Heraclitus of Ephesus was a Pre-Socratic philosopher who lived during the 6th century BC. He wrote a book which recorded his controversial philosophical thoughts. This book, which was deposited in the temple of Artemis at Ephesus, has not survived in its entirety. Nevertheless, more than 100 fragments have endured the passage of time and have been creating as much debate as the philosopher probably would have liked!
Through these fragments, Heraclitus’ philosophical thoughts are more directly approachable by modern scholars than those of his predecessors, such as Thales and Anaximander. Heraclitus’ philosophical doctrines were wide-ranging, and included his ideas on cosmology, morality, religion, and politics.
Heraclitus with a globe. (Public Domain)
Heraclitus’ Life and Personality
Heraclitus was born around 540 BC, and was a citizen of Ephesus, an ancient Greek city on the Ionian coast of modern day Turkey. According to the biographer Diogenes Laertius, Heraclitus’ father was a man by the name of either Blyson or Heraceon.