From Chapter III., Herakleitos of Ephesos
79. Strife and "Harmony"
We know from Philo that Herakleitos supported his theory by a multitude of examples; and some of
these can still be recovered. There is a remarkable agreement between a passage of this kind in the
pseudo-Aristotelian Περὶ κόσμου and the Hippokratean Περὶ διαίτης. That the authors of both drew from the
same source, namely, Herakleitos, is made practically certain by the fact that this agreement extends in
part to the Letters of Herakleitos, which, though spurious, were certainly composed by some one who
had access to the original work. The argument was that men themselves act just in the same way as
Nature, and it is therefore surprising that they do not recognise the laws by which she works. The
painter produces his harmonious effects by the contrast of colours, the musician by that of high and low
notes. "If one were to make all things alike, there would be no delight in them." There are many similar
examples, some of which must certainly come from Herakleitos; but it is not easy to separate them from
the later additions.99
98. Campbell's Theaetetus (2nd ed.), p. 244. Bernays explained the phrase as referring to the shape of the bow and lyre, but this is much less likely. Wilamowitz's interpretation is based on Campbell's. "Es ist mit der Welt wie mit dem Bogen, den man auseinanderzieht, damit er zusammenschnellt, wie mit der Saite, die man ihrer Spannung entgegenziehen muss, damit sie klingt" (Lesebuch, ii. p. 129). Here we seem to feel the influence of the Pythagorean "tuned string."
99. The sentence (Περὶ διαίτης, i. 5), καὶ τὰ μὲν πρήσσουσιν οὐκ οἴδασιν, ἃ δὲ οὐ πρήσσουσι δοκέουσιν εἰδέναι· καὶ τὰ μὲν ὁρέουσιν οὐ γινώσκουσιν, ἀλλ' ὅμως αὐτοῖσι πάντα γίνεται . . . καὶ ἃ βούλονται καὶ ἃ μὴ βούλονται, has the true Herakleitean ring. This, too, can hardly have had another author: "They trust to their eyes rather than to their understanding, though their eyes are not fit to judge even of the things that are seen. But I speak these things from understanding." These words are grotesque in the mouth of the medical compiler; but we are accustomed to hear such things from the Ephesian. Other examples which may be Herakleitean are the image of the two men sawing wood—"one pushes, the other pulls "—and the illustration from the art of writing.
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