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4.20  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,986 Ratings  ·  81 Reviews
In the sixth century b.c.-twenty-five hundred years before Einstein-Heraclitus of Ephesus declared that energy is the essence of matter, that everything becomes energy in flux, in relativity. His great book, On Nature, the world's first coherent philosophical treatise and touchstone for Plato, Aristotle, and Marcus Aurelius, has long been lost to history-but its surviving ...more
ebook, 128 pages
Published October 28th 2003 by Penguin Books (first published -500)
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Riku Sayuj


Heraclitus is all rolled into one. His fragments are tantalizing, hinting at a wisdom lost to us, but I am sure that he meant them to be fragmentary, so that all he does for the reader is a quick nod in the direction of a distant window, leaving the reader to make the journey, to peep out, and to make of the sight what he will. In the sure knowledge that Heraclitus had pointed him there and whatever he sees there is worth interpreting.

“Things keep their secret
Aug 09, 2007 Christopher rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Heraclitus' FRAGMENTS come here in the original with a facing-page translation by Brooks Haxton that tries to do to the pre-Socratic philosopher what no earlier translator has done, make him a New-Ageish wisdom poet in tune with our modern needs. It is a disastrous experiment, and I cannot recommend it either to students of Greek or readers interested in the pre-Socratics.

The problems here are legion. For one, Haxton doesn't use Diels' numbering scheme, favouring Bywater's dinosaur-era numbers,
Jul 02, 2011 Wayne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who enjoys thinking about it all
Recommended to Wayne by: a gift from Alfonso


Never twice,
so hardly thrice,
will you step
into the cooling waters
and find the stream
the same.

Pass on
with gladness,
not looking back
expecting permanence.
immerse yourself
in the ever-flux.
when you must,
with the tide.
Do not fight
what you cannot change-
the Changeless Everchanging.

9th March,1985.

The mightiest rock is withering away;
A tiny mound growing to a famous hill.
Becoming and becoming shapes the world.
Becoming and becoming
Valdemar Gomes
Aug 14, 2015 Valdemar Gomes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bué fixe e (ouvi dizer) importante.
Joshua Nomen-Mutatio
Nov 17, 2008 Joshua Nomen-Mutatio rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy

"Even sleepers are workers and collaborators on what goes on in the universe."

"Opposition brings concord. Out of discord comes the fairest harmony."

And a real personal favorite:

"We are most nearly ourselves when we achieve the seriousness of the child at play."

"Unlike most other early philosophers, Heraclitus is usually seen as independent of the several schools and movements later students (somewhat anachronistically) assigned to the ancients, and he himself implies that he is self-taught (B101
Ty Melgren
Guillermo wrote this guy's name on our pizza box and said I had to read his book. I guess some people think the beginning of the gospel of John is based on the first few of these fragments, which could be true, whatever, but John's version seems a little stranger and more beautiful and more coherent to me. Think I found some Silver Jews lyrics in here though.
Jul 24, 2007 liza rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: politics
such clear thinking from such an ancient time makes me wonder why basic political structures didn't develop along more reasonable lines much much earlier than they did.
Sep 15, 2012 Yann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quand je pense à Héraclite d'Ephèse, il me vient immédiatement à l'esprit l'image d'un homme profondément malheureux, qui pleure du spectacle de la folie des hommes. Tout l'inverse de la folie d'un Démocrite d'Abdère, véritable misanthrope, riant de la même cause. Philosophe du tout début du cinquième siècle avant notre ère, Héraclite serait l'auteur d'un ouvrage hélas aujourd'hui perdu, mais qui fut assez célèbre pour être cité en continu depuis Platon et Aristote, jusqu'aux auteurs patristique ...more
Mar 25, 2012 Mohammed rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Interesting, but not enlightening. Good points about change, skepticism, open-mindedness, rising above petty worldliness and not being too deferential to authority are embedded in this book.

However, I feel these points are only to be found there because the reader is forced to find some content to justify the worth of these fragments.

Many of these ideas will already be known or familiar in more developed forms to any reasonably versed reader of those philosophers and writers who followed Heracl
C'est un bon livre et très utile. Chaque fragment est précédé par le nom de l'auteur auquel nos devons la survie du texte, et l'oeuvre dans lequel il a été cité, ce qui fournit plus de sens des plus fragmentaire et montre les interprétations d'Héraclite en l'antiquité. Les explications — si je suis en accord avec elles ou non — précisent le texte et parfois révèlent les menus détails dont je serais autrement ignorant. L'éditeur traverse les fragments phrase par phrase, clausule par clausule, sou ...more
Ali Sait Tanrıverdi
Jul 18, 2015 Ali Sait Tanrıverdi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
"Ağının ortasında oturan örümcek
sineğin takıldığını görür görmez
nasıl ona doğru koşarsa
ipliğin kopmasından acı duyarcasına

İnsan ruhu da
gövdesinin bir yanı yaralanınca
hızla gider oraya
yaralanmasına dayanamazcasına"
Jan 02, 2016 Lo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Aaron Cerda
Heraclitus was my favorite pre-socratic through my late high school and college years. Twelve years later, when studying Alfred North Whitehead I realized that this little known philosopher was making a comeback in modern thought and that I should study up on him as much as possible. Unfortunately, none of his writings survived but we do have these fragments which are quotes from other philosophers. I was surprised to learn that his influence on philosophy had a strong current and that Whitehead ...more
Tim Megna
Sep 25, 2013 Tim Megna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This happens to be my favorite philosophical text of all time

Heraclitus manages to create intuitive analogues for thermodynamics, even quantum mechanics, before these concepts had even been truly discovered by mankind. Reading passages from this can be soothing and engaging at the same time as the axiomatic statements contain within them entire thoughts of higher complexity that the reader can choose to follow or let pass in favor of a rhythmic, poetic read.
Apr 10, 2011 §-- rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy, greeks
Very mysterious. Hard to pin him down on any given system; he gives hints of pantheism, which he contradicts with a kind of proto-Platonic-Christianity (all the Logos stuff and Wisdom stuff), which he contradicts with explicit references to pagan gods, which he contradicts with explicit mockeries of pagan religion (animal sacrifices).

But the mystery is what is so appealing about him; what makes you keep turning pages.
Alp Turgut
Sokrates öncesi düşünürlerden biri olan Heraclitus / Herakleitos'un günümüze kadar gelebilmiş fragmanlarının Alova'nın şiir diliyle okuyucuya sunulduğu "Kırık Taşlar"ın kitap olarak bende büyük bir hayal kırıklığı yaşattığını söylemeliyim. Yazarın kendinden sonraki tüm filozoflara nasıl ilham kaynağı olduğu çok açık; fakat bu kadar kısa fragmanların 167 sayfaya yayılması büyük bir kağıt israfı. Her şeyin süreki bir akış halinde olduğunu sistemli bir şekilde açıklamaya çalışan, gözlemleriyle şu a ...more
Jul 12, 2014 7jane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Heraclitus ("the glory of Hera"), contemporary of Buddha, Lao Tzu and Confucius, was one of the first philosophers of Ancient Greece. He was the one who said "one can't step into the same river twice". These fragments, mostly in Greek but a few times in Latin (which are printed on the left-side page alongside the English of the right-side page), once were parts of a very often quoted book "On Nature", which since has gone missing. But just from the few bits that are here can be gained very deep ...more
Mar 09, 2013 Shahzeb rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The best amongst the greek era. A father figure for existentialism for sure. Intelligently written and can only be intelligently understood. A strong

recommendation for those who believe that philosophy was only from Socrates to aristotle and nothing more.

The first thinker to use intuition.

The translations are not literal, and barely Heraclitus, ["Χρησμοσύνη...κόρος." (literally: "Need/want/poverty...satiety/one's fill") perplexingly becomes "Hunger, even/in the elements,/and insolence." (pp.16-17)] but not unpleasant to read, although totally absurd (Haxton's intro seems to imply that he himself doesn't know Greek very well or at all, but to be fair there's a caveat hidden away in his translation note about this). The intro essay by James Hillman is really the only offensive piec ...more
Jul 09, 2015 Taha rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
Felsefeye özel merakı olmayanların almamasını tavsiye edeceğim, sıradan okura katacak bir şey olmayan bir eserdir. Platon'a kadarki filozofların tamamının, zannediyorum, kitabı değil de bunun gibi sadece fragmanlardan oluşan eserlerinin olması sistematik bir bilgi akışına mani oluyor. Okura en büyük faydası Herakleitos'un hayatının kısa bir okuması ile felsefe tarihinin gelişimi hakkında bilgi edinmek olacaktır.

Bunun haricinde kitabı Can Yayınları'ndan değil, Kabalcı'dan almanızı tavsiye ederim.
Jul 06, 2010 Charles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition a sunken ship. A meditation, a Rorschach. A work that makes it clear how much on brings of oneself to a book. The fifth star's absence is a fault of history, not of Heraclitus himself.
Selçuk Kılınç
Kitap kısa sözlerden oluşuyor. Şair Alova çevirirken daha şiirsel bir dille çevirmiş. kitabı pek beğenmedim. Tek cazip tarafı m.ö. yüzyıllara ait bir eser olması.
Billy Dean
Jun 19, 2012 Billy Dean rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
One star for Heraclitus?

The low rating has nothing to do with Heraclitus himself and everything to do with this translation. Laughable.
El Zuco
Nov 20, 2009 El Zuco rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
more PRE-SOCRATICS, please! Pass the PRE-SOCRATICS!
Heraclitus is a great start if you want to get into Greek philosophy. Being pre-socratic and a monist, he will introduce you to the world of philosophy before Socrates and Plato.
Sadly you won't get a good idea of Heraclitus' work with this translation by Brooks Haxton. He pushes the literal translation out the window and makes up whatever he wants as he goes. I have no idea how this man managed to get his translation published by Penguin, but if you want to actually read Heraclitus in English,
Kyle van Oosterum
Jan 14, 2016 Kyle van Oosterum rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Heraclitus was the father of the aphorism, of the pithy and fragmentary expression of knowledge. Most pre-Socratic philosophers have been relegated to obscurity, but he is really an exception, having inspired philosophers from Plato up until Nietzsche.

Heraclitus believed that everything was made of fire; everything is in flux and the meaning of truth shifts and fluctuates over time. Nothing is permanent except change. Everything changes: "by cosmic rule, as day yields night, so winter summer, w
Joan Araujo Arenas
NOTA: Para el número de los fragmentos, me guío por el trabajo de Diels: Die Fragmente Der Vorsokratiker.

Quienes han dispuesto un orden en el pensamiento de Heráclito disperso en sus fragmentos, distinguen tres momentos especulativos del logos ―la ley del devenir universal―:

I) Experiencia del flujo ―o la dinámica de los opuestos―: que corresponde a la tesis. El pantha rei: todo fluye, todo cambia.

II) Exigencia de la unidad de permanencia: que corresponde a la antítesis. Significa que detrás de
Sep 18, 2014 Donald rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
These precious "Fragments" of the thought of Heraclitus are dense, rich and yet also sharp, clear and open. There are very few thinkers whose works could be condensed into poetic aphorisms that are not only beautiful to behold, but as deep and still as any sophisticated philosophy. At once demanding, insightful, and playful, Heraclitus' sharp wit is like a refreshing rain shower in this age of jingoism and vulgarity. This little book is a fine companion on your walk, wherever it may take you.
The penguin classics edition of this book is kind of silly. Sure it gives the fragments a poetic flow, but i have read other translations that are more literal and take less liberties in augumenting heraclitus' thoughts. Plus, the introduction was also silly, because it attempts to fit this pre-socratic into a postmodernist box. Heraclitus would probably not have been a deconstructionist. He wept because he could see the deconstructionists coming
Bob Nichols
I have seen many references to Heraclitus whose worldview was focused on change, motion, lack of permanence, etc. This was a quick read because, as the title said, it's a collection of "fragments," largely aphoristic statements that hint at a worldview premised on change, but perhaps not. Despite its reputation, it's not so easy to say that this collection of miscellaneous thoughts, collectively, amounts to a sophisticated worldview. It may, but I am not sure that there's enough here to make thi ...more
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  • The Enneads
  • Early Greek Philosophy
  • De Anima (On the Soul)
  • The Discourses
  • The Moral Sayings of Publius Syrus: A Roman Slave
  • The Nature of the Gods
  • Charmides
  • The Essential Epicurus
  • The First Philosophers: The Presocratics and Sophists
  • The Greeks and the Irrational
  • Essays
  • Cartesian Meditations: An Introduction to Phenomenology
  • The Art and Thought of Heraclitus: A New Arrangement and Translation of the Fragments with Literary and Philosophical Commentary
  • On Great Writing (On the Sublime)
  • Untimely Meditations
  • Essays and Aphorisms
  • Maxims
  • New Science
Heraclitus of Ephesus (Greek: Ἡράκλειτος ὁ Ἐφέσιος,c.535 – c.475 BCE) was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher,a native of the Greek city Ephesus,Ionia,on the coast of Asia Minor.He was of distinguished parentage.Little is known about his early life and education,but he regarded himself as self-taught and a pioneer of wisdom.From the lonely life he led,and still more from the apparently riddled and al ...more
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