By Thomas M. Robinson

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K. J. Boudouris [Athens 1989]) p. 348. 7 For another excellent example of the thesis see fr. ”), with its exploitation of the different meanings of bios (“bow” and “life”), depending on accentuation. 8 My tentative understanding of the term in this context is as the conceptual counterpart, on the part of “that which is wise” (fr. 32), of the logos it everlastingly utters in description of itself. “Plan” would certainly serve as a reasonable translation were the prescriptive nature of that logos the subject of discussion, but the apparent reference (despite the slightly garbled text) to the “steering of all things through all things” suggests that it is its descriptive aspect that Heraclitus has wholly or primarily in mind, and “plan” (or as some would – more overtly – translate, “purpose”) perhaps carries teleological overtones that are not clearly justifiable.

Living and dead and the waking and the sleeping and young and old. For the latter, having changed around, are the former, and the former, having changed around, are again the latter”. Here he not only adds three more to his list of sameness claims, he also – crucially – offers the reader a way of interpreting the claims, in these particular instances in terms of temporal sequence. In so doing he effectively refutes, before the fact, Aristotle’s assertion that he breaks the law of non-contradiction (x and y are clearly not claimed to be one and the same at the same time and in the same respect), and also presents us with a good reason for believing that he expected his readers to interpret the rest of his sameness claims in some analogous fashion.

For purposes of this interpretation, it matters little whether Heraclitus meant the adjectives “mortal”/“immortal” to serve as nouns or adjectives in the complement position in his opening words. For in either case no definite articles are used, either in the subject or complement position. , against an interpretation involving a supposed doctrine of the coincidence of opposites). The language in which he has chosen to express himself on the contrary suggests strongly that he was thinking of sub-classes within the class of “mortals”/“everlasting ones”; in other words, that the statement “immortals are mortal(s)” etc.

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