Friday, 23 December 2016

Change

From the time I began my study of philosophy, almost 20 years ago, I heard and read the following quote of Heraclitus:
You can never step into the same river twice. 
However, today is the first time I came across a course that says the actual quote is the following
Upon those who step into the same rivers different and again different waters flow. 
Now honestly cannot really make out the difference from the statement itself.  Moreover the latter one is really baffling in its construction.

However, if one is to understand Heraclitus' whole philosophy, where in he speaks of the theory of the unity of opposites, then one is bound to see the connection.  What he actually meant was that things keep changing but there is an underlying unity in all of it.  In the case of the above quote, the waters in the river keep changing, but the river is the same. If the flowing waters stopped, then it is no more a river!

As if this confusion were not enough, here's another form of the same quote...

At this rate, I may soon end up saying that I really do not know the history of philosophy rather than know more of it!

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