Full Text

Empedocles (c.490–430 bc)

Subject Philosophy

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405106795.2004.x


Greek natural philosopher, born in Acragas, Sicily. Empedocles wrote two long philosophical poems ( On the Nature of Things and Hymns of Purification ), but only fragments of them survive. He held that things in the world were formed out of four roots or elements (earth, water, air, and fire). Alongside these elements are two principles, Love and Strife. Love unites the elements, whereas Strife separates them. Love and Strife alternate in periods of domination of the kosmos as a whole. Empedocles used understanding of generation and destruction in terms of the combination and separation of several ultimate constituents to respond to Parmenides' rejection of the possibility of change. ... log in or subscribe to read full text

Log In

You are not currently logged-in to Blackwell Reference Online

If your institution has a subscription, you can log in here:


     Forgotten your password?

Find out how to subscribe.

Your library does not have access to this title. Please contact your librarian to arrange access.

[ access key 0 : accessibility information including access key list ] [ access key 1 : home page ] [ access key 2 : skip navigation ] [ access key 6 : help ] [ access key 9 : contact us ] [ access key 0 : accessibility statement ]

Blackwell Publishing Home Page

Blackwell Reference Online ® is a Blackwell Publishing Inc. registered trademark
Technology partner: Semantico Ltd.

Blackwell Publishing and its licensors hold the copyright in all material held in Blackwell Reference Online. No material may be resold or published elsewhere without Blackwell Publishing's written consent, save as authorised by a licence with Blackwell Publishing or to the extent required by the applicable law.

Back to Top