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Philosophy of Things Changing

Heraclitus argued that reality is changing ceaselessly. According to this philosophy, there is no other reality apart from the reality of change (Moore & Bruder, 2012). The argument further states that permanence does not exist because it is only an illusion. He argued that fire is the root substance of change in the universe because its nature changes ceaselessly (Moore & Bruder, 2012).

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There is a cosmic order known as logos that plays an important role in determining change in the universe. In the scientific view, Heraclitus’ idea seems to be correct because the nature, content and arrangement of atoms keep changing. For instance, the nature of soil, rocks and other objects change due to the impact of water, air and other objects. Similarly, the tissues and cell arrangement in animals and plants keep changing with time, thus changing their identity.

According to Empedocles, two aspects of things are important- the whole object and the basic units or particles that make them. In science and nature, the argument can be applied because it considers the fact that objects and all living things are made up of small parties such as cells and atoms whose basic characteristic does not experience significant changes over time (Moore & Bruder, 2012).

According to Anaximander, the basic substance that forms the origin of objects is ageless, boundless as well as indeterminate. In the current scientific view, the theory is quite applicable because the solar system and the entire universe are controlled by physical powers that maintain them in their order and nature.

Parmenides assumed some basic principles and applied them to determine the nature of “true being”. His theory states that being does not experience change (Moore & Bruder, 2012). This means that there is no change or change is inexistence. This theory contradicts Heraclitus’s school of thought because the latter believes that everything, including nature, is ceaselessly changing.

Protagoras argued that absolute knowledge does not exist. He argues that the view of an individual about the nature and the world in general is as valid and correct as that of another different individual. When applying this theory in the current context, it is correct to argue that an individual who discovers the cure for a disease such as syphilis, gonorrhea or even HIV/AIDS is as correct as another person who claims that the drug should be banned because it is likely to make people more immoral and sexually overactive.

Pythagoras was probably more interested in quantitative research because he relied heavily on numbers. According to his point of view, everything exists in form of numbers. A line is made of many dots joined together to make an observable object. In addition, solids are made of surfaces while bodies are made of solids. Pythagoras’ theory attempts to argue that things exist as they are and have both a beginning and an end. In addition, things can be calculated and their nature stored in form of numbers.

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Protagoras’ theory states that all things and objects are made of small particles. These particles experience constant change over time. Therefore, the observable change in the whole object is a product of the changes taking place in the small particles. Protagoras’ theory is one of the ancient arguments that can be approved scientifically.

For instance, the current scientific knowledge shows that matter is made of atoms, which experience change with time. However, Anaxagoras’ statement that everything is infinitely divisible is scientifically wrong because atoms cannot be divided beyond the level of their sub-atoms (Moore & Bruder, 2012).

Although it is not possible to apply most of the ancient Greek philosophies in the current context, it is worth stating that Protagoras’s conception of nature is relatively correct because objects are made of small units known as atoms. In addition, living things are made up of cells. Both cells and atoms undergo some changes due to environment and evolution.

Protagoras argued that man is the measure of everything and knowledge is relative, with the validity of every person’s conception of the universe being equal. However, Plato criticized this theory, saying that if the theory is true, then an individual who says that Protagoras’ theory as invalid or false is right.

Plato uses his theory of Divide Line to show how people can know forms. In this argument, Plato says that knowledge is concerned with the absoluteness of objects. For instance, it is concerned with absolute good, absolute beauty or absolute clean. These are forms. Humans know forms because they describe things according to their absoluteness of their appearance. For instance, people say that a car is beautiful or an idea is clear. Thus, they are able to know forms.

Aristotle used his theory of the four causes to address the question “why” of an object. The first cause, known as the material cause, is the aspect of movement of change. It is determined by the movement of a material that causes changes in the units or components of the material.

The second cause is the formal cause, which describes the movement or change of an object due to shape, appearance of arrangement of the object. The third cause, known as the moving cause, is concerned with the agents of both movement and change. The final cause is concerned with the purpose or objective of a change event or movement.

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The ‘ten categories of being’, a theory developed by Aristotle, is used in reference to the ways through which man think about his nature and world.

They help people in making judgments that relate to relationships, time, quality, quantity, space, posture and the constitution of an object. In the current context, one can say that these ways provide a definition of how we perceive objects and explain their description in terms of nature and forms. We define things according to how we see them and tend to believe that the forms are the reality of the objects.

Forms are universals and not circulatory. They are the forms or states that most objects can assume. For instance, objects of different type and nature can assume the forms of being large, green, white or round. Nevertheless, only one thing can become a person. This implies that people and animals are particulars and not universals. This argument shows some major weaknesses of Plato’s theory of forms. It fails to explain the existence of things or the true nature of both form and nature.

According to Plato, there are two realms in existence- particular and sensible things that experience change and the external things that are fixed and do not change. In his theory, Aristotle argues that all things are only in the particulate real determined by matter and form.

According to Aristotle’s argument, every event that tends to result into the existence of an object also results from another event. Arguably, the existence of an object is an event that is caused, influenced or driven by another event. Therefore, existence is not a paradox.


Moore, B. N., & Bruder, K. (2012). Philosophy: The power of ideas. New York, NY: McGraw Hill

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