75 Evidence of Plato and Aristotle relating to the Ekpyrosis in Heraclitus 1 RODOLFO MONDOLFO The double problem whether in passages of Plato the theory of a periodical conflagration of the world is denied to Heraclitus, and whether in passages of Aristotle it is attributed to him, is of unquestionable importance as part of the vexata quaestio whether Hera- clitus really maintained that view or not. And from one point of view the weightier aspect of the double problem is that concerning Aristotle's testimony. For although in his interpretations he perhaps often distorts other people's theories, as H. Cherniss especially has shown (Aristotle's Criticism o` f'Pre- Socratic Philosophy, Baltimore, 1935"), yet, as is acknowled- ged by Cherniss himself, 'he had the books of these men [the pre- Socratics] presumably in their complete form, while we only have fragments.' And let us add that where Heraclitus is concerned, Aristotle himself declares his full and direct knowledge of the text, when he states in the Rhetoric, 1047 b i 1 foIl., that the sentence he quotes was found at the beginning of the book, and gives it as an example of faults of style by which the whole work was
Phronesis – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1958
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