43. Parmenides the Priest-Physician Discovers Mystical Healing Powers of Life

Did Parmenides receive his deep philosophical insights because he was a priest? If this were true, it would disappoint many moderns who like to view the Presocratics as those who spearheaded the triumph of reason over religion. While it is correct to say that Presocratics like Xenophanes did accomplish much in discounting narrow superstitious beliefs, […]

42. Parmenides Experiences Enlightenment in the Realm of Deep Darkness

Was Parmenides a mystic? This is one of the questions about Parmenides that I will seek to answer in this post as we return to the Presocratic philosophers. As I study the Presocratics, I am discovering things I never anticipated. Because of my modern perspective, I started this blog viewing philosophy as a purely rational […]

36. Philo of Alexandria -a Jewish Perspective of Logos

Let’s continue our journey from Heraclitus’ idea of Logos to St. John’s application of the Logos to the Son of God. In post 35, I discussed how the Stoics took Heraclitus’ idea of the logos and expanded it to include the idea of eternal recurrence – the continual destruction and rebirth of the entire universe.1 […]

35. Logos: from Heraclitus to the Stoics

What unifies a universe made up of individual and diverse things? As I previously stated, the main philosophical problem to be solved – throughout history but especially in ancient Greek philosophy – is that of universals also known as the problem of the one and the many.1 (Please read the preceding posts if you haven’t […]

34. Heraclitus Finds Logos in the Soul

In post 32, I said that I would cover Heraclitus in two posts, but I could not do it. In fact, I don’t think three posts are enough, but we will see. Truth be told, I could probably write at least a dozen more posts on Heraclitus. If any of you feel that I have […]

33. Heraclitus Declares that All Things are One

Heraclitus’ Damascus Road Experience As portrayed above, Heraclitus is an aged and weary man as compared with the resolute and determined Heraclitus in the previous post. His hands are clasped and his head is bowed as if in prayer. He seems to be either meditating as he awaits some profound insight or resigning himself to […]

32. Heraclitus – Fire as the Universal Principle

Heraclitus is, for me, the most difficult of the Presocratic thinkers to write about. This heavyweight of Greek philosophy had gravitas – he was a deep, complex, enigmatic figure, and a brooding thinker. (I reposted this article as Post 51 in order to answer objections to the comments below by an astute reader. If you […]

31. Xenophanes and the Corruption of the gods

Xenophanes could be considered the roving vagabond of the Presocratic philosophers. Like the others discussed earlier, he came from Ionia.1 He was from the Ionian city of Colophon which was near Miletus, home of the Milesian Presocratic philosophers Thales, Anaximander, and Anaximenes. There was something about Ionia that lent itself to producing great thinkers and […]

29. Pythagoras Discovers the Beauty and Harmony of the Cosmos

Pythagoras was a demigod who went around performing miracles. He talked to the animals and they listened to him.1  Once, he convinced a bear to stop harassing the townspeople and the bear gave its word that it would. He also was renowned for having a “golden thigh.” These are just some of the legends that […]

28. Anaximenes – Air, the Spirit, and the Soul

Anaximenes, the philosopher who theorized that air was the principle element of the universe, may have inadvertently discovered the soul.

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