59. Plato in Egypt – The Greatest Philosopher 3

This is part three of a fictional dialogue discussing the life of Plato. In the previous post, Plato fled Athens after the execution of his friend and teacher Socrates (I suggest also reading the first part of the story, if you haven’t already). Plato traveled for almost two decades afterward, his most significant time being […]

52. From Democritus to Einstein – Atomists Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Atomic theory has a long, rich life in human history. It’s gone from a metaphysical theory developed by the Presocratics – namely the Atomists – to explain the idea of change vis-à-vis Parmenides’ idea of constant Being, to the modern scientific application of nuclear energy and nuclear warfare. The dynamic duo of atomism was Leucippus […]

51. Heraclitus – Fire as the Universal Principle

This article is a repost of Post 32. This repost was prompted by some very interesting comments and challenges left by an perceptive reader named Al. Below is one of his comments: “Your statement, “Heraclitus did not believe in universal flux” is not accurate at all. You take away Heraclitus’s major contribution to philosophy. Precisely, […]

48. Empedocles – Love and Strife

Of the various qualities attributed to Empedocles, humility was not one of them. He is quoted as saying: “I am among you as an immortal god, no longer mortal, honored by you all, wreathed in garlands and crowns.” As a physician, he earned this reputation by performing some noteworthy feats such as saving the Sicilian […]

47. Anaxagoras – Mind as the Origin of the Universe

According to the Roman historian Valerius Maximus, when Anaxagoras returned to his hometown of Clazomenae, Ionia after an extended journey abroad, he saw that his estate had been abandoned. Rather than become despondent as many people would, he simply said, “Unless they had perished, I would not have been saved.”1 As the story goes, after […]

46. Zeno’s Paradoxes – The Discovery of the Infinite in the Finite

It all started when an art teacher asked me a simple question: “How many colors are there?” Well, it turned out that that this quite simple question sent me on a trek at the end of which I ran into Zeno, of all people. Of course, Zeno did not give me an easy answer to […]

45. Zeno’s Paradoxes – You Can’t Get There from Here

After three deep posts on Parmenides, Zeno of Elea will be a refreshing change of pace where we can rest our minds a bit and have some fun. Zeno is known almost exclusively for his intriguing paradoxes.1 For example, according to Zeno, did you know that if you set off to reach a destination, you […]

44. Parmenides Discovers Being and the Origin of the Universe

If you are looking for a purely rationalistic discussion on Parmenides’ philosophy and his idea of eternal being, you have come to the wrong place. The majority of the websites out there take the rationalistic approach, but we cannot separate the man from his ideas. Therefore, if you are looking for a more holistic approach […]

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 […]

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