Manual Archaic Logic. Symbol and Structure in Heraclitus, Parmenides and Empedocles

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Here the poet, inspired by the Muses, establishes a primal opposition between Chaos and the phenomenological world that is the structured system of gods he creates. I shall argue that Eros is heuristic in the sense that it will act as the linking, active member of all future marriages.

Archaic Logic: Symbol and Structure in Heraclitus, Parmenides and Empedocles

This threesome, however, is only formal; the genealogical patterning of the work begins with the opposition of Earth and Heaven. The oppositional structures in the Theogony are many-layered and carefully worked out. Placed against the movement from the first to the third generation, they indicate a dialectic on a very basic level. I shall discuss these structures and point out the dialect that leads to a third generation in which violent oppositional juxtaposition succumbs to a tripartite, tensed structure.

Here the third term has become accepted consciously into the structure of the universe. The symbolic nature of the Theogony, I shall argue, finds its greatest and most significant expression at that point where Zeus establishes his reign. The length of times separating Heaven and Tartarus is especially interesting because the spatial and temporal divisions are obviously mythical. The opposition of Heaven and Tartarus the opposition between the Olympians and their enemies is structurally and symbolically represented by the addition of a third term Earth and by a "temporal" equation that states that Heaven is to Earth as Earth is to Tartarus.

The negative forces within the universe remain opposed to the positive ones within a structure made possible by the addition of a third term. This type of structuring is identical in the thought patterns of Heraclitus. Like Pindar he speaks from an almost oracular point of view, but this does not mean necessarily that he is "obscure". The fragments of Heraclitus may be divided into the following groups with admitted cross references: 1 descriptions of the Logos 2 the non-obvious nature of the realm of the Logos 3 descriptions, consequently, of a Subjective Inner Core that establishes man as a measure or ground of all things 4 logical symbols that are clearly grounded in lyric and epic 5 logical opposition and tensioned polarity that tends to culminate in a three-termed or proportional logic, representing the structure of the Logos itself.

The point I shall prove is that everything in Heraclitian thought is subordinated to the intuition or comprehension of the Logos. This Logos is revealed to man both through its tripartite logical structure and its more purely symbolic representation as fire which is a symbol of the polar, oppositional nature of the world, much in the same sense as is the fall of the anvil in Hesiod, except here its affective qualities, its color and brightness, resemble most of all lyric phenomena.

Logically Heraclitus makes use of a third term which binds opposites.


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Most of his oppositions themselves imply such a connection. Beneath the movement of these opposites there lies an unchanging third or complete state the Logos. Parmenides too describes a third state and maintains an even stricter oppositional logic so strict that one must be careful in order to avoid misunderstanding his writings.

Oddly enough or perhaps not so if one would incorrectly prefer to limit archaic thought to more purely "poetic" forms the proem to his work is more easily comprehensible from a symbolic than from a purely logical point of view. Here we are told of the path along which Parmenides is driven by the goddesses - perhaps the same "right road to truth" we find in Pindar's Third Pythian - This appears also in Heraclitus as the phenomenon that is the same both up and down The primary opposition of Day and Night and the double keys of indicate the polar nature of the logic, as does the almost Hesiodic gaping chasm beyond the doors of the House of Night.

Then too there is a great deal of circular imagery that eventually represents itself in the almost perfect mandala symbol of fragment The main body of the poem presents some problems because, while the strict dualistic structural and logical opposition between Being and Non-Being is maintained throughout, there seems to be a great emphasis on the Way of Being and at times a direct rejection of oppositional thinking on a substantive level.

In the sixth fragment Parmenides attacks those men who say and y are the same and not the same as muddle-headed boobies. Is this an attack on Heraclitus? It could be an attack on what Parmenides thought Heraclitus said, but it is my opinion that Heraclitus did indeed posit a third area or term. Parmenides attacks dualistic thinking because mere dualism does not.

For in the end the similarities between the two philosophers are too striking to maintain that there existed a basic difference in their thought.

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As it was in the case of Heraclitus' Logos so it is with Parmenides' Being. In Parmenides this seeming opposition is, I shall argue, of necessity half valid because it partakes of Light the positive phenomenon we encounter in the proem towards which Parmenides moves.

In other words there is a mortal and logical duality in the universe behind which, as a third term, lies Being in a structured, unmoving form. There is, then, in this view very little difference between the basic thought patterns of Heraclitus and Parmenides. Nor does Empedocles deviate appreciably from the established, archaic structures and symbols. His usages are, in fact, the most conscious, detailed, and hence, in a sense, objective.

Examples of the archaic mentality may be found in both the On Nature and the Purifications, hence, one may avoid a critical problem that has befuddled scholars for years. What is most interesting is the great duplication of language that occurs between this poet-philosopher and Heraclitus and Parmenides a clear indication that in Empedocles we might be faced with the acme of the archaic, pre-Socratic mentality.

In terms of the basic structural idea underlying the Empedoclian cosmic cycle, I shall rely heavily upon fragment 17, an extended statement whose very form assumes the dyadic and then tripartite structure of the whole. Empedocles' dynamic principle of the , with all of its earlier connotations in epic and lyric poetry, assumes an all-important role in any consideration of archaic structure. Empedocles goes to great lengths to describe the underlying structural idea of his thought. Parallels in structural language between Parmenides and himself are abundant, just as they are between Heraclitus and himself.

Yet, always the language and descriptions are more exact in the latest of the three. This phenomenon is particularly true when one considers Empedocles' use of symbols. His structuring of the cosmos into its component elements is the most obvious example of the close relationship between symbolic and structural characteristics in archaic thought and surely must be considered carefully in terms of the startling similarities it possesses to Heraclitus' own cosmic descriptions. Yet, any symbolic study of Empedocles must delve much further than a comparison of cosmic descriptions, for in this poet-philosopher's extant.

It was Empedocles whose writings first reveal the symbolic element as an and hence consciously tie together thought and geometry in order to reveal a basic archaic characteristic o f mind one which was quite obviously still at work in Plato. The three great pre-Socratics reflect, then, strikingly similar usages and representations o f language. One may, of course, indicate specific areas o f difference but never over the obvious archaic similarities that is, the patterns and symbols that make up archaic logic.

NOTES 1. Jung and W. Synchronicity may take three forms: "a The coincidence of a certain psychic content with a corresponding objective process which is perceived to take place simultaneously b The coincidence of a subjective psychic state with a phantasm dream or vision which later turns out to be a more or less faithful reflection of a 'synchronistic', objective event that took place more or less simultaneously, but at a distance c The same, except that the event perceived takes place in the future and is represented in the present only by a phantasm that corresponds to it" p.

It forms a well-articulated system, and is in this respect independent of that other system which constitutes science, except for the purely formal analogy which brings them together and makes the former a sort of metaphorical expression of the latter". Levi-Strauss, The Savage Mind, p.

The mind passes from empirical diversity to conceptual simplicity and then from conceptual simplicity to meaningful synthesis". The volume's second part entitled "Myth as a Form of Intuition. Structure and Articulation of the World of Time and Space in the Mythical Consciousness" is especially useful to anyone studying the archaic configuration of mind. This statement on first reading could for some border on the absurd; yet, the question of what kind of relationship there is between elements in archaic thought is an important one.

Cassirer's statement here simply indicates that the mode of thought we shall later describe as the "appositional m o d e " necessitates a relationship of what I shall call in the next chapter "mutual association" or partial identity rather than cause and effect. Cassirer, op. Unless noted, this essay makes general use of readings from the following texts: for the pre-Socratics, H. Diels' andW. Kranz 'Fragmente der Vorsokratiker Zrich ; for the lyric and elegiac poets, M. West's Lambi et Elegi Graeci, vis. I and II Oxford and ; D.

Loebel's and D. Snell's Bacchylides Leipzig All other readings are from the most recent Oxford Classical Texts of the particular author. Cassirer, II. Levi-Strauss, op. Snell, op. Cassirer, I. He sees the dual as an expression within the phenomenological realm: "Whereas most grammarians had hitherto regarded it [the Dual] as mere ballast, as a useless linguistic refinement, he [Humboldt] traced it to a twofold source, subjective and objective, and an original signification which he found to be partly sensuous and partly intellectual.

As the idea of the numerical series, as a whole constructed according to a strictly unitary principle, gains ground, the particular number ceases t o represent a specific content and becomes a mere member of the series, equivalent to other members".


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He provides the interesting example of II. Schwyzer, op. Wackernagel, op. So im Altindischen in mehreren Formen und im Altiranischen". The expression "privative" interestingly enough comes to us via Aristotle and Cicero. One could speculate that although words compounded with the alpha-prefix are in use at all times in the language, the meaning of the phenomenon is revealed more clearly in the earlier literature, for here it is easier to argue that an alpha-privative somehow includes its opposite the positive.

Its compounded nature supports this argument. It originated, it seems, in compounds of the bahuvrihi type Hjalmur Frisk, Griechisches Etymologisches Wrterbuch [Heidelberg ], 1. Thus, means 'no-child-having, without child', or rather 'child not there'. I do not find Moorhouse's argument convincing, for the fact still remains that the privative is separative in intent and very likely, therefore, in origin.

The paradox is, of course, that we are faced with a linguistic peculiarity that is most probably separative in meaning but additive in construction and hence possibly additive in meaning too. Or, to put the idea in another way, is not the positive both present and implied in compounds of this nature? Henri Bergson in his Creative Evolution New York describes well the additive function of a negating particle or idea: " T o represent the object A non-existent can only consist, therefore, in adding something to the idea of this object: we add to it, in fact, the idea of an exclusion of this particular object by actual reality in general.

To think the object A as non-existent is first to think the object and consequently t o think it existent; it is then to think that another reality, with which it is incompatible, supplants i t " p.

Parmenides and the Metaphysical Turn

I am prone to argue that the formation of negatives with alpha-privatives involves not only a disjunction of two phenomena but also their nondifferentiation or identity. It all lies in the basic " d u a l " nature of the language. In the case of alpha-privatives, this unusual structure reveals itself most clearly, I should argue, in those expressions containing the close linking of the privative and its unprefixed positive e. Van Groningen, op. En constituant un recueil, l'auteur ne fait, tout au plus, que la moitie de son devoir: il choisit des elements. Mais il neglige absolument de les ordonner, de les raccorder.

Chaque piece est contigue une autre, mais n'y est pas reliee. Le tout n'est que la somme d'une addition qui aurait pu etre plus grande ou plus petite. Son unite est tres faible; eile n'a rien d'organique". La methode etiologique si frequente dans la pensee archaique grecque - et encore longtemps apres tant chez les philosophes que chez les narrateurs, n'a rien qui doive etonner. Le contraire serait remarquable. II y a, dans chaque ouvrage, un effort la coherence, puisqu'il se presente, materiellement dej, comme une entite distincte. A nous la tche de determiner les procedes que cet effort met en action, de montier par quels moyens la juxtaposition se transforme plus ou moins en unite".

Meillet et Vendryes, Trait de grammaire comparee des langues classiques Paris , Ch. Here is one example Thornton and Thornton pp. Four lines follow describing that blissful abode of the gods. The passage ends by taking up the thread of the action through a literal repetition of part of line 'thither went off the Owl-eyed one when she had told the maiden'.

At the mention of Olympus, the poet halts in his narrative, and allows all that is held in the idea of 'Olympus' to unfold, feature by feature: no storms, no rain, no snow, but clear sky, unclouded, a white radiancy. This is cast in the form of a relative clause, 'where, they say, is the gods' seat unshakeable in all eternity', a three-barrelled independent clause, 'neither is it shaken by storms, nor even wetted by rain, nor covered with snow', a contrasted clause, 'but clear sky is spread out', with an adjective 'unclouded' in apposition to 'clear sky', and an independent clause, further expanding on 'unclouded', 'and a white radiance is over it all'.

The effect of such piling-up of expressions is great intensity of perceptual vividness. The whole is rounded off by a reference to the blessed life of the gods in this place, the line being connected by the demonstrative 'on it' or 'there' which refers back to line With the mention of the blissful life of the gods on Olympus 46 we return to the initial mention of Olympus With Athena's departure 47 we return to our initial statement The form of the whole is a chiasmus, viz. Chiasmus is the natural outcome of the appositional mode of thought and expression at this early stage".

In the present paragraph I make use of many of their comments and examples. Thornton and Thornton, op. John F. Diehl Anthologia Lyrica Graeca [Leipzig ], Metrical consideration tends to support KOllkri over. My preference for lies in the fact that it strikes me as an adjective peculiarly descriptive in terms of the way the archaic imagination might work: the sun moves along the curve of its "hollow bed" in its arc through the heavens.

The idea of the heavens as a kind of hollow vessel might underscore a parallel with the common usage of the adjective with "ship". Note also Stesichorus' reference to the "golden globet of the sun" Note also Stesichorus' reference to the "golden goblet of the sun". The term for symbol in Greek is. It is always surrounded by an aura of the cosmic, supernatural, affective, or we should say, I think, "metaphysical" or "other worldly". The Homeric Hymns, as one might expect, are pregnant with such phenomena. In the Hymn to Dionysus, for instance, symbols are linked directly to the various forms of the god.

In the midst of the confused crew Dionysus shows forth as a shaggy-necked, raving bear. Loud he roared. Straight-off In mid-ship he made a shaggy bear, showing forth these his. They are immediate and startling. They also possess no matter or substance or that could possibly be gauged by Aristotelian cause and effect. These things are terrifying, and it is not surprising that they fill the crew with fear Earlier these men are literally inundated by Dionysus in his symbolic form of wine, while the symbol of the ivy-vine curls about the mast, blossoming flowers and berries and wafting the strange, sweet smells of ambrosia These events are untoward.

They are all wondrous works epya 34 of the god, and again, as it is in the case of the vine, they defy Aristotelian time and space; the symbol is immediate, terrifying, and in a sense twofold or dyadic: in a blink of an eye the vine stretches out "here and here" ' These miraculously fall away, intertwine and easily peia - grow to cover the wild cattle. Herein lies the affective power of Hermes' godhead - that same affective power of all symbolic phenomena. Hermes' activities and powers are in no ordinary context.

Their meaning is symbolic; they deal with his. Note that in the Hymn to the Dioscuri, the demi-gods become stars, powerful and beautiful symbols for sailors Here at last we move into the symbolic realm of light, an area of unusual perception, that finds expression at important junctures in the Homeric Hymns. This is especially true in terms of fire - a symbol employed directly by Heraclitus, Parmenides, and Empedocles. Hermes' eyes, for instance, twinkle fire ; this fire is not material in any way, but affective and, therefore, potentially symbolic.

Nor is it unimportant that one of the symbolic works of the god is the discovery of itself h. Fire occupies a symbolic realm. It is a-material and symbolic here, just as it is in the Hymn to Demeter where the goddess deifies Demophon in the might of fire and produces by this act a great wonder in those who watch him grow In the Hymn to Pythian Apollo, Apollo reveals his godhead by the sudden brightness of the flame in his tripod.

Divine splendor is immediately connected with light light that is no material concept, but a direct, affective, and symbolic representation of the archaic mentality. Examples of such symbolism are by no means absent from the Hymn to Aphrodite. Before appearing to Anchises, the goddess surrounds herself with heavenly oils, filled with an unearthly, ambrosial fragrance, and dresses herself in golden costume.

Her fragrance and her dress are direct symbols of her godhead, and it is the symbolic power of her shining ornamentation and dress et' that Anchises later removes before they lie together a mortal with an immortal. It is not without purpose that the poet notes her dressing once more ' ' - and then describes her in her godlike height another example of a mythical perception of space. Her beauty is unearthly - This "bigger-than-life" appearance of a god is not without parallel.

Demeter in her hymn reveals herself in a similar way : beauty spreads about her as she transmutes her size and shape? In both cases the affective quality of the goddess as symbol overcomes normal spatial dimensions and places these goddesses in a realm far outside Aristotelian time and space. No, it is the coupling of this divine symbol, this , with Anchises, the human symbol , that produces the desired intermediation between opposites and moves symbolism into a logical structure.

The relationship between men and gods is a logical problem. Since Plato it has received a complex explanation in terms of some kind of hierarchy or intermediation between a higher and lower order, sometimes through the central figure of a Christ. In early Greek, however, the explanation lies in an extensive use of the opposition between mortal and immortal. The general oppositions between these two primary spheres may be extended into pairs of words related to one side and the other, although generally at least one of the two opposing phenomena will be a form of either or.

The epic poets employ this cultural opposition to reveal a deceptively simple unity that in fact is a unity of two mutually interacting and identical opposites. There is a principle of "mixture" at work in this basic linguistic and cognitive unity a principle we shall easily see in Empedocles which Plato rejected when he deemed the actual intercourse between men and gods to be no longer of logical concern, arguing instead for an e. The interesting point is, of course, that this archaic concept and experience arose directly from the dyadic and oppositional properties of the Greek language.

The Homeric Hymns are the natural place to turn in any investigation of men and gods because they deal directly both in language and in content with the relationship between the two. The Hymn to Demeter, for instance, tells of Demeter's wanderings on earth in her sorrow for the loss of Persephone. She nurses a mortal child, Demophon as if he were an "offspring of a god" et deo The child himself belongs to both worlds, perhaps as Persephone will belong to two.

Demeter in mortal form moves actively within the realm of mortals; she is capable of transferring mortals into a condition of immortality. Although men and gods are antipodal linguistically, they also share a third realm where they may be identical. The Hymn to Hermes is particularly rich in this type of correlation.

Although it deals primarily with the two gods, Apollo and Hermes, there is a clear indication that Hermes inhabits the realms of men and gods equally. He is compared to both men and gods in his degree of delusiveness Apollo first considers the lyre, that invention of Hermes which will soon be a. Hermes, like Demeter, consorts with both gods and men ' ye It is significant, I think, that this allimportant description oi the god lies in the very last lines of the hymn.

The gods of the Homeric Hymns are always characterized, as one might expect, by some kind of strong relationship to men. They can be a source of joy to all mortals as is Apollo a h. They also may be ruled by men. Take, for instance, Pan's servitude in the form of a shepherd to a mortal: "there, even though he was a god, he would tend the sheep with dry, rough hair at the place of a mortal man" evi? Pan There is, in other words, a strong and necessary orientation of each realm towards its opposite an orientation that should be considered not so much in terms of an authoritative Platonic or Christian hierarchy but more in terms of a third "space" of mixture, interaction, and experience in which the opposing phenomena react to and experience a world in identical ways.

From this "mixture" of men and gods there arises the genealogies that structure the world. Genealogy is simply another, more extended expression of a seminal opposition. As a logical structure, genealogy is developed in Hesiod's Theogony, but we must note first that the whole logical problem involved in "genealogy" and "mixture" is inherent in the Hymns, not only in a general sense as I have indicated above, but in one very particular way that shows how the primary linguistic opposition of I - patterns a third realm and establishes a primary genealogy.

I speak of the Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite. In the figure of Aphrodite, the goddess, in her antipodal, the mortal Anchises, and in their particular act of love the literary and the linguistic coalesce to provide the pattern of a third realm and a third term. The condition let me state again is derived from the seminal opposition of c I -.

This is the "myth" of the hymn: Aphrodite, at last forced by Zeus to mate with a mortal man, meets, lies with, and departs from the hero in clear forms of ritual action. The hymn is concerned literally with the epya "works" and the ' "sweet desire" of Aphrodite a "sweet desire" that mediates between men and gods and creates a common realm.

She reaffirms the meaning of their meeting, the intercourse of man and god, in three short tales set in the middle of the long Aeneas-narrative: Zeus' rape of Ganymede, Eos' rape of Tithonus, and the more central story of the nymphs who are to care for Aeneas. Both of the first two stories bear directly on the logic of the situation at hand. The internal rhyme ea creates a neat artistic link between the mortal and the immortal.

Ganymede is presented consistently in terms of his reciprocal relationship with the : he is their servant; on the other hand, he is honored by them In other words, the boy moves in a sphere that is peculiarly related to immortality, and, as a mortal, he attains two qualities normally reserved for the gods: he is both immortal and unaging eoi OeoCaiv - Man and goddess appear together. Tithonus, an ancestor of Anchises, is, like him, described as comparable to the immortals emeceXou Yet, Aphrodite hastens to inform Anchises that the parallelism of men and gods does not always hold: Dawn does not ask Zeus to make Tithonus ageless, and hence he withers away to a mere sound.

She asks only that he be identified with immortality in deathlessness and the prerogative of living forever r' eivai The same line is put into the mouth of Aphrodite at She would not identify mortality and immortality in this way, nor would she offer the prerogatives of immortality Zeus confers upon Ganymede. In the cases of Tithonus and Anchises, the characteristics of men and gods form a realm of action or experience in which the antipodals retain a portion of their own identity at all times.

The point, however, is that in the "mixing" they are inseparable, wholly one, and identical. The third story is perhaps more central to our investigation. We are told of a set of nature goddesses or nymphs who, although eating the food of the gods and partaking of their dances, indeed die As goddesses they act as the intermediaries and third terms between any possibly separate realms of men and gods and significantly have as their charge Aeneas, the intermediation between Anchises and Aphrodite that is, between mortal and immortal.

Like Ganymede and Tithonus, they are examples of existence or experience both mortal and immortal. Unlike the two, they seem more to approximate mortality: they die. The Hymn to Aphrodite, I repeat, is a study of a logical structure obtained from the mixing of these two antipodal terms. This structure is indicated most clearly not only in the usage and juxtaposition of words referring to each of the two opposing spheres, but also especially in the juxtaposition of the forms of and themselves. The separate appearance of either one or the other of these words exposes the general, logical content of the work and supports the more formal juxtapositions of significant terms.

Regard how this hymn is structured by a number of key juxtapositions. This one line also draws a distinction between the meaning of these shorter hymns and the body of the narration insofar as it includes all beings mortal or immortal who are particularized in the hymn by the figures of Anchises and Aphrodite.

It is significant that the goddesses of the preceding three hymns are not susceptible to the works of Aphrodite and form an opposition of their own to Aphrodite herself. Why do you liken me to the immortals? No, I am really a mortal woman" Here is the first real example of a possible state of intermediation between opposites.

Aphrodite denies her godhead and touches upon the affairs of men. The meeting point between realms, or intermediation in an active sense, is of course the act of love. Aphrodite's denial of her divinity is very important to the meaning of the poem since it effectively provides her an entree for a short time at least into a realm also inhabited by mortals, just as it allows the mortal contact with the god.

Note the close proximity of the word ' ' , a phenomenon that occurs in lines two and three and, if Porter be correct, is in itself one of the thematic repetitions of the poem. It is also important that Anchises states he will bed the goddess, gods and men willing or no o ' 'e The phrase in effect sanctions the marriage. The line is placed in the structure of the poem just before the episodes of Ganymede and Tithonus, two mortals as desired by gods as Anchises is by Aphrodite.

It signals the close of the main body of narration. The nymphs do after all, as I have said, represent a third term of men and gods. The poem extends for 25 more lines in which Aphrodite dictates the precautions that must surround the ultimate genealogical intermediator: Aeneas. The Hymn to Aphrodite is a statement about the relationship of men and gods in a realm where they become identical. The specific quality of this realm is sexual. It is this "sweet" sexual mixing between Anchises and Aphrodite that forms the necessary state behind the joining and intermediation of the two opposite realms.

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Although Eros is not specifically mentioned, it is indeed this sexual phenomenon under another name that is acting as the intermediating principle. The line is surely direct between the active ' in this hymn and Eros as a similar third, intermediating principle in Hesiod. The principle remains in Heraclitus, Parmenides, and Empedocles. There is a strict parallelism between words coupled with the exact switching of sexes.

The identifying area is signified by compound forms of the verb iywi which create a symmetrical, all-inclusive statement through an almost geometrical structuring and parallelism of opposites. Anchises ennobles his race; Aphrodite is degraded among the gods. It is the third element that has, in effect, made more clear the nature of the opposition by creating a common area in which the two opposing members become dual and therefore identical.

In Hesiod's Theogony Aphrodite takes her place in the genealogical scheme of things some distance away from the beginning of the universe, but Eros does not. It is Eros that best typifies the underlying third term in a poem riddled with opposition. The Theogony is divided into a proem and main body The proem itself anticipates the oppositional structuring of the poem proper: a general apostrophe to the Muses [A'] is divided into an alternation between a more circumscribed apostrophe of, or tale of, the Muses [a], on the one hand, and the genealogical nature of their song [b or -a in the sense of "the other" ], on the other.

What is important to note is that throughout a general context that is an apostrophe to the Muses runs a dyadic division between a more particular apostrophe and a strong emphasis on the genealogical content of the Muses' song especially in terms of Zeus' reign. It is, of course, this reign that is going to form the culmination of the poem proper.

Hesiod opens his poem with an address to the Heliconian Muses, those divine figures who veiled in mist first sing their own, and consequently Hesiod's song in praise of Zeus They laud the Olympian gods , and so before the Theogony has run 15 lines, Hesiod has introduced the third generation of gods and their offspring, that is the Olympians: Zeus, Hera, Athena, Apollo, Artemis, and Poseidon. There follows, then, a set of famous daughters Themis, Aphrodite, and Hebe - that acts as a peculiar kind of filial transition to the previous generation: Dione, Leto, Iapetus, Cronos , a set of these Titan's children: Eos, Helios, Selene 19 , and finally part of the first generation itself and two important offspring: Earth, Ocean, and Night Zeus and the Olympians are first because they are the culmination or third rule of the poem as a whole.

It is with them that the dialectic of revenge ends and Hesiod establishes a comprehensive, balanced universe one derived by a process involving the oppositional wear and tear between generations. We are dealing with a process that possesses strong logical overtones. From the beginning the two sexual and cosmological polarities, Earth and Heaven, beget the gods. The Muses celebrate this genealogy first 4 3 4 6. Second they sing of Zeus, father of gods and men 4 7 4 9 - once again providing us with a phrase pregnant with logical and genealogical possibilities: abre , ' The opposition between men and gods occurs in the Theogony as it did in the Hymn to Aphrodite, and although it is not a thematic structuring device in the later work, it does appear in the terms of the same formal and important juxtaposition I discussed in Chapter l.

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Archaic Logic : Symbol and Structure in Heraclitus, Parmenides and Empedocles

Rhetorica ad Herennium. Science Awakening. Arnold Dresden Vol. Teubner Nahm, Milton C. Selections from Early Greek Philosophy 4th ed. Sextus Empiricus: Against the Logicians. Willard R. Verdenius, and J. To browse Academia. Skip to main content. You're using an out-of-date version of Internet Explorer. By using our site, you agree to our collection of information through the use of cookies.

To learn more, view our Privacy Policy. Log In Sign Up. Mythical structures in Empedocles academia. Mark Lamarre. Mythical structures in Empedocles. During that period, there was a complex, dynamic interaction between muthos and logos as a nascent rational tendency was emerging with the birth of philosophy. The premises that they are based on albeit not founded on rational logic follow a consistent logical pattern Adkins Taking the symbolic logic theories of Ernst Cassirer, he notices a symbolic dyadic structure based on notions of opposites and a unifying third term.

The Spartan poet Alcman BC presents a theogonic poem that has more abstract concepts related to the formation of primal substances With the emergence of Presocratic philosophy, beginning with the Milesian school, theogonical speculation gives way to natural cosmological speculation. However the muthos of the theogonies and the logos of the Presocratics, in certain instances were not mutually incompatible. The example of the Derveni papyrus has an Orphic cosmogony accompanied by exegetical commentary containing physical explanations in terms reminiscent of Anaximander, Diogenes and Heraclitus Laks The Theogony is therefore viewed as an allegory that contains explanations of the causes of natural phenomena.

It could be considered that there subsisted a basic world view generally adopted by most of the Presocratics that reflected an established mythically-influenced world view. Pythagoras himself seems to have borrowed the outlines of his cosmology from the Milesian physicists. The divine agencies in these earlier cosmologies have simply been replaced by the more "conceptual" agencies of Love, Hate, Nous, the Unlimited, and so on. This separating out finally leads to the disposition of the great elemental masses constituting the world-order, and the formation of the heavenly bodies.

His work is a whole, in which religion, poetry, and philosophy are indissolubly united. To give an idea of how Empedocles articulates the elements of muthos and logos in his system, 17 eleven fragments have been chosen in an attempt to illustrate the basic aspects of his system with an attention to mythical aspects: 18 1- For if, immortal muse, for the sake of any ephemeral creature, [it has pleased you] to let our concerns pass through your thought, answer my prayers again now, Calliopeia, as I reveal a good discourse about the blessed gods , Inwood It is traditional among poets to call to the Muses the nine goddesses who presided over the arts, governed by Apollo.

Calliopeia is the muse who presides over epic poetry. Heraclitus, then, said Sextus Diels-Kranz A i6, vol. This class also contains the pluralists who came after, such as Empedocles and Anaxagoras. Return to the One. Love represents the force of unity of bringing things together, mixing the four elements 22 to form the universe. A certain resemblance of Love and Strife and the relationship between Aphrodite and Ares in Homeric myth is perhaps noticeable. They are said to have had a daughter named Harmonia.

The relation to the Homeric myth had been noted by the ancient mythographer Heraclitus ca. AD : For Homer seems to confirm the dogmas of the Sicilian school and the doctrine of Empedocles by calling strife neikos Ares and love philia Aphrodite. And he brings them into his poem, though they were originally at variance, united together after their ancient rivalry philoneikia in one accord.

Burkert notices a resemblance to a mythical dualism from Iranian mythology. The activation of limbs possibly refers to the manifestation of physical elements, the material world thus being equated with embodiment. It is given a certain descriptive characterization, perhaps evoking the god Hermes. Primavesi posits the Empedocles is referring to Apollo. A4, b The Love of Empedocles has the same function of uniting unlike or opposite elements.

This is a piece of mythology that seems to be unnecessary in the system: modern interpreters would prefer to have continuous interaction between the two principles, instead of the phases of a cycle and a sudden jump to power. Burkert From these arose blood and the various forms of flesh. In general, the elements are related to traditional attributes of the corresponding divinity. Zeus and Hera form a couple; and if the Sicilian tradition of equating Nestis with Persephone is considered Kingsley , the couple of Hades and Persephone is established.

Another contrasting opposition, between celestial couple and underworld couple, could be observed. The elements of Empedocles are said to each have their own domain. This notion can be seen in part in Homeric myth, where the three brothers Zeus, Poseidon and Hades preside over the celestial, terrestrial, and underworld regions respectively. There are similar lists of conceptual personifications in Hesiod Theogony, for example, the progeny of Night , the main difference being that Empedocles presents them as opposites, thus furnishing a philosophical sense of balance into his system.

The exile of the daimon spirit is due to an original sin. Symbolically, the fall represents the incarnation of the soul in the material world, a fall from grace.