Empedocles in his fragments tries to express being and not being, which is such a mysterious, larger than life issue that it is beyond articulation. Empedocles was a great pre-Socratic thinker who pioneered the principle of the four elements as the original roots of all being and the uniting of the four by love and their separation by strife. He illustrates to the reader his unique understanding of the world and his role in it. He believes in Gods and seems to be obsessed with portraying himself as one of the members of mount Olympus. He tries to develop a teacher and student relationship with his audience, attempting to answer the fundamental question of life through his fragments. Empedocles appears to have a reservoir of knowledge of physics and generally, of how the world works, for a person living in his century.
He may have personified the four elements of earth, air, fire and wind because it was necessary for him to make analogies. Empedocles needed these because he was trying to articulate the beginning and the beyond. This is something much bigger and grander than the human mind can conceive; therefore, language cannot express the tremendum or the mysterium fascias. He says in paragraph two, “thus these things are neither seen nor heard distinctly by men, nor comprehended by the mind. And thou, now that thou hast hither, shalt learn no more than what mortal mind has seen.” We may question that if the issues he writes about are not comprehend able to the mind then how does he know what he says is the truth? In his defense, he claims that he is merely an instrument to the Gods to convey their messages in a form compatible with the human understanding. Empedocles believed that the four elements of earth, air, fire and water were the origination of everything, and the mixing of the four caused everything to come into being.
ter> Sam Vaknin's Psychology, Philosophy, Economics and Foreign Affairs Web Sites The brain (and, by implication, the Mind) has been compared to the latest technological innovation in every generation. The computer metaphor is now in vogue. Computer hardware metaphors were replaced by software metaphors and, lately, by (neuronal) network metaphors. Such attempts to understand by comparison are ...
He believed that everything had cycles when the four were united by love there would be origination but when they were separated by strife this was destruction. The world moved in this cyclical motion with love and strife alternately moving into the centre while pushing the other out for as long as time existed. He exemplifies his beliefs in Gods when he refers to them in paragraph thirty-three, “Hear first the four roots of all things: bright Zeus, life-giving Hera (air), and Aidoneus (earth), and Nest is who moistens the springs of men with her tears.” He also appears to be obsessed with the idea of portraying himself as a God to society. He illustrates this in his writings in paragraph twenty-four, “cures for evil whatever they are, and protection against old age thou shalt learn, since for thee alone will I accomplish all these things. Here he claims to have the capacity to heal the sick and ailing. Empedocles also claims to have the power to control the winds and rain.
Again in paragraph twenty-four he says, “Thou shall break the power of the untiring winds which rising against the earth blow down the crops and destroy them; and, again, whenever thou wilt, thou shalt bring their blasts back; and thou shalt bring seasonable drought out of dark storm for men, and out of summer drought thou shalt bring streams pouring down from heaven to nurture the trees.” He stated having another god like quality of being able to bring the dead back to life. “And thou shalt lead out of Hades the spirit of a man that is dead.” Another reason that leads to my belief of his preoccupation with being a God is the myth of his suicide. Assuming that this myth was true, for him to kill himself at Mount Aetna so that people would believe that he was a God portrays him as a rash and disturbed individual in my eyes. Empedocles’ relationship with his audience seems to be a teacher to student relationship. He uses the language as if he is trying to impart knowledge that he has, or is trying to educate his audience about the meaning of life, the beginning and the beyond.
'The Stranger': Analysis Author: Albert Camus Pierre Palmer English II. Period #5 Date: 10/4/9 copyright, by Pierre Palmer I. Biographical Insights A. Albert Camus' cultures consist of being a novelist, literature and short story writer of many books. He wrote an essay on the state of Muslims in Algeria, causing him to lose his job and he moved to Paris. Albert Camus also joined the French ...
This also appears to be his call to write, to show humankind the entire picture of life and not just have them look at a little portion of life, this is not truly living. He writes to share his ideas of the concept of origination and of love and strife. Empedocles style of writing his ideas into poem form can be interpreted in many different ways. In his, time many of the great philosophers may have used this form of writing to effectively convey their messages. It is possible that he felt if he used this style of writing, then his writings would automatically have a higher level of importance and people would believe what he said to be the truth.
Some of his fragments were also written with a hint of arrogance. He appeared to look down at his audience by putting himself on a pedestal. In paragraph forty-five he says, “Fools! For they have no far-reaching studious thoughts who think that what was not before comes into being or that anything dies or perishes utterly.” However, this may have been a tactic to get people to realize the seriousness of his writings. Empedocles raises very deep, intellectual issues. His writings are very philosophical; therefore, there are no facts to critique whether his views are right or wrong. In my opinion, he does make very salient points and is very good at convincing the reader that what he says has some degree of truth behind it.
I think that his writings had a great impact on the world and therefore have some degree of importance; hence, the reason we are still studying his fragments almost twenty-five hundred years later.