structure for 'Natural Reality'    |     alphabetical list of themes    |     expand these ideas

27. Natural Reality / B. Early Matter Theories / 3. Ancient Elements

[early theories of basic types of matter]

29 ideas
The visible forms of nature are earth, water, fire, air, ether; mind, reason, and the sense of 'I' [Anon (Bhag)]
The sayings of Heraclitus are still correct, if we replace 'fire' with 'energy' [Heraclitus, by Heisenberg]
Heraclitus says that at some time everything becomes fire [Heraclitus, by Aristotle]
Heraclitus said sometimes everything becomes fire [Heraclitus, by Aristotle]
Heraclitus said fire could be transformed to create the other lower elements [Heraclitus, by Diog. Laertius]
He taught that there are two elements, fire the maker, and earth the matter [Parmenides, by Diog. Laertius]
Anaxagoreans regard the homoeomeries as elements, which compose earth, air, fire and water [Anaxagoras, by Aristotle]
Empedocles said that there are four material elements, and two further creative elements [Empedocles, by Aristotle]
Empedocles says bone is water, fire and earth in ratio 2:4:2 [Empedocles, by Inwood]
Fire, Water, Air and Earth are elements, being simple as well as homoeomerous [Empedocles, by Aristotle]
The elements combine in coming-to-be, but how do the elements themselves come-to-be? [Aristotle on Empedocles]
Love and Strife only explain movement if their effects are distinctive [Aristotle on Empedocles]
All change is unity through love or division through hate [Empedocles]
If the one Being ever diminishes it would no longer exist, and what could ever increase it? [Empedocles]
Plants and animals can only come into existence if something fixes their species [Diogenes of Apollonia]
Things must retain their essential nature during change, or mixing would be impossible [Diogenes of Apollonia]
The Four Elements must change into one another, or else alteration is impossible [Aristotle]
Fire is hot and dry; Air is hot and moist; Water is cold and moist; Earth is cold and dry [Aristotle]
There couldn't be just one element, which was both water and air at the same time [Aristotle]
An element is what bodies are analysed into, and won't itself divide into something else [Aristotle]
I claim that Aristotle's foundation is the four elements, and not wholly potential prime matter [Aristotle, by Gill,ML]
When Aristotle's elements compound they are stable, so why would they ever separate? [Weisberg/Needham/Hendry on Aristotle]
Fire is a separate element, not formed with others (as was previously believed) [Chrysippus, by Stobaeus]
Stoics say earth, air, fire and water are the primary elements [Chrysippus, by Plutarch]
Elements are found last in dismantling bodies, and first in generating them [Albert of Saxony]
The Hot, Cold, Wet and Dry of the philosophers need themselves to be explained [Descartes]
The true elements are atomic monads [Leibniz]
Aether moves in circles and is imperishable; the four elements perish, and move in straight lines [Gill,ML]
Lavoisier's elements included four types of earth [Weisberg/Needham/Hendry]