or disintegrate again in an eternal cycle, "and these things never cease their interchange" (Diels and Kranz, 1934, 31 B 17).

Due to its impact on later philosophers, especially on Plato and Aristotle, the theory of the four elements became...

(read more)

This section contains 1,105 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Empedocles Encyclopedia Article
Copyrights
Encyclopedia of Religion
Empedocles from Encyclopedia of Religion. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
Follow Us on Facebook