1 1 Heraclitus Some Translations and Notes Contents Translations of Some Fragments Attributed to Heraclitus The Poetry of Heraclitus - Notes on Fragment B1 Some Notes on Πόλεμος and Δίκη in Heraclitus B80 Notes on Heraclitus Fragment 112 Notes on Heraclitus Fragment 123 Notes on Heraclitus Fragment 53 The Abstraction of Change as Opposites and Dialectic The Principle of Δίκα Translations of Some Fragments Attributed to Heraclitus Preface As explained in the notes that originally accompanied the translations, I have deliberately transliterated (instead of translated) πόλεμος, and left δίκη as δίκη - because both πόλεμος and δίκη should be regarded like ψυχή (psyche/psyche) as terms or as principles in their own right (hence the capitalization), and thus imply, suggest, and require, interpretation and explanation, something especially true, in my opinion, regarding δίκη. To render such Greek terms blandly by English terms such as 'war' and 'justice' - which have their own now particular meaning(s) - is in my view erroneous and somewhat lackadaisical. δίκη for instance could be, depending on context: the custom(s) of a folk, judgement (or Judgement personified),
2 2 the natural and the necessary balance, the correct/customary/ancestral way, and so on. The notes to the translations are included below. David Myatt 2012 (Revised February 2013) Fragment 1 τοῦ δὲ λόγου τοῦδ ἐόντος ἀεὶ ἀξύνετοι γίνονται ἄνθρωποι καὶ πρόσθεν ἢ ἀκοῦσαι καὶ ἀκούσαντες τὸ πρῶτον γινομένων γὰρ πάντων κατὰ τὸν λόγον τόνδε ἀπείροισιν ἐοίκασι, πειρώμενοι καὶ ἐπέων καὶ ἔργων τοιούτων, ὁκοίων ἐγὼ διηγεῦμαι κατὰ φύσιν διαιρέων ἕκαστον καὶ φράζων ὅκως ἔχει τοὺς δὲ ἄλλους ἀνθρώπους λανθάνει ὁκόσα ἐγερθέντες ποιοῦσιν, ὅκωσπερ ὁκόσα εὕδοντες ἐπιλανθάνονται Although this naming and expression [which I explain] exists, human beings tend to ignore it, both before and after they have become aware of it. Yet even though, regarding such naming and expression, I have revealed details of how Physis has been cleaved asunder, some human beings are inexperienced concerning it, fumbling about with words and deeds, just as other human beings, be they interested or just forgetful, are unaware of what they have done. Fragment 36 ψυχῆισιν θάνατος ὕδωρ γενέσθαι, ὕδατι δὲ θάνατος γῆν γενέσθαι, ἐκ γῆς δὲ ὕδωρ γίνεται, ἐξ ὕδατος δὲ ψυχή. Where the water begins our living ends and where earth begins water ends, and yet earth nurtures water and from that water, Life. Fragment 39 ἐν Πριήνηι Βίας ἐγένετο ὁ Τευτάμεω, οὗ πλείων λόγος ἢ τῶν ἄλλων
3 3 In Priene was born someone named and recalled as most worthy Bias, that son of Teutamas Fragment 43 ὕβριν χρὴ σβεννύναι μᾶλλον ἢ πυρκαϊὴν Better to deal with your hubris before you confront that fire Fragment 52 αἰὼν παῖς ἐστι παίζων πεσσεύων παιδὸς ἡ βασιληίη For Aeon, we are a game, pieces moved on some board: since, in this world of ours, we are but children. Fragment 53 Πόλεμος πάντων μὲν πατήρ ἐστι, πάντων δὲ βασιλεύς, καὶ τοὺς μὲν θεοὺς ἔδειξε τοὺς δὲ ἀνθρώπους, τοὺς μὲν δούλους ἐποίησε τοὺς δὲ ἐλευθέρους. Polemos our genesis, governing us all to bring forth some gods, some mortal beings with some unfettered yet others kept bound. Fragment 64 τὰ δὲ πάντα οἰακίζει Κεραυνός All beings are guided by Lightning Fragment 80 εἰδέναι δὲ χρὴ τὸν πόλεμον ἐόντα ξυνόν, καὶ δίκην ἔριν, καὶ γινόμενα πάντα κατ ἔριν καὶ χρεώμενα [χρεών] One should be aware that Polemos pervades, with discord δίκη, and that beings are naturally born by discord.
4 4 Fragment 112 σωφρονεῖν ἀρετὴ μεγίστη, καὶ σοφίη ἀληθέα λέγειν καὶ ποιεῖν κατὰ φύσιν ἐπαίοντας Most excellent is balanced reasoning, for that skill can tell inner character from outer. Fragment 123 Φύσις κρύπτεσθαι φιλεῖ Concealment accompanies Physis From Diogenes Laërtius - Lives of Eminent Philosophers πάντα δὲ γίνεσθαι καθ εἱμαρμένην καὶ διὰ τῆς ἐναντιοδρομίας ἡρμόσθαι τὰ ὄντα (ix. 7) All by genesis is appropriately apportioned [separated into portions] with beings bound together again by enantiodromia Note: I have used here a transliteration of the compound Greek word ἐναντιοδρομίας rather than given a particular translation, since the term enantiodromia in my view suggests the uniqueness of expression of the original, and which original in my view is not adequately, and most certainly not accurately, described by a usual translation such as 'conflict of opposites'. Rather, what is suggested is 'confrontational contest' - that is, by facing up to the expected/planned/inevitable contest. Interestingly, Carl Jung - who was familiar with the sayings of Heraclitus - used the term enantiodromia to describe the emergence of a trait (of character) to offset another trait and so restore a certain psychological balance within the individual. For further details, refer to my essay The Change of Enantiodromia. The Poetry of Heraclitus Part One - Some Notes on λόγος in Fragment B1 In respect of fragments 80 and 112 I have suggested that it is incorrect to interpret πόλεμος simplistically as 'war', strife, or kampf  and that, instead of using such words, it should be transliterated so as to name a distinct philosophical principle that
5 5 requires interpretation and explanation with particular reference to Hellenic culture and philosophy. For, more often than not, such common English words as 'war' are now understood in a non-hellenic, non-philosophical, context and explained in relation to some ideated opposite; and in the particular case of the term 'war', for example, in contrast to some-thing named, explained, or defined, as 'peace' or a state of non-belligerence. In respect of fragment 1 , does λόγος suggest a philosophical principle - Logos - and therefore should it, like πόλεμος, be transliterated and thus be considered as a basic principle of the philosophy of Heraclitus, or at least of what, of that philosophy or weltanschauung, we can adduce from the textual fragments we possess? Or does λόγος, as I suggested in respect of fragment 112 and 123  imply: both a naming (denoting), and a telling not a telling as in some abstract explanation or theory, but as in a simple describing, or recounting, of what has been so denoted or so named. Which is why, in fragment 39, Heraclitus writes: ἐν Πριήνηι Βίας ἐγένετο ὁ Τευτάμεω, οὗ πλείων λόγος ἢ τῶν ἄλλων  and why, in respect of λέγειν, Hesiod wrote: ἴδμεν ψεύδεα πολλὰ λέγειν ἐτύμοισιν ὁμοῖα, ἴδμεν δ, εὖτ ἐθέλωμεν, ἀληθέα γηρύσασθαι  I contend that fragment 1 also suggests a denoting, in the sense of expressing some-thing by denoting it or describing it by a 'name'. That is, that λόγος here does not refer here to what has often be termed Logos, and that the 'ambiguous' ἀεὶ  is not really ambiguous at all. For one has to, in my view, take account of the fact that there is poetry in Heraclitus; a rather underrated style that sometimes led others to incorrectly describe him as ὁ σκοτεινός, the ambiguous (or the obtuse) one, and led Aristotle to write: τὰ γὰρ Ἡρακλείτου διαστίξαι ἔργον διὰ τὸ ἄδηλον εἶναι ποτέρῳ πρόσκειται, τῷ ὕστερον ἢ τῷ πρότερον, οἷον ἐν τῇ ἀρχῇ αὐτῇ τοῦ συγγράμματος: φησὶ γὰρ "τοῦ λόγου τοῦδ ἐόντος ἀεὶ ἀξύνετοι ἄνθρωποι γίγνονται": ἄδηλον γὰρ τὸ ἀεί, πρὸς ποτέρῳ δεῖ διαστίξαι.  It is the poetic style of Heraclitus that I have tried, however badly, to express in my often non-literal and rather idiosyncratic translations/interpretations of some of the fragments attributed to him. Hence my interpretation of the first part  of fragment 1, published in 2012: Although this naming and expression [which I explain] exists human beings
6 6 tend to ignore it, both before and after they have become aware of it. The 'which I explain' is implicit in the sense of λόγος here as a naming and expression by a particular individual, contrasted (as often with Heraclitus) rather poetically with a generality; in this instance, contrasted with human beings - 'men' - in general, and with "tend to" modifying the sense of ἀεὶ from the strident, bland, 'always' to a more poetic expression of human beings having an apparently rather irreconcilable tendency - for now (at least) and certainly as in the past - to ignore (or forget or not understand) certain things, even after matters have been explained to them (they have heard the explanation) and even after they have discovered certain truths for themselves. David Myatt January 2013  qv. The Abstraction of Change as Opposites and Dialectic, and Some Notes on Πόλεμος and Δίκη in Heraclitus B80 As mentioned in The Abstraction of Change as Opposites and Dialectic: "In addition, Polemos was originally the δαίμων [not the god] of kindred strife, whether familial, or of one's πόλις (one's clan and their places of dwelling). Thus, to describe Polemos, as is sometimes done, as the god of conflict (or war), is doubly incorrect."  qv. Sextus Empiricus: Advenus Mathematicos VII. 132 The text of fragment 1 (with the reading τοῦδ ἐόντος and not τοῦ δέοντος) is: τοῦ δὲ λόγου τοῦδ ἐόντος ἀεὶ ἀξύνετοι γίνονται ἄνθρωποι καὶ πρόσθεν ἢ ἀκοῦσαι καὶ ἀκούσαντες τὸ πρῶτον γινομένων γὰρ πάντων κατὰ τὸν λόγον τόνδε ἀπείροισιν ἐοίκασι, πειρώμενοι καὶ ἐπέων καὶ ἔργων τοιούτων, ὁκοίων ἐγὼ διηγεῦμαι κατὰ φύσιν διαιρέων ἕκαστον καὶ φράζων ὅκως ἔχει τοὺς δὲ ἄλλους ἀνθρώπους λανθάνει ὁκόσα ἐγερθέντες ποιοῦσιν, ὅκωσπερ ὁκόσα εὕδοντες ἐπιλανθάνονται.  Regarding Φύσις κρύπτεσθαι φιλεῖ - qv. Physis, Nature, Concealment, and Natural Change, e-text 2010  "In Priene was born someone named and recalled as most worthy Bias, that son of Teutamas."  We have many ways to conceal to name certain things And the skill when we wish to expose their meaning
7 7  Aristotle: Ars Rhetorica Book 3, chapter 5 [1407b]  θεοί - and Μοῖραι τρίμορφοι μνήμονές τ Ἐρινύες - permitting I may in the not too distant future endeavour to translate/interpret the rest of the fragment. Acknowledgements: The genesis of this article was a personal reply sent to Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi of Oxford university, in response to questions concerning ἀεὶ and my rather idiosyncratic interpretation of the first part of the text of fragment 1. The Poetry of Heraclitus Part Two - Some Notes on Physis and Forgetfulness in Fragment B1 τοῦ δὲ λόγου τοῦδ ἐόντος ἀεὶ ἀξύνετοι γίνονται ἄνθρωποι καὶ πρόσθεν ἢ ἀκοῦσαι καὶ ἀκούσαντες τὸ πρῶτον γινομένων γὰρ πάντων κατὰ τὸν λόγον τόνδε ἀπείροισιν ἐοίκασι, πειρώμενοι καὶ ἐπέων καὶ ἔργων τοιούτων, ὁκοίων ἐγὼ διηγεῦμαι κατὰ φύσιν διαιρέων ἕκαστον καὶ φράζων ὅκως ἔχει τοὺς δὲ ἄλλους ἀνθρώπους λανθάνει ὁκόσα ἐγερθέντες ποιοῦσιν, ὅκωσπερ ὁκόσα εὕδοντες ἐπιλανθάνονται Translation My translation of the fragment is: Although this naming and expression [which I explain] exists, human beings tend to ignore it, both before and after they have become aware of it. Yet even though, regarding such naming and expression, I have revealed details of how Physis has been cleaved asunder, some human beings are inexperienced concerning it, fumbling about with words and deeds, just as other human beings, be they interested or just forgetful, are unaware of what they have done. Comments 1. For the first part - τοῦ δὲ λόγου τοῦδ ἐόντος ἀεὶ ἀξύνετοι γίνονται ἄνθρωποι καὶ πρόσθεν ἢ ἀκοῦσαι καὶ ἀκούσαντες τὸ πρῶτον - refer to Part One - Some Notes on λόγος in Fragment B1
8 8 2. I take the sense of διαιρέων here somewhat poetically to suggest not the ordinary 'divide' but the more expressive 'cleave', with it being undivided Physis that is cleaved into parts by "such naming and expression" as Heraclitus has revealed. That is, Heraclitus is not saying that he has described or expressed each thing 'in accordance with its true nature' (or divided things correctly, or something of the kind) but rather that the process of naming and categorization is or has divided Physis, obscuring the true nature of Being and beings, and it is this process, this obscuring, or concealment. of Physis - of cleaving it into separate parts or each thing, 'each' contrasted with a generality  - that he has revealed and is mentioning here, as he mentioned it in fragment 123: Φύσις κρύπτεσθαι φιλεῖ Concealment accompanies Physis  Which is why I have transliterated Φύσις as referring to a general philosophical principle of the philosophy of Heraclitus, or at least of what, of that philosophy or weltanschauung, we can adduce from the textual fragments we possess. 3. In respect of πειρώμενοι καὶ ἐπέων καὶ ἔργων τοιούτων, the Homeric usage  is, for me, interesting as it implies a proverbial kind of saying rather than just 'words' and 'deeds': Τηλέμαχ, οὐδ ὄπιθεν κακὸς ἔσσεαι οὐδ ἀνοήμων, εἰ δή τοι σοῦ πατρὸς ἐνέστακται μένος ἠύ, οἷος κεῖνος ἔην τελέσαι ἔργον τε ἔπος τε: Telemachus you will not be unlucky nor lacking in resolution If you hereafter instill into yourself the determination of your father Whose nature was to accomplish those deeds he said he would. Furthermore, I take the sense here of πειρώμενοι poetically to suggest a "fumbling about" - as the inexperienced often fumble about and experiment until, often by trial and error, they have gained sufficient experience to understand and know what they are doing and what is involved, which rather reminds one of a saying of Pindar  : γλυκὺ δὲ πόλεμος ἀπείροισιν, ἐμπείρων δέ τις ταρβεῖ προσιόντα νιν καρδίᾳ περισσῶ 4. Given that, as mentioned in Part One, there is poetry in Heraclitus, I am inclined to avoid the literal, and usual, understanding of ἐγερθέντες and εὕδοντες, particularly given the foregoing πειρώμενοι καὶ ἐπέων καὶ ἔργων τοιούτων which renders such a literal understanding not only out of context and disjointed but decidedly odd. Human beings forgetting things when they sleep? If, however, and for example, ἐγείρω here poetically suggests alertness, an interest or excitement - as ἤγειρεν in the
9 9 Agamemnon suggests an alertness and excitement, an interest in what has occurred, and thence the kindling of a pyre  - then there is, as often in Heraclitus, a flowing eloquence and that lack of discordance one might expect of an aphorism remembered and recorded long after the demise of its author. David Myatt February 2013 Notes:  As in Homer et al, for example Iliad, Book VII, Τρῶας δὲ τρόμος αἰνὸς ὑπήλυθε γυῖα ἕκαστον But over the Trojans, a strange fear, to shake the limbs of each one there  qv. my Physis, Nature, Concealment, and Natural Change [Notes on Heraclitus fragment 123], e-text 2010  Odyssey, Book II, 272  Fragment 110  Aeschylus, Agamemnon, σθένουσα λαμπὰς δ οὐδέπω μαυρουμένη, ὑπερθοροῦσα πεδίον Ἀσωποῦ, δίκην φαιδρᾶς σελήνης, πρὸς Κιθαιρῶνος λέπας ἤγειρεν ἄλλην ἐκδοχὴν πομποῦ πυρός. The torch, vigorous and far from extinguished, Bounded over the Asopian plain To the rocks of Cithaeron as bright as the moon So that the one waiting there to begin that fire, jumped up Note that here the watchman is not awakened from sleep. Some Notes on Πόλεμος and Δίκη in Heraclitus B80
10 10 εἰδέναι δὲ χρὴ τὸν πόλεμον ἐόντα ξυνόν, καὶ δίκην ἔριν, καὶ γινόμενα πάντα κατ ἔριν καὶ χρεώμενα [χρεών]. Fragmentum 80. This fragment, attributed to Heraclitus, is generally considered to mean something rather abstract such as: war is everywhere and strife is justice and all that is arises and passes away because of strife. That is, πόλεμος is regarded as a synonym for either kampf, or more generally, for war. However, I incline toward the view that this older understanding of - the accepted rendition of - πόλεμος is a misinterpretation, and that rather than kampf (struggle), or a general type of strife, or what we now associate with the term war, πόλεμος implies what I have elsewhere termed the acausality (a simultaneity)  beyond our causal ideation, and which ideation has separated object from subject, and often abstracted them into seemingly conflicting opposites . Hence my particular interpretation of Fragmentum 53: Πόλεμος πάντων μὲν πατήρ ἐστι, πάντων δὲ βασιλεύς, καὶ τοὺς μὲν θεοὺς ἔδειξε τοὺς δὲ ἀνθρώπους, τοὺς μὲν δούλους ἐποίησε τοὺς δὲ ἐλευθέρους. Polemos our genesis, governing us all to bring forth some gods, some mortal beings with some unfettered yet others kept bound. Hence my interpretation of Fragment 80 - εἰδέναι δὲ χρὴ τὸν πόλεμον ἐόντα ξυνόν, καὶ δίκην ἔριν, καὶ γινόμενα πάντα κατ ἔριν καὶ χρεώμενα [χρεών] - as: One should be aware that Polemos pervades, with discord δίκη, and that beings are naturally born by discord.  Here, I have deliberately transliterated (instead of translated) πόλεμος, and left δίκη as δίκη - because both πόλεμος and δίκη (written Πόλεμος and, I suggest, Δίκα) should be regarded, like ψυχή (psyche/psyche) as terms or as principles in their own right (hence the capitalization), and thus imply, suggest, and require, interpretation and explanation, something especially true, in my opinion, regarding Δίκα. To render them blandly by English terms such as 'war' and 'justice' - which have their own now particular meaning(s) - is in my view erroneous and somewhat lackadaisical. δίκη for instance could be, depending on context: the custom(s) of a folk, judgement (or Judgement personified), the natural and the necessary balance, the correct/customary /ancestral way, and so on.
11 11 In respect of Δίκα, I write it thus to intimate a new, a particular and numinous, philosophical principle, and differentiate it from the more general δίκη. As a numinous principle, or axiom, Δίκα thus suggests what lies beyond and what was the genesis of δίκη personified as the goddess, Judgement - the goddess of natural balance, of the ancestral way and ancestral customs. Thus, Δίκα implies the balance, the reasoned judgement, the thoughtful reasoning - σωφρονεῖν - that πάθει μάθος brings and restores, and which accumulated πάθει μάθος of a particular folk or πόλις forms the basis for their ancestral customs. δίκη is therefore, as the numinous principle Δίκα, what may be said to be a particular and a necessary balance between ἀρετή and ὕβρις - between the ὕβρις that often results when the personal, the natural, quest for ἀρετή becomes unbalanced and excessive. That is, when ἔρις (discord) is or becomes δίκη - as suggested by Heraclitus in Fragment 80. In respect of Πόλεμος, it is perhaps interesting that in the recounted tales of Greek mythology attributed to Aesop, and in circulation at the time of Heraclitus, a personified πόλεμος (as the δαίμων of kindred strife) married a personified ὕβρις (as the δαίμων of arrogant pride)  and that it was a common folk belief that πόλεμος accompanied ὕβρις - that is, that Polemos followed Hubris around rather than vice versa, causing or bringing ἔρις. As a result of ἔρις, there often arises πάθει μάθος - that practical and personal knowing, that reasoned understanding which, according to Aeschylus  is the new law, the new understanding, given by Zeus to replace the older more religious and dogmatic way of fear and dread, often viewed as Μοῖραι τρίμορφοι μνήμονές τ Ἐρινύες . A new understanding which Aeschylus saught to explain in the Oresteia. Therefore one can perhaps understand and appreciate the true and acausal nature of Πόλεμος which, as suggested by Fragment 53, is a natural principle (or 'energy' or a manifestation of Being) which affects, or governs, all mortals and which, as suggested by Fragment 80, causes the manifestation of beings from Being (the causal separation of beings) and which natural separation results in ἔρις and thence, as suggested by Fragment 123  a return to Being; a return which can result, as suggested by Fragment 112  arise from thoughtful reasoning [σωφρονεῖν] - and which thoughtful, balanced, reasoning can incline us toward not committing ὕβρις. David Myatt April 2011 Notes
12 12  For the axiom of acausality, see my Introduction to The Philosophy of The Numen.  For an outline of opposites, refer to my essay The Abstraction of Change as Opposites and Dialectic.  Some alternative renderings of this fragment are: One should be aware that polemos is pervasive; and discord δίκη, and that beings [our being] quite naturally come-into-being through discord One should be aware that polemos pervades; with discord δίκη, and that all beings are begotten because of discord.  A δαίμων is not one of the pantheon of major Greek gods - θεοί - but rather a lesser type of divinity who might be assigned by those gods to bring good fortune or misfortune to human beings and/or watch over certain human beings and especially particular numinous (sacred) places. Furthermore, Polemos was originally the δαίμων of kindred strife, whether familial, or of one's πόλις (one's clan and their places of dwelling). Thus, to describe Polemos, as is sometimes done, as the god of conflict (or war), is doubly incorrect.  Agamemnon, qv. my essay, From Aeschylus To The Numinous Way - The Numinous Authority of πάθει μάθος  Aeschylus (attributed), Prometheus Bound,  Φύσις κρύπτεσθαι φιλεῖ - Concealment accompanies Physis. See my Physis, Nature, Concealment, and Natural Change.  σωφρονεῖν ἀρετὴ μεγίστη, καὶ σοφίη ἀληθέα λέγειν καὶ ποιεῖν κατὰ φύσιν ἐπαίοντας For this fragment, see my essay The Balance of Physis Notes on λόγος and ἀληθέα in Heraclitus. The Balance of Physis Notes on λόγος and ἀληθέα in Heraclitus Part One Fragment 112 σωφρονεῖν ἀρετὴ μεγίστη, καὶ σοφίη ἀληθέα λέγειν καὶ ποιεῖν κατὰ φύσιν
13 13 ἐπαίοντας.  Most excellent is balanced reasoning, for that skill can tell inner character from outer. This fragment is interesting because it contains what some regard as the philosophically important words σωφρονεῖν, ἀληθέα, φύσις and λόγος. The fragment suggests that what is most excellent [ ἀρετὴ ] is thoughtful reasoning [σωφρονεῖν] and such reasoning is both (1) to express (reveal) meaning and (2) that which is in accord with, or in sympathy with, φύσις with our nature and the nature of Being itself. Or, we might, perhaps more aptly, write such reasoning is both an expressing of inner meaning (essence), and expresses our own, true, nature (as thinking beings) and the balance, the nature, of Being itself. λέγειν [λόγος] here does not suggest what we now commonly understand by the term 'word'. Rather, it suggests both a naming (denoting), and a telling not a telling as in some abstract explanation or theory, but as in a simple describing, or recounting, of what has been so denoted or so named. Which is why, in fragment 39, Heraclitus writes: ἐν Πριήνηι Βίας ἐγένετο ὁ Τευτάμεω, οὗ πλείων λόγος ἢ τῶν ἄλλων  and why, in respect of λέγειν, Hesiod [see below under ἀληθέα] wrote: ἴδμεν ψεύδεα πολλὰ λέγειν ἐτύμοισιν ὁμοῖα, ἴδμεν δ, εὖτ ἐθέλωμεν, ἀληθέα γηρύσασθαι  φύσις here suggests the Homeric  usage of nature, or character, as in Herodotus (2.5.2): Αἰγύπτου γὰρ φύσις ἐστὶ τῆς χώρης τοιήδε but also suggests Φύσις (Physis) as in fragment 123; the natural nature of all beings, beyond their outer appearance. ἀληθέα commonly translated as truth here suggests (as often elsewhere) an exposure of essence, of the reality, the meaning, which lies behind the outer (false) appearance that covers or may conceal that reality or meaning, as in Hesiod (Theog, 27-28): ἴδμεν ψεύδεα πολλὰ λέγειν ἐτύμοισιν ὁμοῖα, ἴδμεν δ, εὖτ ἐθέλωμεν, ἀληθέα γηρύσασθαι 
14 14 σωφρονεῖν here suggests balanced (or thoughtful, measured) reasoning but not according to some abstract theory, but instead a reasoning, a natural way or manner of reasoning, in natural balance with ourselves, with our nature as thinking beings. Most importantly, perhaps, it is this σωφρονεῖν which can incline us toward not committing ὕβρις (hubris; insolence), which ὕβρις is a going beyond the natural limits, and which thus upsets the natural balance, as, for instance, mentioned by Sophocles: ὕβρις φυτεύει τύραννον: ὕβρις, εἰ πολλῶν ὑπερπλησθῇ μάταν, ἃ μὴ πίκαιρα μηδὲ συμφέροντα, ἀκρότατον εἰσαναβᾶσ αἶπος ἀπότομον ὤρουσεν εἰς ἀνάγκαν, ἔνθ οὐ ποδὶ χρησίμῳ χρῆται  It therefore not surprising that Heraclitus considers, as expressed in fragment 112, the best person the person with the most excellent character (that is, ἀρετὴ) is the person who, understanding and appreciating their own true nature as a thinking being (someone who can give names to who can denote beings, and express or recount that denoting to others), also understands the balance of Being, the true nature of beings [cf. fragment 1 - κατὰ φύσιν διαιρέων ἕκαστον], and who thus seeks to avoid committing the error of hubris, but who can not only also forget this understanding, and cease to remember such reasoning: τοῦ δὲ λόγου τοῦδ ἐόντος ἀεὶ ἀξύνετοι γίνονται ἄνθρωποι καὶ πρόσθεν ἢ ἀκοῦσαι καὶ ἀκούσαντες τὸ πρῶτον  but who can also deliberately, or otherwise, conceal what lies behind the names (the outer appearance) we give to beings, to 'things'. DW Myatt Notes:  Fragmentum B Fragmente der Vorsokratiker, ed. H. Diels, Berlin 1903  "In Priene was born someone named and recalled as most worthy Bias, that son of Teutamas."  We have many ways to conceal to name certain things And the skill when we wish to expose their meaning  Odyssey, Book 10, vv
15 15  "Insolence plants the tyrant. There is insolence if by a great foolishness there is a useless over-filling which goes beyond the proper limits. It is an ascending to the steepest and utmost heights and then that hurtling toward that Destiny where the useful foot has no use " (Oedipus Tyrannus, vv.872ff)  "Although this naming and expression, which I explain, exists human beings tend to ignore it, both before and after they have become aware of it." (Fragment 1) Φύσις κρύπτεσθαι φιλεῖ Physis, Nature, Concealment, and Natural Change The phrase Φύσις κρύπτεσθαι φιλεῖ attributed to Heraclitus [See Note 1] is often translated along the following lines: Nature loves to conceal Herself (or, Nature loves to hide). Such a translation is somewhat inaccurate, for several reasons. First, as used here, by Heraclitus, the meaning of Φύσις is rather different from his other usage of the term, as such usage is known to us in other fragments of his writings. For the sense here is of Φύσις rather than φύσις a subtle distinction that is often overlooked; that is, what is implied is that which is the origin behind the other senses, or usages, of the term φύσις. Thus, Φύσις (Physis) is not simply what we understand as Nature; rather, Nature is one way in which Φύσις is manifest, presenced, to us: to we human beings who possess the faculty of consciousness and of reflexion (Thought). That is, what we term Nature [See Note 2] has the being, the attribute, of Physis. As generally used for example, by Homer φύσις suggests the character, or nature, of a thing, especially a human being; a sense well-kept in English, where Nature and nature can mean two different things (hence one reason to capitalize Nature). Thus, we might write that Nature has the nature of Physis. Second, κρύπτεσθαι does not suggest a simple concealment, some intent to conceal as if Nature was some conscious (or anthropomorphic) thing with the ability to conceal Herself. Instead, κρύπτεσθαι implies a natural tendency to, the innate quality of, being and of becoming concealed or un-revealed. Thus and in reference to fragments 1 and 112 we can understand that κρύπτεσθαι suggests that φύσις has a natural tendency (the nature, the character) of being and of becoming un-revealed to us, even when it has already been revealed, or dis-covered. How is or can Φύσις (Physis) be uncovered? Through λόγος (cf. fragments 1, and 112).
16 16 Here, however, logos is more than some idealized (or moralistic) truth [ ἀληθέα ] and more than is implied by our term word. Rather, logos is the activity, the seeking, of the essence the nature, the character of things [ ἀληθέα akin to Heidegger's revealing] which essence also has a tendency to become covered by words, and an abstract (false) truth [ an abstraction; εἶδος and ἰδέα ] which is projected by us onto things, onto beings and Being. Thus, and importantly, λόγος understood and applied correctly can uncover (reveal) Φύσις and yet also misunderstood and used incorrectly serve to, or be the genesis of the, concealment of Φύσις. The correct logos or a correct logos is the ontology of Being, and the λόγος that is logical reasoning is an essential part of, a necessary foundation of, this ontology of Being, this seeking by φίλος, a friend, of σοφόν. Hence, and correctly, a philosopher is a friend of σοφόν who seeks, through λόγος, to uncover to understand Being and beings, and who thus suggests or proposes an ontology of Being. Essentially, the nature of Physis is to be concealed, or hidden (something of a mystery) even though Physis becomes revealed, or can become revealed, by means such as λόγος. There is, thus, a natural change, a natural unfolding of which Nature is one manifestation so that one might suggest that Physis itself is this process [ the type of being] of a natural unfolding which can be revealed and which can also be, or sometimes remain, concealed. Third, φιλεῖ [ φίλος ] here does not suggest loves nor even a desire to but rather suggests friend, companion, as in Homeric usage. In conclusion, therefore, it is possible to suggest more accurate translations of the phrase Φύσις κρύπτεσθαι φιλεῖ. All of which correctly leave Φύσις untranslated (as Physis with a capital P), since Φύσις is the source of certain beings [or, to be precise, Physis is the source of, the being behind, our apprehension of certain beings] of which being Nature is one, and of which our own, individual, character, as a particular human being, is another. One translation is: Concealment accompanies Physis. Or: Concealment remains with Physis, like a friend. Another is: The natural companion of Physis is concealment. Or, more poetically perhaps, but much less literally, one might suggest: Physis naturally seeks to remain something of a mystery. DW Myatt 2010 Notes:  Fragmentum B 123 Fragmente der Vorsokratiker ed. H. Diels, Berlin If the first letter of φύσις is not capitalized, then the phrase is φύσις κρύπτεσθαι φιλεῖ Heraclitus flourished c BCE.
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