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The origins of Western philosophy lie with a set of men whose extraordinary contributions date as far back as 600 BC Frequently they are identified as Presocratics because these truth-seekers are predecessors of Socrates the gifted Athenian thinker who greatly influenced the course of Western philosophy through his exceptional apprentice Plato Mere fragments of the work of the Presocratics remain Although limited information of their writing exists some portions of their books and allusions to their writings in other thinkers books provides us adequate knowledge of their ideas Horner 18 These men attempted to explain the true nature of reality Two of these Presocratics Heraclitus and Parmenides will be compared Each philosopher centered his argument around the perception of change At first glance the two theories appear in opposition yet in essence their overall conclusion is in accord Heraclitus an Ephesian had a reputation for writing in riddles and condensed epigrams concise and paradoxical sayings He penned a book although only minuscule portions of that work have been discovered For the preceding reasons he was known as Heraclitus the obscure during Roman times Horner 18 Heraclitus taught that reality is in a constant flux continuously moving One of his most well known sayings has oftentimes been misquoted as You cannot step into the same river twice The actual aphorism reads as follows All things come into being though opposition and are all in flux like a river Robinson 89 In either manner stated both reflect the notion of reality being in a state of incessant metamorphosis and constant antagonism First the change aspect will be analyzed The continuation of Heraclitus above thought Upon those who step into the same river flow other and yet other waters illustrates the message more clearly Robinson 91 This notion conveys that although man recognizes the river to be the same
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