Heraclitus was quite the interesting philosopher. He lived during the period of 535 BCE to 475 BCE. He believed in many things, some beliefs contradicting others. Heraclitus was born into an aristocratic family, and had many privileges such as an education. As his life went on, he became an influential thinker, forming metaphysical philosophies and doing things that metaphysicists do. Heraclitus was quite the philosopher, but not such a great public relations specialist. He was quoted stating that he knows nothing, then later stating that he knows everything. He also did quite a bit of trash talking about other philosophers, stating that Hesiod and Pythagoras lacked understanding, and Homer and Archilochus deserved to be beaten. He didn’t like people in general, and they felt the same towards him. He left his life to live a lonely life in the mountains.
Heraclitus is most known for his strong belief of constant change everywhere in the universe. This may have been influenced by his ever changing life causing him to look at the world in a different way. He is also credited with first suggesting the idea of a unity of opposites. In essence, the unity of opposites means that everything has an opposite, and opposite forces are co-instantiated within every physical object. These forces are at sort of a “war” with each other, and this causes everything to be in a state of constant change. The unity of opposites has influenced philosophy a fair bit. It’s become central to dialectics, but it is also viewed as a metaphysical concept.
Personally, I totally agree with Heraclitus’ idea of constant change and a unity of opposites. I like how they’re effective at causing one to think and keenly observe their world around them. I definitely don’t think that there’s anything untrue about these concepts, because if you think about them and relate them to the world around you, it’s just a way of explaining some things there are to be explained.
Although Heraclitus wasn’t the best at making friends, I think that definitely caused him to look at the world in a different way, and become a great philosopher.