Heraclitus

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Heraclitus of Ephesus (Ancient Greek: Ἡράκλειτος ὁ ἘφέσιοςHērákleitos ho Ephésios; c. 535–c. 475 BCE) was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher, a native of the Greek city Ephesus, Ionia, on the coast of Asia Minor. He was of distinguished parentage. Little is known about his early life and education, but he regarded himself as self-taught and a pioneer of wisdom. From the lonely life he led, and still more from the riddling nature of his philosophy and his contempt for humankind in general, he was called "The Obscure," and the "Weeping Philosopher."

Heraclitus is famous for his doctrine of change being central to the universe, as stated in his famous saying, "You cannot step twice into the same river." He believed in the unity of opposites, stating that "the path up and down are one and the same," existing things being characterized by pairs of contrary properties, and other explorations of the concept of dualism. His cryptic utterance that "all things come to be in accordance with this Logos," (literally, "word," "reason," or "account") has been the subject of numerous interpretations.

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Life

The main source for the life of Heraclitus is Diogenes Laërtius, although some have questioned the validity of his account as "a tissue of Hellenistic anecdotes, most of them obviously fabricated on the basis of statements in the preserved fragments."[1] Diogenes said that Heraclitus flourished in the 69th Olympiad,[2] 504-501 BCE. All the rest of the evidence – the people Heraclitus is said to have known, or the people who were familiar with his work – confirms the floruit. His dates of birth and death are based on a life span of 60 years, the age at which Diogenes says he died,[3] with the floruit in the middle.

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