Ideas from 'On Nature (frags)' by Empedocles [453 BCE], by Theme Structure

[found in 'Empedocles: the Extant Fragments' by Empedocles (ed/tr Wright,M.R.) [Bristol Classical Press 1981,1-85399-482-0]].

Click on the Idea Number for the full details    |     back to texts     |     expand these ideas

7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 7. Reason for Existence
Nothing could come out of nothing, and existence could never completely cease
7. Existence / B. Change in Existence / 1. Nature of Change
Empedocles says things are at rest, unless love unites them, or hatred splits them
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 6. Nihilism about Objects
There is no coming-to-be of anything, but only mixing and separating
9. Objects / E. Objects over Time / 10. Beginning of an Object
Substance is not created or destroyed in mortals, but there is only mixing and exchange
13. Knowledge Criteria / E. Relativism / 3. Subjectivism
One vision is produced by both eyes
18. Thought / A. Modes of Thought / 1. Thought
For Empedocles thinking is almost identical to perception
26. Natural Theory / A. Heart of Nature / 1. Nature
'Nature' is just a word invented by people
27. Natural Reality / A. Physics / 1. Matter / d. Elements in general
The elements combine in coming-to-be, but how do the elements themselves come-to-be?
All change is unity through love or division through hate
If the one Being ever diminishes it would no longer exist, and what could ever increase it?
27. Natural Reality / A. Physics / 1. Matter / e. Greek elements
Empedocles said that there are four material elements, and two further creative elements
Empedocles says bone is water, fire and earth in ratio 2:4:2
Fire, Water, Air and Earth are elements, being simple as well as homoeomerous
27. Natural Reality / A. Physics / 2. Movement
Love and Strife only explain movement if their effects are distinctive
27. Natural Reality / C. Biology / 3. Evolution
Maybe bodies are designed by accident, and the creatures that don't work are destroyed
28. God / A. Divine Nature / 2. Divine Nature
God is pure mind permeating the universe
God is a pure, solitary, and eternal sphere
29. Religion / B. Polytheistic Religion / 2. Paganism
It is wretched not to want to think clearly about the gods
29. Religion / F. Problem of Evil / 1. Problem of Evil
Empedocles said good and evil were the basic principles