Empedocles

Behold the sun, everywhere bright and warm, and all the immortal things that are bathed in heat and bright radiance. Behold the rain, everywhere dark and cold; and from the earth issue forth close-pressed and solid. When they are in strife all these are different in form and separated; but they come together in love and are desired by one another. For out of these have sprung all things that were and are and shall be — trees and men and women, beasts and birds and the fishes that dwell in the waters, yea, and the gods that live long lives and are exalted in honor. For there are these alone; but, running through one another, they take different shapes — so much does mixture change them. — “Fragments”

Empedocles (c.490–430 BC) was one of the Greek pre-Socratic philosophers who represented the pioneer thinkers of Western philosophy. A native of Agrigentum, a Greek city in Sicily, Empedocles was the originator of the four-element theory of the cosmos. Water, earth, air, and fire were the irreducible elements from which all other creation sprang, Empedocles posited, through the antipathetic powers, love and strife.

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