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the plane produces the body, from which sensation, perception, and intelligence gradually arise (emanation),
The individual is mortal in so far as he springs from the temporary union of corporeal elements, according to a ratio that varies within certain limits. When these limits are passed, proportion becomes disproportion, an unequal struggle, disease, decay, and death. But the ideal contents of the broken vase are secure against destruction. The soul is a fixed number in the eternal scale of things, a portion of the world-soul, a spark of the celestial fire, a thought of God. In this respect it is immortal; at death it enters upon a state that is superior or inferior to our present life or like it, according as the soul has lived for God, for the world, or for itself (metempsychosis and palingenesis).
Although the Pythagoreans, like Parmenides and Heraclitus, accentuate one of the constitutive elements of reality. and eventually negate concrete existence in order to exalt the Idea, they none the less introduce into Greek thought one of the most important factors in the solution of the Eleatic-Heraclitean problem: What is becoming or the process of perpetual change affirmed by the philosopher of Ephesus, and how can it be reconciled with the conception of the permanence and immutability of matter, which is advanced, no less authoritatively, by the school of Elea? We mean their theory of monads: the infinitesimal particles or physical points of which matter is made up. The subsequent systems all attempt to reconcile Elea and Ephesus by means of the physico-arithmetical theory of elementary units. Thought discovers in the atomistic hypothesis the middle term that unites Parmenides, who denies the great empirical fact of generation and change, and Heraclitus, who sacrifices being and its permanence to becoming, — thereby combining the two rival systems into a higher synthesis, — and lays the foundation for every rational explanation of the process of becoming. Hence
forth philosophy no longer regards matter as a continuous mass, the essential properties of which are incessantly transformed. It breaks them up into parts that are in themselves immutable, but which continually change their relative positions. As a consequence, there can be both perpetual change in the aspects of matter (bodies) and permanence in the essence and properties of matter. All change is reduced to change of place: mechanism.
Empedocles, Anaxagoras, and Democritus, who hold this theory, differ from each other as Heraclitus, Pythagoras, and Anaximander differ among themselves; that is to say, the first makes motion, the second, the Idea (vous), the third, matter, the keystone of his system.
§ 10. Empedocles EMPEDOCLES," of Agrigentum, in Sicily (450), who in consequence of his knowledge of medicine, the cures which he effected, and the mystery with which he loved to surround himself, was regarded as a magician and a god, is the author of a grand philosophical poem, the fragments of which seem to place him in an intermediate position between the Eleatics and the Ionians.
He sides with the Eleaties in his denial of becoming, as Heraclitus understanıls it; and approaches the Ionians in assuming the reality of motion. Matter is immutable in its essence, but bodies are in a state of constant change; their constituent elements are combined and separated in different proportions. We cannot conceive how fire as such can become air, air, water, and so on; but it is conceivable that the thousand different combinations of these elements should produce an infinite variety of bodies. Hence we must abandon the notion of elementary unity; we must cease deriving air from ether, water from air, earth from water, and consider these four elements as equally original,
1 Sext. Emp., Adv. math., VII., 123 ; Simplicius, In Phys., f. 24, f. 76; Plutarch, De plac. phil. ; Aristotle (Met., Phys., and Psychology), etc.;. Fragments of Empeilocles, collected by A. Pevron (Leipsie, 1810), S. Karsten (Reliquiæ phil vet. gr., vol. II., Amst., 1838), Th. 'Bergk (Leipsie, 1813), II. Stein (Bonn, 1852), Mullach (I., pp. 1 ff.), Ritter and Preller (pp. 125 ff.); [Burnet, pp. 218 ff.).
Have the four elements (otoixeia) movement of their own, or have they received it from a distinct principle, from a higher force? It is hard to separate the thought of the philosopher from his poetical phraseology, encumbered as it is by images and contradictions. We may, it seems, conclude from his poem that he no longer assumes hylozoism, the eternity of motion, and the original vitality of matter in the same sense as the Ionian physicists. He appears to explain movement by an immaterial principle, or rather, by two distinct immaterial principles, one of which unites the elements, while the other separates them: Love (finía, PLAÓTIS, otopyń) or the principle of union, and Discord velkos, épis, éxdos), the principle of separation. These two motive causes, which the imagination of the poet interprets as opposing divinities, alternately rule the elements. Love first unites them and forms them into a single spherical body (obalpos). Discord ensues and divides them; as a
(σφαίρος). result, the earth, the ocean, the atmosphere, the heavenly ether, and the stars arise. This period of primitive creation, which is the work of Discord, is followed by an epoch of struggle between Discord and Love, during which plants, animals, and men originate. Discord has, in separating the elements, prepared for each class of beings the habitation adapted to them, but it could not form the organisms themselves, which are a mixture of the four elements and consequently the work of the unifying principle, the product of Love reacting against the exclusive sway of An
1 Nowadays we should use the terms attraction and repulsion. The cosmogony of Empedocles contains the germ of Kant's.
tipathy. Although the two principles are now at war with each other, Love will ultimately gain the victory, and the four spheres of the world, which are at present separated, will, on the last day, be combined into a new chaos. This alternation between periods of separation and periods of union is a fatal necessity, and will go on forever.
Like Anaximander and Heraclitus before him, Empedocles explains the origin of beings by the process of evolution, but he explains it in his own way. Their organs, he believes, first arose as shapeless and disconnected rudiments, then disappeared and reappeared, separated and reunited, until, at last, they were adapted to each other and joined together for good. The first formation of these beings was the result of chance; but their preservation, proficiency, and development were due to the fitness which they ultimately attained. Our philosopher also regards individual existence as a doubtful good. He is, therefore, the precursor of Schopenhauer as well as of Darwin. With Heraclitus and Hippasus, he identifies the soul with the fiery principle. Discord detached it from the opaîpos, in which it originally existed, mixed with all the other beings. Like the rest, it will eventually return thither. Life is the expiation of the soul's desire for a separate existence. Passing through the stages of plant, animal, and man, it rises by degrees, and, by abstinences, fasts, and continent living, finally again becomes worthy of returning to God. The propagation of the human species is an evil, since it perpetuates the actual state of things and retards their return to the original unity.? Man is the image of the opaîpos. The four radical elements are represented in him: the earthly element, by the solid parts of the body; water, by its liquid parts; air, by the vital breath; fire, by the spirit. He is likewise affected by Love and Hate, His intellectual superiority follows from the fact that all the cosmical elements are concentrated in him. He perceives everything, because he is everything; he perceives solids because he is earth; liquids, because he is water; and so on. We have here a theory, or let us rather say, the beginnings of a theory of sensation that might be called homeopathic as distinguished from the allopathism of Anaxagoras. The latter derives sensation from the coming-together of contraries; according to Empedocles, sensation results from the contact of similars. The blood, in which the four elements are most closely mingled, is the seat of sensation and of the soul. This is proved by the fact that when we withdraw all the blood from the body we deprive it of sensation, consciousness, life, --- in a word, of soul. The health of a man depends on the composition of his blood. We are healthy and good when our blood is normally composed (uéon kpaois). The blood is sacred, and ought not to serve as nourishment. In these doctrines, which remind us of Egypt, Moses, Buddha, and Zoroaster, we see the dawn, as it were, of modern physiology.
1 Mullach, pp. 315, 316.
2 The same views are held by Anaximander, who regards death as an expiation; by Plato, who despises the world of sense, and eagerly desires the return to the realm of pure ideas; by Plotinus of Lycopolis, who is ashamed of his body and the manner in which he entered into the world. The religious conceptions of the fall, of original sin and expiation are familiar to Aryan Europe as well as to Asia.
In his theology, Empedocles conceals his naturalism under the traditional forms of mythology. He deifies in name only, not actually, like popular belief — the four elements, which he calls Zeus, Hera, Orcus, and Nestis, and the two motive principles, Love and Discord. But we find in Empedocles, alongside of his theological atomism and naturalized polytheism, Eleatic monism and the tendency to reduce elements and principles to a higher nnity, which is the only true God. Love is the principle of principles; the four elements are merely its agents, and Discord itself its indispensable accomplice: it is the inef.