Changeability of the Reality in Philosophy | Free Essay Example

Changeability of the Reality in Philosophy

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According to Heraclitus, the main and most important trait of the reality was its changeability. He states that permanence was nothing but illusion (Moore & Bruder, 2010). Though, Heraclitus believed that the changes in the universe were not accidental, but determined by logos, the cosmic order. He spoke about the unity of opposite. The explored the changeability of the nature of reality, and the process of remaining the same through the changes.

The views of Empedocles are different, he believed that the reality is stable and permanent, yet he accepted that the changes within it happen all the time. Empedocles named four basic elements compiling all objects; they were earth, fire, water and air. He also tried to explain the forces that cause changes, these were love and strife. Besides, Empedocles taught that the changes of objects of experience are determined by the relationships and qualities of their basic particles. This idea resembles the approaches of modern sciences.

Anaximander explained the objects as having one original source, which the philosopher considered an indeterminate and boundless element (Moore & Bruder, 2010). According to his idea, all the things in the universe appeared from some kind of a basic matter, this matter was more elementary than the particles like water, it was ageless and infinite and it gave birth to everything. This idea is close to modern theory of the big bang.

Parmenides was not involved into the search of a basic matter or naming the particles. He applied logic to acknowledge the nature of being. Parmenides’ idea of the being as a whole matches the views of Heraclitus. Yet, Parmenides explained that the being cannot change simply because the only change that can happen to the being is that it turns into the non-being, meaning it stops to exist. Ergo, being is unchangeable and this belief contradicts the opinion of Heraclitus. These two philosophers used different tactics and tools to understand the universe.

Protagoras stated that “the man is the measure of all things”(Moore & Bruder, 2010). He meant that every idea is someone’s perception; every view belongs to a person, this theory noted that the views of each person are equally valuable. According to Protagoras, absolute knowledge does not exist. This theory is still used widely in the philosophical arguments and positions.

Pythagoras is well known for his rational approach. This philosopher saw a tight connection between things and numbers. According to Pythagoras everything in the universe, all of the objects and things could be sequenced and counted, there is a mathematical order to everything. He studied things from the points of view of mathematical relationships and proportions.

True harmony and understanding of nature, according to Pythagoras, was hidden in the numbers that determine the things. Philosophical approach combined with math served as the basis of modern sciences.

Anaxagoras explored the basic substances and formed an opinion that each substance includes the particles of all other substances in different quantities. He also defined a force that was behind of all motion and names this force “nous”, which means “mind”. In other words, the philosopher believed that under the influence of mind the matter starts moving and changing, though mind did not serve as the creator of the matter. This theory contradicts the creationists’ views of the modern Christianity.

To my mind, the most reasonable ideas of the nature of the things are the ideas of Heraclitus and Protagoras. The changeability of the universe cannot be denied, yet the core of the things still remains the same. Besides, I believe that the objective knowledge does not exist because every idea is someone’s point of view. The process of cognition is subjective by itself. Man is the measure of the things; all the characteristics we give to the events and objects depend on a point of view.

Plato argued with the ideas of Anaxagoras, finding it wrong to see the mind as a moving force of the order of things. Plato stated that all the characteristics of things have existed before there were human minds to percept them, this way the mind was viewed as a tool we apply for cognition, yet all the forms and things we acknowledge are objective. This contradicts with Protagoras’ idea that the objects are measured by the man’s mind.

According to Plato, what people interact with in the process of cognition is not the object itself, but the object’s Form. Plato explained that forms are something that only an intellect can recognize. Forms are the abstract notions like beauty or straightness, for example. These forms do not have a classification of age or motion, they are invisible and unchanged.

Forms are what defines the reality of the objects. If we can feel something – we feel its form, forms are the notions of the objects that can be acknowledged. To my mind, the same objects can be referred to different forms by different observers. The same building may be viewed as beautiful and ugly by two different people. These ideas of forms are individual.

Aristotle taught that four basic causes define everything. Formal cause answers what the thing is, its form. Material cause characterizes what the thing is made of. Efficient cause is responsible for what made that thing. Final cause draws the purpose of the thing. To my mind, these are actually the questions that bother all philosophers – What? How? What is the source? What is the purpose?

Aristotle also worked out ten categories of being that defined the ways people think about things. The categories are quantity, quality, place, time, posture, relationship, activity, passivity and constitution. These categories allow people percept various aspects of the things. These are the main categories we use to characterize things nowadays, they are present in every language.

Aristotle argued with the theory of forms by presenting forms as universals and the individuals, such as people – as the particulars. According to this idea forms could only exist within the particulars. Objects that possess the forms are also particulars, without which the forms would not exist.

According to Heraclitus, the main and most important trait of the reality was its changeability. He states that permanence was nothing but an illusion (Moore & Bruder, 2010). Though, Heraclitus believed that the changes in the universe were not accidental, but determined by logos, the cosmic order. He spoke about the unity of opposite. The explored the changeability of the nature of reality and the process of remaining the same through the changes.

The views of Empedocles are different, he believed that the reality is stable and permanent, yet he accepted that the changes within it happen all the time. Empedocles named four basic elements compiling all objects; they were earth, fire, water, and air. He also tried to explain the forces that cause changes; these were love and strife. Besides, Empedocles taught that the changes in objects of experience are determined by the relationships and qualities of their basic particles. This idea resembles the approaches of modern sciences.

Anaximander explained the objects as having one source, which the philosopher considered an indeterminate and boundless element (Moore & Bruder, 2010). According to his idea, all the things in the universe appeared from some kind of a basic matter, this matter was more elementary than the particles like water, it was ageless and infinite, and it gave birth to everything. This idea is close to the modern theory of the big bang.

Parmenides was not involved in the search of a basic matter or naming the particles. He applied logic to acknowledge the nature of being. Parmenides’ idea of the being as a whole matches the views of Heraclitus.

Parmenides explained that the being could not change simply because the only change that can happen to the being is that it turns into the non-being, meaning it stops to exist. Ergo, being is unchangeable, and this belief contradicts the opinion of Heraclitus. These two philosophers used different tactics and tools to understand the universe.

Protagoras stated that “the man is the measure of all things”(Moore & Bruder, 2010). He meant that every idea is someone’s perception; every view belongs to a person; this theory noted that the views of each person are equally valuable. According to Protagoras, absolute knowledge does not exist. This theory is still used widely in philosophical arguments and positions.

Pythagoras is well known for his rational approach. This philosopher saw a tight connection between things and numbers. According to Pythagoras everything in the universe, all of the objects and things could be sequenced and counted, there is a mathematical order to everything. He studied things from the points of view of mathematical relationships and proportions.

True harmony and understanding of nature, according to Pythagoras, was hidden in the numbers that determine the things. The philosophical approach, combined with math served as the basis of modern sciences.

Anaxagoras explored the basic substances and formed an opinion that each substance includes the particles of all other substances in different quantities. He also defined a force that was behind of all motion and names this force “nous,” which means “mind.” In other words, the philosopher believed that under the influence of mind, the matter starts moving and changing, though mind did not serve as the creator of the matter. This theory contradicts the creationists’ views of modern Christianity.

To my mind, the most reasonable ideas of the nature of the things are the ideas of Heraclitus and Protagoras. The changeability of the universe cannot be denied, yet the core of the things remains the same. Besides, I believe that objective knowledge does not exist because every idea is someone’s point of view. The process of cognition is subjective by itself. Man is the measure of the things; all the characteristics we give to the events and objects depend on the point of view.

Plato argued with the ideas of Anaxagoras, finding it wrong to see the mind like a moving force of the order of things. Plato stated that all the characteristics of things had existed before there were human minds to percept them, this way the mind was viewed as a tool we apply for cognition, yet all the forms and things we acknowledge are objective. This contradicts with Protagoras’ idea that the objects are measured by the man’s mind.

According to Plato, what people interact with in the process of cognition is not the object itself, but the object’s Form. Plato explained that forms are something that only an intellect can recognize. Forms are abstract notions like beauty or straightness, for example. These forms do not have a classification of age or motion; they are invisible and unchanged.

Forms are what defines the reality of the objects. If we can feel something – we feel its form, forms are the notions of the objects that can be acknowledged. To my mind, the same objects can be referred to as different forms by different observers. The same building may be viewed as beautiful and ugly by two different people. These ideas of forms are individual.

Aristotle taught that four basic causes define everything. Formal cause answers what the thing is, its form. Material cause characterizes what the thing is made of. The efficient cause is responsible for what made that thing. Final cause draws the purpose of the thing. To my mind, these are the questions that bother all philosophers – What? How? What is the source? What is the purpose?

Aristotle also worked out ten categories of being that defined the ways people think about things. The categories are quantity, quality, place, time, posture, relationship, activity, passivity, and constitution. These categories allow people to percept various aspects of things. These are the main categories we use to characterize things nowadays; they are present in every language.

Aristotle argued with the theory of forms by presenting forms as universals and the individuals, such as people – as the particulars. According to this idea, forms could only exist within the particulars. Objects that possess the forms are also particulars, without which the forms would not exist.

The contrast between Plato’s and Aristotle’s view of forms lies in the fact that Plato saw the forms as objective characteristics that existed before being acknowledged, and Aristotle described forms as the characteristic that directly depend on the perception or the object they are applied to.

Aristotle’s statement that everything that comes into being is brought in by something else makes the reality a paradox because this would mean that at every moment of being everything changes, which makes the reality non-existent because the objects compiling it shifts all the time.

Reference List

Moore, N. M. & Bruder, K. (2010). Philosophy: The Power of Ideas. New York, NY: McGraw Hill.