Change and Necessity
Let's consider as our first topics the topics of
Regarding change, we'll consider the views of Heracleitus, who said that everything changes into something else, and Parmenides, who said that nothing every changes, and Aristotle, who said that sometimes things change into other things, sometimes they don't change, and sometimes they change without changing into something else.
But first, I want to give you a brief account of the background of this dispute, by considering the ancient Greek philosophers and their discussions of nature and MATTER. I will not spend a lot of time on this subject or have much on it on the test; rather, I want to cover it as background material for the discussion of change.
(The only philosophy we will study in this course is Western philosophy the philosophy of Western civilization, beginning in ancient Greece. We will not have time to go into non Western philosophy such as the philosophy of India and the philosophy of China. So we will concentrate on Western philosophy. But if any of you want to do research in non Western philosophy and apply it to your papers, do so.)
And just as Western civilization began in ancient Greece, so Western philosophy also began in ancient Greece.)
Now the earliest ancient Greek philosophers studied nature. In doing so, they were especially interested what things are composed of the matter or stuff they are made of.
Now although most of the ancient Greek philosophers differed greatly among themselves, they all agreed in accepting what then seemed to their society to be
the common sense view of the world (or the universe which for them was the same thing).
That is, they thought that the earth was at the bottom of the world, the waters above that, the air above that, and the sky at the top of the world
unless they believed that the world is round, in which case they though