Who is Heraclitus?

Who is Heraclitus?

June 25, 2021 Off By Felso

Heraclitus of Ephesus is a Pre-Socratic Greek philosopher who lived in Ephesus in Anatolia. Heraclitus is a native of Ephesus and his father’s name is Bloson. Apart from such details, little is known about the life of Heraclitus. Heraclitus is also known as the first philosopher to put forward a dynamic philosophical system in the history of Western philosophy.

Heraclitus is one of the most popular philosophers in the history of philosophy.

His views influenced many thinkers, including important names such as Hegel and Marx, and although they cared and used their views, perhaps they could not understand or interpret him correctly due to the closed style he used.


Heraclitus was born and raised in Ephesus (Ephesus). B.C. Heraclitus is younger than the Miletus philosophers, since he is estimated to have lived between 540 and 480 BC.

Heraclitus comes from an aristocratic family of Ephesus.


Since Heraclitus presented his writings and speeches in a very obscure, dark style, in the form of proverbs, he was referred to as “dark Heraclitus” in the First Age.


In order to understand the thoughts of Heraclitus, it is necessary to focus on the phenomenon of change, which is one of the most important problem areas of Ancient Greek philosophy.

As it is known, one of the main aims of Greek philosophy was to understand the essence of the phenomenon of “change”. It should be kept in mind that a significant part of Heraclitus’ philosophical views aim to reveal the essence of the phenomenon of change in nature.

Another important thing that comes to mind when Heraclitus is mentioned is his famous “logos” teaching. Considering this teaching as a whole, it can be associated with the above-mentioned purpose, namely to explain the phenomenon of change in nature.

When we go into the details of the teaching, it is understood that Heraclitus went beyond making a direct and raw natural philosophy, and that the doctrine of logos has a depth that exceeds all the predictions of typical Heraclitus readers. These will be discussed in detail in the following sections.

The philosophy of Heraclitus aims to reveal the essence of the phenomenon of change in nature.

All these aside, in order to understand the views of Heraclitus correctly, it is necessary to understand his temperament and philosophy of life. Because Heraclitus is one of the few thinkers in the history of philosophy who succeeded in combining his theory (thoughts) with his life and making them almost identical. Therefore, first of all, it is useful to focus on some details about his life story.


Heraclitus is one of the rare thinkers who tried to equate his life with theoria, that is, his thoughts and actions.

Heraclitus came from an aristocratic family. He had a nervous disposition and was the first child in his family. Although the first child of the family was entitled to inheritance in the ancient Greek world, Heraclitus turned down this inheritance and transferred all his rights to his brother. This is, of course, a behavior that will seem strange to many of us today. But according to Heraclitus, life or time makes some kings and others slaves. Everyone should agree to this.

In the time of Heraclitus, a great political struggle was going on between the social classes and large sections of the people, who were enriched just because they were aristocratic people from certain ancestry.

Aristocrats claimed that they had the right to rule because they were noble, while the masses of the people defended democracy because they gave the right to participate in the government in some way. Slaves, on the other hand, did not have the right to vote, even in a democratic order.

The aristocrats were not willing to sell their large lands, while others were fighting to get this land. Because land ownership naturally brought with it certain political rights.

Heraclitus disliked both of these groups. He found the Democrats too loud and criticized the aristocrats for being too low. This attitude undoubtedly had a certain effect on his views on the order of the universe, and it is no small matter to reveal this effect.

On the other hand, Heraclitus also refused to write in a direct instructional style. Therefore, his texts can be followed by active participation, not by a passive learning process. Therefore, while trying to interpret the fragments (fragments) from Heraclitus, the reader has to act like a mystery solver who has to work his mind all the time to reach any meaning.


There are even those who describe him as a prophet because of this closed and mysterious style peculiar to the oriental cultures. However, the word prophet here should not be taken in the familiar sense that has passed into our language from Persian.

In the Greek world, of course, there was no such word as prophet, but clerics large enough to take the place of prophets were thought to be people with mania.

mania divine b