Page:Early Greek philosophy by John Burnet, 3rd edition, 1920.djvu/211

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CHAPTER V

EMPEDOKLES OF AKRAGAS

97.Pluralism. The belief that all things are one was common to the early Ionians; but now Parmenides has shown that, if this one thing really is, we must give up the idea that it can take different forms. The senses, which present to us a world of change and multiplicity, are deceitful. There seemed to be no escape from his arguments, and so we find that from this time onwards all the thinkers in whose hands philosophy made progress abandoned the monistic hypothesis. Those who still held by it adopted a critical attitude, and confined themselves to a defence of the theory of Parmenides against the new views. Others taught the doctrine of Herakleitos in an exaggerated form; some continued to expound the systems of the early Milesians; but the leading men are all pluralists. The corporealist hypothesis had proved unable to bear the weight of a monistic structure.

98.Date of Empedokles. Empedokles was a citizen of Akragas in Sicily. He was the only native citizen of a Dorian state who plays an important part in the history of philosophy.[1] His father's name, according to the best accounts, was Meton.[2] His grandfather, also called Empedokles, had won a victory in the horse-race at Olympia in Ol. LXXI. (496–95 B.C.),[3] and
  1. See, however, Introd. § II (p. 3).
  2. Aet. i. 3, 20 (R. P. 164), Apollodoros ap. Diog. viii. 52 (R. P. 162). The details of the life of Empedokles are discussed, with a careful criticism of the sources, by Bidez, La Biographie d'Empedocle (Gand, 1894).
  3. For this we have the authority of Apollodoros (Diog. viii. 51, 52; R. P. 162), who follows the Olympic Victors of Eratosthenes, who followed Aristotle. Herakleides, in his Περὶ νόσων (see below, p. 200, n. 5), spoke of

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