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Short description: Pre-Socratic Greek philosopher
Heraclitus, depicted in engraving from 1825
Bornc. 535 BC
Diedc. 475 BC (age c. 60)
Ephesus, Ionia, Delian League
Notable work
On Nature
EraPre-Socratic philosophy
RegionWestern philosophy
SchoolIonian, Ephesian School
Main interests
Metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, politics, cosmology
Notable ideas
Logos, fire is the arche, unity of opposites, "everything flows", becoming

Heraclitus of Ephesus (/ˌhɛrəˈkltəs/;[1] Greek: Ἡράκλειτος ὁ Ἐφέσιος, translit. Hērákleitos ho Ephésios, pronounced [hɛː.rá.kleː.tos ho e.pʰé.si.os]; "Glory of Hera" c. 535 – c. 475 BC,[2] Template:Fl)[3][4] was an Ancient Greece , pre-Socratic, Ionian philosopher and a native of the city of Ephesus, which was then part of the Persian Empire.

His paradoxical philosophy and appreciation for wordplay and cryptic utterances has earned him the epithet "The Obscure" since antiquity. He wrote a single work, only fragments of which have survived, increasing the obscurity associated with him. Heraclitus has thus been the subject of numerous interpretations. According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Heraclitus has been seen as a "material monist or a process philosopher; a scientific cosmologist, a metaphysician and a religious thinker; an empiricist, a rationalist, a mystic; a conventional thinker and a revolutionary; a developer of logic—one who denied the law of non-contradiction; the first genuine philosopher and an anti-intellectual obscurantist."[5]

Heraclitus was of distinguished parentage but he eschewed his privileged life for a lonely one as a philosopher. Little else is known about his early life and education; he regarded himself as self-taught and a pioneer of wisdom. He was considered a misanthrope who was subject to depression and became known as "the weeping philosopher" in contrast to the ancient philosopher Democritus, who was known as "the laughing philosopher".[6]

Heraclitus believed the world is in accordance with Logos (literally, "word", "reason", or "account") and is ultimately made of fire. He also believed in a unity of opposites and harmony in the world. He was most famous for his insistence on ever-present change—known in philosophy as "flux" or "becoming"—as the characteristic feature of the world; an idea expressed in the sayings, "No man ever steps in the same river twice", and panta rhei ("everything flows"). His use of fire may have been a metaphor for change. This changing aspect of his philosophy is contrasted with that of the ancient philosopher Parmenides, who believed in "being" and in the static nature of the universe. Both Heraclitus and Parmenides had an influence on Plato, who went on to influence all of Western philosophy.


Bust of Pythagoras, Musei Capitolini, Rome.

The main source for the life of Heraclitus is the doxographer Diogenes Laërtius; the author Charles Kahn questioned the validity of Laërtius's account as "a tissue of Hellenistic anecdotes, most of them obviously fabricated on the basis of statements in the preserved fragments".[7] The stories about Heraclitus could be invented to illustrate his character as inferred from his writings.[5]

Historians are uncertain of the dates between which Heraclitus was active. Diogenes Laërtius stated Heraclitus flourished in the 69th Olympiad between 504 and 501 BC.[8][9] Most historians believe Heraclitus was older than Parmenides, whose views constitute a critical response to those of Heraclitus, though the reverse is also possible and it remains a subject of debate.[10][11] Heraclitus refers to older figures such as Pythagoras and is silent on Parmenides, who possibly refers to Heraclitus.[10][12][13]


Ephesus on the coast of Asia Minor, birthplace of Heraclitus

Heraclitus was born to a Greek aristocratic family c. 535 BC in Ephesus[14](presently Efes, Turkey) in the Persian Empire.[15][16] His dates of birth and death are based on a lifespan of 60 years, the age at which Diogenes Laërtius says he died,[17] with his floruit in the middle.[lower-alpha 1] Heraclitus's father was named either Blosôn or Herakôn.[8][9] Diogenes Laërtius says Heraclitus abdicated the kingship (basileia) in favor of his brother[18] and Strabo confirms there was a ruling family in Ephesus that descended from the Ionian founder Androclus; according to Strabo, this family maintained its titles and could sit in the chief seat at the games, along with other privileges.[19] The extent of the king's powers is unknown; Ephesus had been part of the Persian Empire since 547 BC and was ruled by a satrap (governor) who remained a distant figure: Cyrus the Great allowed the Ionians considerable autonomy.


Diogenes Laërtius says Heraclitus used to play knucklebones with youths in the great temple of Artemis—the Artemisium, one of the largest temples of the 6th century BC and one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.[lower-alpha 2] When asked to start making laws, he refused, saying the politeia (constitution) was ponêra,[20] which can mean either it was fundamentally wrong or that he considered it toilsome. Two extant letters between Heraclitus and Darius I, which are quoted by Diogenes Laërtius, are later forgeries.[21]

Laërtius says Heraclitus was "wondrous" from childhood.[lower-alpha 3] According to Laërtius, Sotion said Heraclitus was a "hearer" of Xenophanes, which according to Laërtius contradicts Heraclitus' statement he had taught himself by questioning himself. Burnet states; "Xenophanes left Ionia before Herakleitos was born".[22] Laërtius says as a boy, Heraclitus had said he "knew nothing" but later claimed to "know everything".[23] He "heard no one" but "questioned himself".[24]

"Most men are bad" – Bias of Priene


Heraclitus (with the face and in the style of Michelangelo) sits apart from the other philosophers in Raphael's School of Athens.

Diogenes Laërtius relates Heraclitus had a poor opinion of human affairs,[9] stating "The mysteries practiced among men are unholy mysteries".[25] Timon of Phlius is said to have called him a "mob-reviler". Heraclitus was not afraid of being a contrarian, saying on one occasion; "Corpses are more fit to be cast out than dung".[26]

Heraclitus was not an advocate of equality, expressing his opposition in the statement; "One is ten thousand to me, if he be the best".[27] He is generally considered an opponent of democracy,[5] though he believed "All men have a claim to self-ascertainment and sound thinking"[28] and "Thinking is common to all".[29] Heraclitus stressed the heedless unconsciousness of humankind; he asserted the opinion "The waking have one common world, but the sleeping turn aside each into a world of his own [idios kosmos (private world)]".[30] He also stated; "Hearing they do not understand, like the deaf. Of them does the saying bear witness: 'present, they are absent'".[31] He also compares the ignorance of the average man to dogs; "Dogs, also, bark at what they do not know".[32] He advises, "Let us not conjecture randomly about the most important things"[33] and said "a fool is excited by every word".[34]

Heraclitus criticized Hesiod, Pythagoras, Xenophanes and Hecataeus for lacking understanding despite their educated positions,[12] and has the most scorn for Pythagoras.[13] According to Heraclitus; "Men that love wisdom must be inquirers into very many things indeed".[35] He also stated; "The knowledge of the most famous persons, which they guard, is but opinion".[36] Among notable individuals he criticized are Homer and Archilochus, both of whom he thought deserved to be beaten.[37] The only man of note he praises is Bias of Priene, one of the Seven Sages of Greece who is known for the maxim "most men are bad";[38] this is evident from Heraclitus's remark; "For what thought or wisdom have they? They follow the poets and take the crowd as their teacher, knowing not that 'the many are bad and few good'".[39]

Heraclitus hated the Athenians and his fellow Ephesians, wishing the latter wealth in punishment for their wicked ways.[40] The Ephesians, he believed, would "do well to end their lives, every grown man of them, and leave the city to beardless boys, for that they have driven out Hermodorus, the worthiest man among them, saying, 'We will have none who is worthiest among us; or if there be any such, let him go elsewhere and consort with others'".[41] According to Laërtius, this culminated in misanthropy; "Finally, he became a hater of his kind (misanthrope) and wandered the mountains [...] making his diet of grass and herbs".[42]

Illness and death

Heraclitus's life as a philosopher was interrupted by dropsy, for which the physicians he consulted were unable to prescribe a cure. Laërtius lists several stories about Heraclitus' death; in two versions, he is cured of dropsy and dies of another disease; in another account, he "buried himself in a cowshed, expecting that the noxious damp humour would be drawn out of him by the warmth of the manure", while another says he treated himself with a liniment of cow manure and after a day prone in the sun, he died and was interred in the marketplace. According to Neathes of Cyzicus, he was devoured by dogs after smearing himself with dung.[43][44] Heraclitus died from dropsy after 478 BC.[14]

According to Burnet:

Herakleitos said (fr. 68) that it was death to souls to become water; and we are told accordingly that he died of dropsy. He said (fr. 114) that the Ephesians should leave their city to their children, and (fr. 79) that Time was a child playing draughts. We are therefore told that he refused to take any part in public life, and went to play with the children in the temple of Artemis. He said (fr. 85) that corpses were more fit to be cast out than dung; and we are told that he covered himself with dung when attacked with dropsy. Lastly, he is said to have argued at great length with his doctors because of fr. 58. For these tales see Diog.ix. 3–5.[45]

Heraclitus's Book

Heraclitus deposited his book in the Artemisium.

Heraclitus is known to have produced a single work on papyrus. The title is unknown.[45][lower-alpha 4] According to Diogenes Laërtius, Heraclitus deposited the book in the Artemisium as a dedication. As with the other pre-Socratic philosophers, only fragments of his writings survive in quotations by other authors. In the case of Heraclitus, there are more than 100 of these catalogued using the Diels–Kranz numbering system. Laërtius also states Heraclitus' work was "a continuous treatise ... but was divided into three discourses, one on the universe, another on politics, and a third on theology".[lower-alpha 5] Theophrastus says (in Diogenes Laërtius) "some parts of his work [are] half-finished, while other parts [made] a strange medley".[18]

The work's opening lines are known, proving it was a continuous work. Aristotle quotes part of the opening line in the Rhetoric to outline the difficulty in punctuating Heraclitus without ambiguity; he debated whether "forever" applied to "being" or to "prove".[5][46] Sextus Empiricus in Against the Mathematicians quotes the whole passage:

Of this Logos being forever do men prove to be uncomprehending, both before they hear and once they have heard it. For, though all things come to pass in accordance with this Logos, they are like the unexperienced experiencing words and deeds such as I explain when I distinguish each thing according to its nature and show how it is. Other men are unaware of what they do when they are awake just as they are forgetful of what they do when they are asleep.[47]


Many later philosophers in this period refer to On Nature. Charles Kahn states; "Down to the time of Plutarch and Clement, if not later, the little book of Heraclitus was available in its original form to any reader who chose to seek it out".[7] Laërtius comments on the notability of the text, stating; "the book acquired such fame that it produced partisans of his philosophy who were called Heracliteans".[18] Prominent philosophers identified today as Heracliteans include Cratylus and Antisthenes—not to be confused with the cynic.[48]

Ancient characterizations

The Obscure

Heraclit by Luca Giordano

At some time in antiquity, Heraclitus acquired the epithet "The Obscure"; generally interpreted to mean his sayings—which contain frequent paradoxes, metaphors and incipient utterances—are difficult to understand.


According to Aristotle's Metaphysics, Heraclitus denied the law of noncontradiction without explanation.[49] Aristotle regarded it as the most basic of all principles. According to Diogenes Laërtius, Timon of Phlius called Heraclitus "the Riddler" (αἰνικτής; ainiktēs), saying Heraclitus wrote his book "rather unclearly" (asaphesteron); according to Timon, this was intended to allow only the "capable" to attempt it.[18] Heraclitus wrote; "The lord whose is the oracle at Delphi neither speaks nor hides his meaning, but gives a sign".[50]

By the time of Cicero, this epithet became "The Dark" (ὁ Σκοτεινός; ho Skoteinós) as he had spoken nimis obscurē, "too obscurely", concerning nature and had done so deliberately in order to be misunderstood; the customary English translation of the aforementioned, however, follows the Latin form, "The Obscure".[51]

The weeping philosopher

A later tradition referred to Heraclitus as the "weeping philosopher", in contrast to Democritus, who is known as the "laughing philosopher";[52] this statement generally references their reaction to the folly of mankind.[53] One possible origin of the pairing is the Cynic philosopher Menippus.[54]

Laërtius ascribes the theory Heraclitus did not complete some of his works because of melancholia to Theophrastus,[18] though in Theophrastus's time, the word "melancholia" denoted impulsiveness. If Stobaeus writes correctly, in the early 1st century, Sotion was already combining the two men in the duo the weeping and laughing philosophers; "Among the wise, instead of anger, Heraclitus was overtaken by tears, Democritus by laughter".[55]

The view is also expressed by the satirist Juvenal, who wrote; "The first of prayers, best known at all the temples, is mostly for riches ... Seeing this then do you not commend the one sage Democritus for laughing ... and the master of the other school Heraclitus for his tears?".[56] The motif was also adopted by Lucian of Samosata in his "Sale of Creeds", in which the duo is sold together as a complementary product in a satirical auction of philosophers.[57]


Heraclitus's philosophy's focus on change is commonly called "becoming", which can be contrasted with Parmenides' concept of "being". For this reason, Heraclitus and Parmenides are commonly considered to be two of the founders of ontology and the issue of the One and the Many, and thus pivotal in the history of Western philosophy and metaphysics.[citation needed]

Diogenes Laërtius has a passage summarizing Heraclitus's philosophy, stating; "All things come into being by conflict of opposites, and the sum of things (τὰ ὅλα ta hola ("the whole")) flows like a stream".[58]


Main page: Philosophy:Logos
Greek spelling of logos.

The meaning of Logos (λόγος) is subject to interpretation; definitions include "word", "account", "principle", "plan", "formula", "measure", "proportion" and "reckoning."[59] Though Heraclitus "quite deliberately plays on the various meanings of logos",[60] there is no evidence he used it in a way that was significantly different from that in which it was used by contemporaneous speakers of Greek.[61]

Eduard Zeller's opinion of Heraclitean logos stated:

λόγος  in my [Zeller's] opinion, refers indeed primarily to the discourse, but also to the contents of the discourse, the truth expressed in it; a confusion and identification of different ideas, united and apparently included in one word, which should least of all surprise us in Heraclitus. He [Heraclitus] says: "This discourse (the theory of the world laid down in his work) is not recognised by men, although it ever exists (i.e. that which always exists, contains the eternal order of things, the eternal truth), for although all happens according to it (and thus its truth is confirmed by all facts universally) men behave as if they had never had any experience of it, when words or things present themselves to them, as I here represent them" (when the views here brought forward are shown them by instruction or by their own perceptions)[62]

The later Stoics understood the Logos as "the account which governs everything";[63] Hippolytus, a Church Father in the 3rd century AD, identified it as meaning the Christian "Word of God", such as in John 1, "In the beginning was the Word (logos) and the Word was God".[64] John Burnet viewed the relationship between Heraclitean logos and Johannine logos as fallacious, saying; "the Johannine doctrine of the logos has nothing to do with Herakleitos or with anything at all in Greek philosophy, but comes from the Hebrew Wisdom literature".[lower-alpha 6][65]

Heraclitus's ideas about the Logos are expressed in three well-known but mysterious fragments, one of which states "For this reason it is necessary to follow what is common.[lower-alpha 7] But although the Logos is common, most people live as if they had their own private understanding (phronēsis)."[66]

He seems to say the Logos is a public fact like a proposition or formula, though he would not have considered these facts as abstract objects or immaterial things.[67] One quote can even be read as a statement against making arguments ad hominem: "Listening not to me but to the Logos ...".[68]


This world...always was and will be: an ever-living fire...

Like the Milesians before him, Thales with water, Anaximander with apeiron, and Anaximenes with air, Heraclitus considered fire as the arche, the fundamental element that gave rise to the other elements, perhaps because living people are warm.[69] Norman Melchert interpreted Heraclitus's use of "fire" metaphorically in lieu of Logos as the origin of all things.[70] Other scholars see it as a metaphor for change.[71] It is also speculated this shows the influence of Persian Zoroastrianism with its concept of Atar.[72]

According to Heraclitus,

This world, which is the same for all, no one of gods or men has made. But it always was and will be: an ever-living fire, with measures of it kindling, and measures going out.
—from Clement Miscellanies 5.103.3

This quotation is the earliest use of kosmos in any extant Greek text.[5] He also stated;

All things are an interchange for fire, and fire for all things, just like goods for gold and gold for goods
—DK B90, from Plutarch On the E at Delphi 338d-e


The thunderbolt that steers the course of all things
—DK B64, from Hippolytus, Refutation of All Heresies 9.10.7

On Heraclitus using Fire as a new primary substance, Burnet writes:

All this made it necessary for him to seek out a new primary substance. He wanted not merely something from which opposites could be "separated out," but something which of its own nature would pass into everything else, while everything else would pass in turn into it. This he found in Fire, and it is easy to see why, if we consider the phenomenon of combustion. The quantity of fire in a flame burning steadily appears to remain the same, the flame seems to be what we call a "thing." And yet the substance of it is continually changing. It is always passing away in smoke, and its place is always being taken by fresh matter from the fuel that feeds it. This is just what we want. If we regard the world as an "ever-living fire" (fr. 20), we can understand how it is always becoming all things, while all things are always returning to it.[73]

Unity of opposites

In a seeming response to Anaximander,[74][75] Heraclitus also believed in a unity of opposites.[76] He characterized all existing entities by pairs of contrary properties.

According to Heraclitus, "Mortals are immortals and immortals are mortals, the one living the others' death and dying the others' life".[77] This is taken to mean men are mortal gods and gods are immortal men.[57] He also similarly compared sleep to death; "Man kindles a light for himself in the night-time, when he has died but is alive. The sleeper, whose vision has been put out, lights up from the dead; he that is awake lights up from the sleeping"[78] and "All the things we see when awake are death, even as all we see in slumber are sleep".[79]

Strife is justice

In this union of opposites, of both generation and destruction, Heraclitus called the oppositional processes ἔρις (eris), "strife", and hypothesizes the apparently stable state, δίκη (dikê), "justice", is a harmony of it.[76] Anaximander described the same as injustice.[80] Aristotle said Heraclitus disliked Homer because Homer wished that strife would leave the world, which according to Heraclitus would destroy the world; "there would be no harmony without high and low notes, and no animals without male and female, which are opposites".[81]

The One and the Many
Kitharode by the Berlin Painter.
The bow's name is life, though its work is death.

On Heraclitus' teachings of the one and many, Burnet writes; "The truth Herakleitos proclaimed was that the world is at once one and many, and that it is just the 'opposite tension' of the opposites that constitutes the unity of the One. It is the same conclusion as that of Pythagoras, though it is put in another way."[82] Burnet also writes about Plato's understanding of Heraclitus:

According to Plato, then, Herakleitos taught that reality was at once many and one. This was not meant as a logical principle. The identity which Herakleitos explains as consisting in difference is just that of the primary substance in all its manifestations. This identity had been realised already by the Milesians, but they had found a difficulty in the difference. Anaximander had treated the strife of opposites as an "injustice," and what Herakleitos set himself to show was that, on the contrary, it was the highest justice (fr. 62).[82]


In a metaphor and one of the earliest uses of a force in the history of philosophy, Heraclitus compares the union of opposites to a strung bow or lyre held in shape by an equilibrium of the string tension: "There is a harmony in the bending back (παλίντροπος palintropos) as in the case of the bow and the lyre".[83]

He claims this shows something true yet invisible about reality; "a hidden harmony is better than an apparent one."[84] He also noted "the bow's name is life, though its work is death,"[85] a play on both bow and life being the same word as written – biós; further evidence of a continuous, written work.

On the unity of opposites, Burnet says:

The "strife of opposites" is really an "attunement" (armonia). From this it follows that wisdom is not a knowledge of many things, but the perception of the underlying unity of the warring opposites. That this really was the fundamental thought of Herakleitos is stated by Philo. He says: "For that which is made up of both the opposites is one; and, when the one is divided, the opposites are disclosed. Is not this just what the Greeks say their great and much belauded Herakleitos put in the forefront of his philosophy as summing it all up, and boasted of as a new discovery?"[86]

War is the father of all and the king of all.

Heraclitus is known as the first philosopher to characterize war as a positive occurrence, writing "Every beast is driven to pasture by blows".[87] He also wrote:

We must know that war is common to all and strife is justice, and that all things come into being through strife necessarily.
—DK B80, from Origen, Against Celsus 6.42
War is the father of all and king of all; and some he shows as gods, others as men, some he makes slaves, others free.
—DK B53, from Hippolytus, Refutation of All Heresies 9.9.4
Gods and men honor those who are slain in battle.[lower-alpha 8]
—DK B24, from Clement Miscellanies 4.16.1
The people must fight for its law as for its walls.
—DK B44, from Laertius, Lives, 9.2

The way up is the way down

Heraclitus also said; "The way up and the way down is one and the same"[88] and "In writing, the course taken, straight and crooked, is one and the same".[89] This can be interpreted in several ways.

One interpretation is that it shows his monism, though a dialectical one. Heraclitus believed; "Listening not to me but to the Logos it is wise to agree that all things are one".[68] He also said:

The one is made up of all things, and all things issue from the one.
—DK B10, from Aristotle On the World 5 396b20
Hesiod is most men's teacher. Men think he knew very many things, a man who did not know day or night! They are one.
—DK B57, from Hippolytus, Refutation of All Heresies 9.10.2
Concerning a circle the beginning and end are common.
—DK B103, from Porphyry, Notes on Homer, on Iliad 24.200
Heraclitus depicted in 1655.

Heraclitus's theory also illustrates the cyclical nature of reality and transformation, and a replacement of one element by another; "turnings of fire".[90] This might be another "hidden harmony" and is more consistent with pluralism rather than monism. According to Heraclitus:[5]

The death of fire is the birth of air, and the death of air is the birth of water.
—DK B76, from Maximus of Tyre, 41.4
For it is death to souls to become water, and death to water to become earth. But water comes from earth; and from water, soul.
—DK B36, from Clement Miscellanies 6.17.2
Cold things become warm, and what is warm cools; what is wet dries, and the parched is moistened.
—DK B126, from John Tzetzes Notes on the Iliad p. 126
And it is the same thing in us that is quick and dead, awake and asleep, young and old; the former are shifted and become the latter, and the latter in turn are shifted and become the former.
—DK B88. from Pseudo-Lutarch, Consolation to Apollonius 106E

This idea has also been interpreted as an advocation of relativism.[91][75]

Good and ill are one.
—DK B58, from Hippolytus, Refutation of All Heresies 9.10.6
Asses prefer straw to gold.
—DK B9, from Aristotle Nicomachean Ethics 10.5 1176a7
The sea is the purest and impurest water. Fish can drink it and it is good for them, to me it is undrinkable and destructive.
—DK B61, from Hippolytus, Refutation of All Heresies 9.10.5


A central aspect of the Heraclitean philosophy is recognition of the changing nature of objects with the flow of time. That is, Heraclitus recognized an impermanence called flux or "becoming"—contrasted with Parmenides "being" as that changeless behind the appearance of change[lower-alpha 9][92]—where nothing ever simply "is" but only ever is "becoming" something else.[lower-alpha 10] According to Plotinus, Heraclitus seems to say, paradoxically, change is what unites things, pointing to his ideas of the unity of opposites and the quotes "Even the kykeon falls apart if it is not stirred"[93] and "Changing it rests".[94]

Panta rhei ("everything flows")

Heraclitus is also credited with the phrase panta rhei (πάντα ῥεῖ; "everything flows").[95] This aphorism that is used to characterize his thought comes from the neoplatonist Simplicius of Cilicia,[96] and from Plato's Cratylus.[97] The word rhei ("to stream") (as in rheology) is etymologically related to Rhea according to Plato's Cratylus.[98][lower-alpha 11]

On Heraclitus' teachings on flux, Burnet writes:

Fire burns continuously and without interruption. It is always consuming fuel and always liberating smoke. Everything is either mounting upwards to serve as fuel, or sinking down wards after having nourished the flame. It follows that the whole of reality is like an ever-flowing stream, and that nothing is ever at rest for a moment. The substance of the things we see is in constant change. Even as we look at them, some of the stuff of which they are composed has already passed into something else, while fresh stuff has come into them from another source. This is usually summed up, appropriately enough, in the phrase "All things are flowing" (panta rei), though this does not seem to be a quotation from Herakleitos. Plato, however, expresses the idea quite clearly. "Nothing ever is, everything is becoming"; "All things are in motion like streams"; "All things are passing, and nothing abides"; "Herakleitos says somewhere that all things pass and naught abides; and, comparing things to the current of a river, he says you cannot step twice into the same stream" (cf. fr. 41). these are the terms in which he describes the system.[99]

The River

No man ever steps in the same river twice.

Heraclitus's philosophy has been illustrated using the image of a river. Three fragments attributed to him mention rivers: "It is impossible to step in the same river twice",[100] "Ever-newer waters flow on those who step into the same rivers",[101] and "We both step and do not step in the same rivers. We are and are not."[102][lower-alpha 12] However, some classicists and professors of ancient philosophy have disputed which of these fragments can truly be attributed to Heraclitus.[103][104]

The idea is referenced twice in Plato's Cratylus;[97] rather than "flow" Plato uses chōrei (χῶρος; chōros; "to change place"). "All entities move and nothing remains still" and "Everything changes and nothing remains still ... and ... you cannot step twice into the same stream".[lower-alpha 13] According to Aristotle, Cratylus went a step beyond his master's doctrine and said one cannot step into the same river once.[lower-alpha 14]

Simplicius references it thus: "the natural philosophers who follow Heraclitus, keeping in view the perpetual flux of generation and the fact that all corporeal things are coming to be and departing and never really are (as Timaeus said too) claim that all things are always in flux and that you could not step twice in the same river".[106]

The German classicist and philosopher Karl-Martin Dietz interprets the metaphor as illustrating what is stable, rather than the usual interpretation of illustrating change. "You will not find anything, in which the river remains constant ... Just the fact, that there is a particular river bed, that there is a source and an estuary etc. is something, that stays identical. And this is ... the concept of a river."[107]

Professor of ancient philosophy M. M. McCabe has argued that the three statements on rivers should all be read as fragments from a discourse. McCabe suggests reading them as though they were arose in succession. McCabe writes that the three fragments, "could be retained, and arranged in an argumentative sequence".[108] In McCabe's reading of the fragments, Heraclitus can be read as a philosopher capable of sustained argument, rather than just aphorism.

The Sun

The Sun is new every day.

Heraclitus expressed his idea of flux by saying the Sun is new every day, rather than thinking the same Sun will rise tomorrow.[109]

God and the soul

By "God", Heraclitus does not mean a single deity as primum movens ("prime mover") of all things or God as Creator, the universe being eternal; he meant the divine as opposed to human, the immortal as opposed to the mortal and the cyclical as opposed to the transient. To him, it is arguably more accurate to speak of "the Divine" and not of "God".[citation needed]

Heraclitus distinguishes between human laws and divine law (τοῦ θείου tou theiou lit. "of God").[110] He said both God and fire are "want and surfeit".[111] In addition to seeing fire as the fundamental substance, he presents fire as the divine cosmos; fire is a substance and a motivator of change, and is active in altering other things. Heraclitus describes it as "the judging and convicting of all things".[112] Judgment here is literally krinein (κρίνειν; "to separate").[citation needed] In antiquity, this was interpreted to mean that eventually all things will be consumed by fire, a doctrine called ecpyrosis. Hippolytus sees the passage as a reference to divine judgment and Hell; he removes the human sense of justice from his concept of God: "To God all things are fair and good and just, but people hold some things wrong and some right".[113]

Heraclitus by Hendrick ter Brugghen

According to Heraclitus, God's custom has wisdom but human custom does not.[114] Wisdom is "to know the thought by which all things are steered through all things",[115] which must not imply people are or can be wise. Only Zeus is wise.[116] To some degree, Heraclitus seems to be in the mystic's position of urging people to follow God's plan without much of an idea what that may be. There is a note of despair; "The fairest universe (κάλλιστος κόσμος; kállistos kósmos) is but a heap of rubbish (σάρμα sárma lit. "sweepings") piled up (κεχυμένον kechuménon ("poured out") at random (εἰκῇ eikê "aimlessly")."[117] Bertrand Russell presents Heraclitus as a mystic in his Mysticism and Logic.[118]

According to Heraclitus, there is the frivolity of a child in both man and God; he wrote, "Eternity is a child moving counters in a game; the kingly power is a child's".[119][57] Nietzsche said this quotation means; "And as the child and the artist plays, so too plays the ever living fire, it builds up and tears down, in innocence—such is the game eternity plays with itself".[citation needed] This quotation may also be the reason for the story of Heraclitus giving up his kingship to his brother.[citation needed] Heraclitus also stated "human opinions are children's toys"[120] and "Man is called a baby by God, even as a child [is called a baby] by a man".[121] Heraclitus also states, "We should not act and speak like children of our parents", which Marcus Aurelius interpreted to mean one should not simply accept what others believe.[122]

Fragment from the Derveni Papyrus, which includes a quotation from Heraclitus.

Heraclitus regarded the soul as a mixture of fire and water, and that fire is the noble part of the soul and water is the ignoble part. A soul should therefore aim to become fuller of fire and less full of water: a "dry" soul was best.[123] According to Heraclitus, worldly pleasures, such as drinking alcohol,[124] made the soul "moist", and he considered mastery of one's worldly desires to be a noble pursuit that purified the soul's fire.[125] The soul also has a self-increasing logos.[126] He also believed we breathe in the logos, as Anaximenes would say, of air and the soul.[67] Heraclitus stated; "It is hard to fight with one's heart's desire. Whatever it wishes to get, it purchases at the cost of soul."[127]

A famous quotation of Heraclitus, Ethos anthropoi daimon ("man's character is [his] fate")[128] has led to numerous interpretations, and might mean one's luck is related to one's character.[5] The translation of daimon in this context to mean "fate" is disputed; according to Thomas Cooksey, it lends much sense to Heraclitus' observations and conclusions about human nature in general. While the translation as "fate" is generally accepted as in Charles Kahn's "a man's character is his divinity", in some cases it may also refer to the soul of the departed.[129]

The senses

Some writers have interpreted Heraclitus as a kind of proto-empiricist;[118] this view is supported by some fragments, such as "the things that can be seen, heard and learned are what I prize the most",[130] "The sun is the size that it appears", and "the width of a human foot".[131][132][133] W. K. C. Guthrie disputes this interpretation, citing "Eyes and ears are bad witnesses to men who have barbarian souls".[80][134] Heraclitus also said, "sight tells falsehoods"[135] and "nature loves to hide".[136] He also warned against hearsay, "Eyes are better witnesses than the ears".[citation needed]

The sense of smell also seems to play a role in Heraclitus's philosophy; he stated; "If all things were turned to smoke, the nostrils would distinguish them"[137] and "Souls smell in Hades".[138]


Ancient philosophy


Heraclitus's most famous follower was Cratylus, whom Plato presented as a linguistic naturalist, one who believes names must apply naturally to their objects. According to Aristotle, Cratylus took the view nothing can be said about the ever-changing world and "ended by thinking that one need not say anything, and only moved his finger".[139] Cratylus may have thought continuous change warrants skepticism because one cannot define a thing that does not have a permanent nature.[140] 20th-century linguistic philosophy saw a rise in considerations brought up by Cratylus in Plato's dialogue and offered the doctrine called Cratylism.[141]

Parmenides may have been responding to Heraclitus.

Parmenides's poem argues change is impossible; he may have been referring to Heraclitus with such passages as "Undiscerning crowds, who hold that it is and is not the same, and all things travel in opposite directions!".[10]

The pluralists were the first to try and reconcile Heraclitus and Parmenides. Anaxagoras may have been influenced by Heraclitus in his refusal to separate the opposites. Empedocles's forces of Love and Hate were probably influenced by Heraclitus' Harmony and Strife. Empedocles is also credited with introducing the concept of the four classical elements, uniting his predecessors conceptions about arche: earth, air, fire, and water.[142]

The sophists such as Protagoras were also influenced by Heraclitus. They seemed to share his view of logos.[143] Plato considered Heraclitus the intellectual predecessor of the sophists.[144] Aristotle accuses Heraclitus of speaking in contradiction, and accused the sophists of applying contradiction to "all arts".[145]


Plato is the most famous philosopher who tried to reconcile Heraclitus and Parmenides; through Plato, both of these figures influenced virtually all subsequent Western philosophy. Plato knew of Heraclitus through Cratylus and wrote his dialogue of the same name.[146] Plato thought the views of Heraclitus meant no entity may occupy a single state at a single time and argued against Heraclitus as follows:[147]

How can that be a real thing which is never in the same state? ... for at the moment that the observer approaches, then they become other ... so that you cannot get any further in knowing their nature or state ... but if that which knows and that which is known exist ever ... then I do not think they can resemble a process or flux ....[147]

Plato seems to have been influenced by Heraclitus in his concept of the world as always changing and thus our inability to have knowledge of particulars, and by Parmenides in needing another world—the Platonic realm where things remain unchanging and universals exist as the objects of knowledge, the Forms. In the Symposium, Plato sounds much like Heraclitus:[140][148]

Even during the period for which any living being is said to live and retain his identity—as a man, for example, is called the same man from boyhood to old age—he does not in fact retain the same attributes, although he is called the same person: he is always becoming a new being and undergoing a process of loss and reparation, which affects his hair, his flesh, his bones, his blood and his whole body. And not only his body, but his soul as well. No man's character, habits, opinions desires pleasures pains and fears remain always the same: new ones come into existence and old ones disappear.[148]


Coin from c. 230 AD depicting Heraclitus as a Cynic, with club and raised hand.

Cynicism also was influenced by Heraclitus,[149] who has several letters attributed to him in the Cynic epistles.[150]


Aenesidemus, one of the major ancient Pyrrhonist philosophers, claimed in a now-lost work that Pyrrhonism was a way to Heraclitean philosophy because Pyrrhonist practice helps one to see how opposites appear to be the case about the same thing. Once one sees this, it leads to understanding the Heraclitean view of opposites being the case about the same thing. A later Pyrrhonist philosopher, Sextus Empiricus, disagreed, arguing opposites' appearing to be the case about the same thing is not a dogma of the Pyrrhonists but a matter occurring to the Pyrrhonists, to the other philosophers, and to all of humanity.[151]


The Stoics believed major tenets of their philosophy derived from the thought of Heraclitus,[152] "the importance of Heraclitus to later Stoics is evident most plainly in Marcus Aurelius."[153][lower-alpha 15] Explicit connections of the earliest Stoics to Heraclitus showing how they arrived at their interpretation are missing, but they can be inferred from the Stoic fragments, which Long concludes are "modifications of Heraclitus".[154]

The Stoics were interested in Heraclitus's treatment of fire. The earliest surviving Stoic work, the Hymn to Zeus of Cleanthes, a work transitional from pagan polytheism to the modern religions and philosophies, though not explicitly referencing Heraclitus, adopts what appears to be a modified version of the Heraclitean logos.[lower-alpha 16] Zeus rules the universe with law (nomos), wielding on its behalf the "forked servant", the "fire" of the "ever-living lightning"; none of this differs from the Zeus of Homer. According to Cleanthes, Zeus uses fire to "straighten out the common logos" that travels about (phoitan, "to frequent"), mixing with the greater and lesser lights (heavenly bodies); Heraclitus's logos was now confused with the "common nomos", which Zeus uses to "make the wrong (perissa, left or odd) right (artia, right or even)" and "order (kosmein) the disordered (akosma)".[155]

Possible statue of Hippolytus

The Stoic modification of Heraclitus' idea of the Logos influenced Jewish philosophers such as Philo of Alexandria, who connected it to "Wisdom personified" as God's creative principle.[citation needed] Philo uses the term Logos throughout his treatises on Hebrew scripture in a manner clearly influenced by the Stoics.[citation needed] On the subject of Stoic modification of Heraclitus, Burnet writes:

Another difficulty we have to face is that most of the commentators on Herakleitos mentioned in Diogenes were Stoics. Now, the Stoics held the Ephesian in peculiar veneration, and sought to interpret him as far as possible in accordance with their own system. Further, they were fond of "accommodating" the views of earlier thinkers to their own, and this has had serious consequences. In particular, the Stoic theories of the logos and the ekpyrosis are constantly ascribed to Herakleitos, and the very fragments are adulterated with scraps of Stoic terminology.[86]

Church Fathers

The Church Fathers were the leaders of the early Christian Church during its first five centuries of existence, roughly contemporaneous to Stoicism under the Roman Empire. The works of dozens of writers in hundreds of pages have survived; all of them mentioned the Christian form of the Logos.[156] The Catholic Church found it necessary to distinguish between the Christian logos and that of Heraclitus to distance itself from pagans and convert them to Christianity. Many Church Fathers were converted philosophers.

Hippolytus of Rome identified Heraclitus along with the other Pre-Socratics and Academics as sources of heresy. In Refutation of All Heresies, one of the best sources on quotes from Heraclitus, Hippolytus says; "What the blasphemous folly is of Noetus, and that he devoted himself to the tenets of Heraclitus the Obscure, not to those of Christ".[157] Hippolytus then present a quotation; "God (theos) is day and night, winter and summer ... but he takes various shapes, just as fire, when it is mingled with spices, is named according to the savor of each".[158] The fragment seems to support pantheism if taken literally. German physicist and philosopher Max Bernard Weinstein classed Hippolytus's view as a predecessor of pandeism.[69]

Hippolytus condemns the obscurity of it; he could not accuse Heraclitus of heresy, saying; "Did not [Heraclitus] the Obscure anticipate Noetus in framing a system ...?" The apparent pantheist deity of Heraclitus must be equal to the union of opposites and therefore must be corporeal and incorporeal, divine and not-divine, dead and alive, etc., and the Trinity can only be reached by illusory shape-shifting.[159]

The Christian apologist Justin Martyr took a more positive view of Heraclitus. In his First Apology, he said both Socrates and Heraclitus were Christians before Christ: "those who lived reasonably are Christians, even though they have been thought atheists; as, among the Greeks, Socrates and Heraclitus, and men like them".[160]

Modern philosophy

Heraclitus from the Nuremberg Chronicle

Heraclitus was considered an indispensable motif for philosophy through the modern period.[citation needed] Michel de Montaigne proposed two archetypical views of human affairs based on them, selecting Democritus's for himself.[161] Heraclitus may have even been mentioned in William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice.[162]


Heraclitus plaque on Path of Visionaries in Berlin

G. W. F. Hegel gave Heraclitus high praise; according to him, "the origin of philosophy is to be dated from Heraclitus". He attributed dialectics to Heraclitus rather than, as Aristotle did, to Zeno of Elea, saying; "There is no proposition of Heraclitus which I have not adopted in my Logic".[163][164][165]

Friedrich Engels, who associated with the Young Hegelians, also gave Heraclitus the credit for inventing dialectics, which are relevant to his own dialectical materialism.[citation needed] Ferdinand Lasalle was a socialist who was also influenced by Heraclitus.[166]

Friedrich Nietzsche was profoundly influenced by Heraclitus, as can be seen in his Philosophy in the Tragic Age of the Greeks.[167][168] Nietzsche saw Heraclitus as a confident opposition to Anaximander's pessimism.[169] Oswald Spengler was influenced by Nietzsche and also wrote a dissertation on Heraclitus.[170]

Martin Heidegger was also influenced by Heraclitus, as seen in his Introduction to Metaphysics, and took a very different interpretation than Nietzsche and several others. According to Heidegger; "In Heraclitus, to whom is ascribed the doctrine of becoming as diametrically opposed to Parmenides' doctrine of being, says the same as Parmenides".[171]


J. M. E. McTaggart's illustration of the A-series and B-series of time has been seen as an analogous application to time of Heraclitus and Parmenides views of all of reality, respectively.[172][173] A. N. Whitehead's process philosophy according to some resembles the fragments of Heraclitus.[174] Karl Popper wrote much on Heraclitus; both Popper and Heraclitus believed in invisible processes at work.[175]

Jungian psychology

Carl Jung wrote Heraclitus "discovered the most marvellous of all psychological laws: the regulative function of opposites ... by which he meant that sooner or later everything runs into its opposite".[176] Jung adopted this law, called enantiodromia, into his analytical psychology. He related it with Chinese classics, stating; "If the Western world had followed his lead, we would all be Chinese in our viewpoint instead of Christian. We can think of Heraclitus as making the switch between the East and the West."[177] Jung suggested Heraclitus was named "the dark" not because his style was too difficult but "because he spoke too plainly" about the paradoxical nature of existence "and called life itself an 'ever-living fire' ".[178]

Depictions in art

Crying Heraclitus and laughing Democritus by Donato Bramante
Democriet (laughing) & Herakliet (crying) by Cornelis van Haarlem
Democritus by Johannes Moreelse
Heraclitus by Johannes Moreelse

Heraclitus has been portrayed several times in western art, especially as part of the weeping and laughing philosopher motif, and with globes.


Donato Bramante painted a fresco known as "Democritus and Heraclitus" in Casa Panigarola, Milan, in 1477.[179] Heraclitus's most famous depiction in art is in Raphael's School of Athens, which was painted in around 1510. Raphael depicted Michelangelo as Heraclitus; he and Diogenes of Sinope are the only men to sit alone in the painting. Heraclitus seems to write a poem, though he also looks away from his pen and paper.[180]

Salvator Rosa also painted Democritus and Heraclitus, as did Luca Giordano, together and separately in the 1650s.[181][182] Giuseppe Torretti sculpted busts of the same duo in 1705.[183] Giuseppe Antonio Petrini painted "Weeping Heraclitus" circa 1750.[184]

The laughing philosopher and the weeping philosopher by Johann Christoph Ludwig Lücke


Franz Tymmermann in 1538 painted a weeping Heraclitus.[185] Johann Christoph Ludwig Lücke sculpted busts of the same in the 1750s.[186] Franz Xaver Messerschmidt also sculpted them.[187]


In 1619, the Dutch Cornelis van Haarlem also painted a laughing Democritus and weeping Heraclitus. Hendrick ter Brugghen's paintings of Heraclitus and Democritus separately in 1628 hang in the Rijksmuseum, and he also painted them together.

Around 1630, Dutch painter Johannes Moreelse painted Heraclitus wringing his hands over a globe, sad at the state of the world, and another with Democritus laughing at one. Dirck van Baburen also painted the pair.[188] Egbert van Heemskerck did as well.[189]

Flemish, French, and Spanish

Peter Paul Rubens painted the pair twice in 1603.[190] Nicolaes Pickenoy also painted the pair.[191]

French artists Étienne Parrocel and Charles-Antoine Coypel painted Heraclitus.[192]

Spaniard Jusepe de Ribera painted the pair in 1630.[193]

See also

  • (in Greek) Quotes of Heraclitus (Apospásmata)


  1. Such calculations are common for those of this early period of Greek philosophy. For example, Thales usual birth of 625 BC is figured by taking the date he predicted an eclipse, May 28, 585 BC, and assuming he was 40 years old at the time.
  2. Ancient temples were regularly used for storing treasures and were open to private individuals under exceptional circumstances.
  3. thaumasios, which, as Socrates explains in Plato's Theaetetus and Gorgias, is the beginning of philosophy
  4. It is sometimes called On Nature like the works of the other Pre-Socratic philosophers.
  5. He does not say whether Heraclitus or another person divided them this way.[5] Burnet says: We are told that it was divided into three discourses: one dealing with the universe, one political, and one theological. It is not to be supposed that this division is due to Herakleitos himself; all we can infer is that the work fell naturally into these three parts when the Stoic commentators took their editions of it in hand.[45]
  6. See Rendel Harris, The Origin of the Prologue to St. John's Gospel in The Expositor, 1916, pp. 147 sqq.
  7. This initial part of DK B2 is often omitted because it is broken by a note explaining that ξυνός ksunos (Ionic) is κοινός koinos (Attic).
  8. Literally, slain by Ares
  9. Heraclitus typically uses the ordinary word "to become" (gignesthai or ginesthai, present tense or aorist tense of the verb, with the root sense of "being born").
  10. Compare with the Latin adages Omnia mutantur and Tempora mutantur (8 AD) and the Buddhist and Hindu concepts of anicca.[citation needed]
  11. In pronunciation the -ei- is a diphthong sounding like the -ei- in reindeer. The initial r is aspirated or made breathy, which indicates the dropping of the s in *sreu-.
  12. This aphorism can be contrasted with Parmenides's statement; "whatever is, is, and what is not cannot be".
  13. This sentence has been translated by Seneca.[105]
  14. Compare the Japanese tale Hōjōki, (1200 AD) which contains the same image of the changing river.[citation needed]
  15. Aurelius quotes Heraclitus in Meditations iv. 46
  16. Different translations of this can be found at Rolleston, T. W.. "Stoic Philosophers: Cleanthes' Hymn to Zeus".  Ellery, M. A. C. (1976). "Cleanthes' Hymn to Zeus". Tom Sienkewicz.  "Hymn to Zeus". Holy, Holy, Holy at Hypatia's Bookshelf. 


  1. Hanks, Patrick; Urdang, Laurence, eds (1979). Collins English Dictionary. London, Glasgow: Collins. ISBN 978-0-00-433078-5. 
  2. Winters, Andrew M. (2017) (in en). Natural Processes: Understanding Metaphysics Without Substance. Springer. pp. 10. ISBN 978-3-319-67570-1. 
  3. Graham, Daniel W. (2019), Heraclitus, 
  4. Graham, Daniel W.. "Heraclitus" (in en-US). 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 Graham, Daniel W. (April 27, 2021). Zalta, Edward N.. ed. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University. 
  6. Helin, Jenny; Hernes, Tor; Hjorth, Daniel; Holt, Robin (2014-05-15) (in en). The Oxford Handbook of Process Philosophy and Organization Studies. OUP Oxford. pp. 38. ISBN 978-0-19-164809-0. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 Kahn, Charles (1979). The Art and Thought of Heraclitus: Fragments with Translation and Commentary. London: Cambridge University Press. pp. 1–23. ISBN 978-0-521-28645-9. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 Burnet, John (1930). Early Greek Philosophy. 4, 5 & 6 Soho Square, London, W.1: A. & C. Black, Ltd.. pp. 130. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Diogenes Laërtius, ix. 1
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 "Parmenides, Greek fragments and Burnet's English translation". 
  11. John Palmer (2016). Parmenides. Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University. 
  12. 12.0 12.1 DK B40, from Laertius, Lives 9.1
  13. 13.0 13.1 DK B129
  14. 14.0 14.1 Ríos Pedraza, Francisco I; Haya Segovia, Fernando (2009). Historia de la Filosofía. Oxford University Press. p. 32. ISBN 978-84-673-5147-7. 
  15. Naddaf 2005, p. 126.
  16. Wiesehöfer 2003, pp. 201–202.
  17. Diogenes Laërtius, ix. 3
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 Diogenes Laërtius, ix. 6
  19. Strabo, Chapter 1, section 3.
  20. Diogenes Laërtius, ix. 2
  21. G. S. Kirk (2010), Heraclitus: The Cosmic Fragments, Cambridge University Press, p. 1. ISBN:0521136679
  22. Chapter 3 beginning.
  23. Diogenes Laërtius, ix. 5
  24. DK B101, from Plutarch Against Colotes 1118C
  25. DK B14, from Clement Protrepic 22
  26. DK B96, from Plutarch Table Talk 669A
  27. DK B49, from Theodorus Prodromus, Letters 1
  28. DK B116, from Stobaeus Selections 3.5.6
  29. DK B113, from Stobaeus Selections 3.1.179
  30. DK B89, from Pseudo-Plutarch, On Superstition 166c
  31. DK B34, from Clement, Miscellanies 5.115.3
  32. DK B97, from Plutarch On Listening to Lectures 40f-41a
  33. DK B47, from Laertius, Lives, 9.73
  34. B87, from Plutarch On Listening to Lectures 40f-41a
  35. DK B35, from Clement Miscellanies 5.140.5
  36. DK B28, from Clement Miscellanies 5.9.3
  37. DK B42, from Laertius, Lives, 9.1
  38. DK B39, Laertius, Lives, 1.88
  39. DK B104, from Proclus Commentary of Plato's Alcibiades I 117
  40. DK B125a, from John Tzetzes, Scholium on Aristophanes Wealth 88
  41. DK B121, from Strabo, Geography 14.25
  42. Laertius Lives, 9.1
  43. Diogenes Laërtius, ix. 4
  44. Fairweather, Janet (1973). "Death of Heraclitus". p. 2. 
  45. 45.0 45.1 45.2 Burnet, John (1930). Early Greek Philosophy. 4, 5 & 6 Soho Square, London, W.1: A. & C. Black, Ltd.. pp. 131. 
  46. Rhetoric 3.1407b11
  47. DK B1, from Sextus Empiricus, Against the Mathematicians 7.132
  48. Laertius, Lives, 9.15
  49. Metaphysics Book 4, section 1005b
  50. DK B93, from Plutarch On the Pythian Oracle 404D
  51. De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum, Chapter 2, Section 15.
  52. Seneca, Lucius Annaeus (1995). Moral and Political Essays. Cambridge University Press. p. 50 note 17. ISBN 978-0-521-34818-8. 
  53. "Heraclitus, Hendrick ter Brugghen, 1628". 
  54. Laughing and Weeping Melancholy: Democritus and Heraclitus as Emblems | SpringerLink
  55. III.20.53
  56. Satire X. Translation from Juvenal (1903). Thirteen Satires of Juvenal. Sidney George Owen (trans.). London: Methuen & Co. p. 61. 
  57. 57.0 57.1 57.2 Lucian, Sale of Creeds
  58. Diogenes Laërtius, ix. 8
  59. For the etymology see Watkins, Calvert (2000). "Appendix I: Indo-European Roots: leg-". The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 
  60. K. F. Johansen, "Logos" in Donald Zeyl (ed.), Encyclopedia of Classical Philosophy, Greenwood Press 1997.
  61. pp. 419ff., W. K. C. Guthrie, A History of Greek Philosophy, vol. 1, Cambridge University Press, 1962.
  62. Zeller, E. (1881). A History of Greek Philosophy. 2. London: Longmans, Green, And Co.. pp. 8. 
  63. DK B72, from Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 4.46
  64. from Hippolytus, Refutation of all Heresies, ix. 9
  65. Burnet, John (1930). Early Greek Philosophy. 4, 5 & 6 Soho Square, London, W.1, 1930: A. & C. Black, Ltd.. pp. 133. 
  66. DK B2, from Sextus Empiricus, Against the Mathematicians 7.133
  67. 67.0 67.1 Guthrie, The Greek Philosophers, p. 46
  68. 68.0 68.1 DK B50, from Hippolytus, Refutation of All Heresies 9.9.1
  69. 69.0 69.1 Max Bernhard Weinsten, Welt- und Lebensanschauungen, Hervorgegangen aus Religion, Philosophie und Naturerkenntnis ("World and Life Views, Emerging From Religion, Philosophy and Perception of Nature") (1910), p. 233
  70. Melchert, Norman (2006). The Great Conversation (5th ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-530682-8. 
  71. "Heraclitus | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy" (in en-US). 
  72. "Origins of European Philosophy". 
  73. Burnet, John (1930). Early Greek Philosophy. 4, 5 & 6 Soho Square, London, W.1: A. & C. Black, Ltd.. pp. 145. 
  74. Philosophy in the Tragic Age of the Greeks, pp. 50, 60
  75. 75.0 75.1 Chisholm, Hugh, ed (1911). "Heraclitus". Encyclopædia Britannica. 13 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 309–310. 
  76. 76.0 76.1 DK B8, from Aristotle Nicomachean Ethics 8.2 1155b4
  77. DK B62, from Hippolytus Refutation of All Heresies 9.10.6
  78. DK B26, from Clement Miscellanies 4.141.2
  79. DK B21, from Clement Miscellanies 3.21.1
  80. 80.0 80.1 The Greek Philosophers p. 44
  81. Eudemian Ethics 1235a25
  82. 82.0 82.1 Burnet, John (1930). Early Greek Philosophy. 4, 5 & 6 Soho Square, London, W.1: A. & C. Black, Ltd.. pp. 143–144. 
  83. DK B51, from Hippolytus, Refutation of All Heresies 9.9.2
  84. DK B54, from Hippolytus, Refutation of All Heresies 9.9.5
  85. DK B48, from Etymologium Magnum sv bios
  86. 86.0 86.1 Burnet, John (1930). Early Greek Philosophy. 4, 5 & 6 Soho Square, London, W.1: A. & C. Black, Ltd.. pp. 142–143. 
  87. DK B11, from Aristotle On the World 6 401a10
  88. DK B60, from Hippolytus, Refutation of All Heresies 9.10.4
  89. DK B59, from Hippolytus Refutation of All Heresies 9.10.4
  90. DK B31, from Clement Miscellanies 5.105 3,5
  91. Nakamura, Hajime (October 15, 1992). A Comparative History of Ideas. Motilal Banarsidass Publ.. ISBN 9788120810044. 
  93. B125, from Theophrastus On Vertigo 9
  94. Plotinus, Enneads 4.8.1
  95. Beris, A. N. and A. J. Giacomin, "πάντα ῥεῖ: Everything Flows", Cover Article, Applied Rheology, 24(5) (2014), pp. 1–13; Errata: In line 2 of each abstract, "παντα" should be "πάντα".
  96. Hermann Diels, Simplicius, In Aristotelis physicorum libros quattuor posteriores commentaria. Reimer, Berlin 1895 (Nachdruck: De Gruyter 1954), p. 1313.
  97. 97.0 97.1 Cratylus 401d.5 and 402a.8; cf. also Cratylus 439d.3.
  98. For the etymology see Watkins, Calvert (2000). "Appendix I: Indo-European Roots: sreu". 
  99. Burnet, John (1930). Early Greek Philosophy. 4, 5 & 6 Soho Square, London, W.1: A. & C. Black, Ltd.. pp. 145–146. 
  100. DK B91, from Plutarch On the E at Delphi 392b
  101. DK B12, from Arius Didymus, fr. 39.2, apud Eusebius, Praeparatio Evangelica, 15.20.2
  102. DK B49a, from Heraclitus Homericus, Homeric Questions 24
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Further reading

Editions and translations

Selected bibliography

  • Bakalis, Nikolaos (2005). Handbook of Greek Philosophy: From Thales to the Stoics: Analysis and Fragments. Trafford Publishing. pp. 26–45 under Heraclitus. ISBN 978-1-4120-4843-9. 
  • Barnes, Jonathan (1982). The Presocratic Philosophers [Revised Edition]. London & New York: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group. ISBN 978-0-415-05079-1. 
  • Bollack, Jean; Wismann, Heinz (1972) (in fr). Héraclite ou la séparation. Paris: Minuit. ISBN 9782707303851. 
  • Burnet, John (1892). Early Greek Philosophy. Kessinger Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7661-2826-2. "Early Greek philosophy."  First published in 1892, this book has had dozens of editions and has been used as a textbook for decades. The first edition is downloadable from Google Books
  • Dietz, Karl-Martin (2004): Metamorphosen des Geistes. Freies Geistesleben, Stuttgart 2004, Band 1: Prometheus der Vordenker: Vom göttlichen zum menschlichen Wissen. Band 2: Platon und Aristoteles. Das Erwachen des europäischen Denkens. Band 3: Heraklit von Ephesus und die Entwicklung der Individualität. Freies Geistesleben, Stuttgart, 2004, ISBN:3-7725-1300-X
  • Dilcher, Roman (1995). Studies in Heraclitus. Hildesheim: Olms. ISBN 978-3-487-09986-6. 
  • Fairbanks, Arthur (1898). The First Philosophers of Greece. New York: Scribner. 
  • Graham, D. W. (2002). "Heraclitus and Parmenides". in Caston, V.; Graham, D. W.. Presocratic Philosophy: Essays in Honour of Alexander Mourelatos. Aldershot: Ashgate. pp. 27–44. ISBN 978-0-7546-0502-7. 
  • Graham, D. W. (2008). "Heraclitus: Flux, Order, and Knowledge". in Curd, P.; Graham, D. W.. The Oxford Handbook of Presocratic Philosophy. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 169–188. ISBN 978-0-19-514687-5. 
  • Guthrie, W. K. C. (1962). A History of Greek Philosophy: The Earlier Presocratics and the Pythagoreans. 1. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 
  • Heidegger, Martin; Fink, Eugen; Seibert (translator), Charles H. (1993). Heraclitus Seminar. Evanston: Northwestern University Press. ISBN 978-0-8101-1067-0. . Transcript of seminar in which two German philosophers analyze and discuss Heraclitus' texts.
  • Hussey, Edward (1972). The Presocratics. New York: Scribner. ISBN 0684131188. 
  • Kirk, G. S.; Raven, J. E. (1957). The Pre-Socratic Philosophers: A Critical History with a Selection of Texts (2nd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 
  • Kahn, Charles H. (1979). The Art and Thought of Heraclitus. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN:9780511627392.
  • Lavine, T. Z. (1984). From Socrates to Sartre: The Philosophic Quest. New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc. (Bantam Books). pp. Chapter 2: Shadow and Substance; Section: Plato's Sources: The Pre–SocraticPhilosophers: Heraclitus and Parmenides. ISBN 978-0-553-25161-6. 
  • Wikisource-logo.svg Laërtius, Diogenes (1925). "Others: Heraclitus". Lives of the Eminent Philosophers. 2:9 (Two volume ed.). Loeb Classical Library. 
  • Luchte, James (2011). Early Greek Thought: Before the Dawn. London: Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 978-0567353313. 
  • Magnus, Magus; Fuchs, Wolfgang (introduction) (2010). Heraclitean Pride. Towson: Furniture Press Books. ISBN 978-0-9826299-2-5.  Creative re-creation of Heraclitus' lost book, from the fragments
  • McKirahan, R. D. (2011). Philosophy before Socrates, An Introduction With Text and Commentary. Indianapolis: Hackett. ISBN 978-1-60384-183-2. 
  • Mourelatos, Alexander, ed (1993). The Pre-Socratics : a collection of critical essays (Rev. ed.). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-02088-4. 
  • Naddaf, Gerard (2005). The Greek Concept of Nature. SUNY Press. ISBN 978-0791463734. 
  • Pyle, C. M. (1997). 'Democritus and Heraclitus: An Excursus on the Cover of this Book,' Milan and Lombardy in the Renaissance. Essays in Cultural History. Rome, La Fenice. (Istituto di Filologia Moderna, Università di Parma: Testi e Studi, Nuova Serie: Studi 1.) (Fortuna of the Laughing and Weeping Philosophers topos)
  • Rodziewicz, A. (2011). "Heraclitus historicus politicus". Studia Antyczne I Mediewistyczne 44: 5–35. ISSN 0039-3231. 
  • Schofield, Malcolm; Nussbaum, Martha Craven, eds (1982). Language and logos : studies in ancient Greek philosophy presented to G. E. L. Owen. Cambridge: Cambridge U.P.. ISBN 978-0-521-23640-9. 
  • Taylor, C. C. W. (ed.), Routledge History of Philosophy: From the Beginning to Plato, Vol. I, pp. 80–117. ISBN:0-203-02721-3 Master e-book ISBN, ISBN:0-203-05752-X (Adobe eReader Format) and ISBN:0-415-06272-1 (Print Edition).
  • Tarán, L. (1999). "337–378". Elenchos 20: 9–52. 
  • Vlastos, G. (1955). "On Heraclitus". American Journal of Philology 76 (4): 337–378. doi:10.2307/292270. 
  • Wiesehöfer, Josef (2003). "HeracliTUS OF EPHESUS – Encyclopaedia Iranica". Encyclopaedia Iranica, Vol. XII, Fasc. 2. pp. 201–202. 

External links