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The Pluralists

  • Date Submitted: 11/13/2012 07:26 AM
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Outline and discuss the views of the pluralists of the pre-soctratics period.

        The pluralists were those who did not believe in only one underlying substance, but many and some of them were even infinite. Some important and famous pluralists were; Empedocles of Akragas, Anaxagoras and the Atomists.

              Empedocles believes that change is real and that nothing comes out of nothing thus he believed Parmenides, in fact he stated that being is material and couldn’t become nothing or comes out of nothing. He also stated that matter is indestructible and eternal. Empedocles does not deny the possibility of change occurring around us. He argues that there are four fundamental eternal particles; fire particles, water particles, earth particles and air particles and these combined together can form anything which exists in our world and universe. All this happens with the concept of an active force.   He believes that there are only two forces, Love (Harmony) and Hate (Discord). Love is the force that brings together different particles, while Hate is the force that separates particles and our world, is half way between the primary sphere (Love) and the stage of total separation (hate).   With this strategy, Empedocles thought that he had explained change around us. Empedocles beleived in the Reincarnation of the souls of the animals and humans. For him, everything was on one spiritual plane and he urged for a vegetarian lifestyle.

          The second pluralist is Anaxagoras. He still thinks that Parmenides was right in the fact that nothing comes out of nothing but he rejects the idea of there is no change. He even rejects the idea of Empedocles. Instead he says that all objects are composed of an infinite number of invisible and varying eternal particles which he refers to them as ‘seeds’. This means that “in everything there is a portion of everything” in order to account for change. He even gave some examples to state his argument; the grass...


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