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The Great Conversation: How Should We Live?

  • Abigail Adams Institute 14 Arrow Street Cambridge United States (map)

How should we live? This question lies at the core of what it means to be human. In volume I we explore the “best which has been thought and said” from the dawn of civilization through the fall of Rome. Today’s session is on Heraclitus and Parmenides:

In the sixth century B.C., a tradition of philosophical meditation erupts in Asia Minor, the Hellenization of which is epitomized in the Iliad. In the late sixth/early fifth century B.C., Heraclitus of Ephesus takes up the conversation asserting the ceaseless flux of reality, which is characterized by a rational order (logos). His younger contemporary, Parmenides, who comes from a different region of Greek Mediterranean expansion (Italy), counters with a philosophical poem paradoxically asserting that in the dialogue between self and nature, the motionless must hold sway.