Commenting on Passage Assignment | Essay Help Services

Choose ONE of the following passages and comment on it. The professor wants this “comment” laid out in four parts.

  1. Introduce the passage and its main ideas
  2. The claims of each sentence (he wants it as a list for example: claim #1, claim #2, etc.)
  3. The key terms: all the important words and definitions that are part of the passage, that is essential to philosophy (it can be philosophical terms along with terms used in every day language, just terms that take meaning in a philosophical context)
  4. Analysis: Explain each of the claims and analyze what the passage means to you.

1) You cannot step twice into the same river, for other waters and yet other go ever flowing one.
(Heraclitus, fr. 21)
2) Much learning does not teach understanding, otherwise it would have taught Hesiod and Pythagoras, Xenophanes and Hectaus. (Heraclitus, fr. 6)
3) People do not understand how that which is at variance with itself agree with itself. There is a harmony in the bending back, as in the cases of the bow and the lyre. (Heraclitus, fr. 117)
4) Although this Logos is eternally valid, men are unable to understand it – not only before hearing it, but even after they have heard it for the first time, that is to say, although all things comes to pass in accordance with this Logos, men seem to be quite without any experience of it – at least if they are judged
in the light of such words and deeds as I am here setting forth according to its nature, and to specify how it behaves. Other men, on the contrary, are as unaware of what they do when awake as they are asleep. (Heraclitus, fr. 1)
5) Wisdom one and the same. It is unwilling and willing to be called by the name of Zeus. (Heraclitus, fr. 121)
6) The way up and the way down is one and the same. (Heraclitus, fr. 68)
7) Men should speak with rational mind and thereby hold strongly to that which is shared in common as a city holds onto its law, and even more strongly. For even more strongly all human laws are nourished by one divine law, which prevails as far as it wishes, suffices for all things, and yet somehow stands above them (Heraclitus, fr. 70)
8) The mares which carry me as far as my spirit ever aspired were escorting me, when they brought me and proceeded along the renowned road of the goddess, which brings a knowing mortal to all cities one by one. On this path I was being brought, on it wise mares were bringing me, straining the chariot, and maidens were guiding the way. The axle in the center of the wheel was shrilling forth the bright sound of a musical pipe, ablaze, for it was being driven forward by two rounded wheels at either end, as the daughters of the Sun, were hastening to escort after leaving the house of Night for the light, having pushed back the veils from their heads with their hands. There are the gates of the roads of Night and Day, and a lintel and a stone threshold contain them. High in the sky they are filled by huge doors of which avenging Justice holds the keys that fit them. The maidens beguiled her with soft words and skillfully persuaded her to push back the bar for them quickly from the gates. They made a gaping gap of the doors when they opened them, swinging in turn in their sockets the bronze posts fastened with bolts and rivets. There, straight through them then, the maidens held the chariot and horses on the broad road. And the goddess received me kindly, took my right hand in hers, and addressed me with these words: ‘Young man, accompanied by immortal charioteers, who reach my house by the horses which bring you, welcome – since it was not an evil destiny that sent you forth to travel this road (for indeed it is far from the beaten path of humans), but Right and justice. There is need for you to learn all things – both the unshaken heart of persuasive Truth and the opinions of mortals, in which there is no true reliance. But nevertheless you will learn these too – that the things. (Parmenides, The Journey)
9) Come now, I will tell you the only ways of inquiry there are for thinking: the one, that it is and that it is not possible for it not to be, is the path of Persuasion (for it attends upon Truth), the other, that it is not and that it is necessary for it not to be, this I point out to you to be a path completely un-learnable, for neither may you know that which is not (for it is not to be accomplished) nor may you declare it. For the same thing is for thinking and for being. That which is there to be spoken and thought of must be. For it is possible for it to be, but not possible for nothing to be. There is still left a single story of a way, that it is.’ (Parmenides, fr. 5)
10) But if it was speech which persuaded Helen and deceived her heart, not even to this is it difficult to make an answer and to banish blame as follows. Speech is a powerful lord, which by means of the finest and most invisible body effects the divinest works: it can stop fear and banish grief and create joy and nurture pity. I shall show how this is the case, since it is necessary to offer proof to the opinion of my hearers: I both deem and define all poetry as speech with meter. Fearful shuddering and tearful pity and grievous longing come upon its hearers, and at the actions and physical sufferings of others in good fortunes and in evil fortunes, through the agency of words, the soul is wont to experience a suffering of its own. But come, I shall turn from one argument to another. Sacred incantations sung with words are bearers of pleasure and banishers of pain, for, merging with opinion in the soul, the power of the incantation is wont to beguile it and persuade it and alter it by witchcraft. There have been discovered two arts of witchcraft and magic: one consists of errors of soul and the other of deceptions of opinion. All who have and do persuade people of things do so by molding a false argument. For if all men on all subjects
had both memory of things past and awareness of things present and foreknowledge of the future, speech would not be similarly similar, since as things are now it is not easy for them to recall the past nor to consider the present nor to predict the future. (Gorgias, The Encomium of Helen)
11) There never was nor will be a man who has plain knowledge about the gods and about all the things I speak of. Even if he should chance to say the complete truth, yet he himself knows not that it is so. But all may have their fancy. (Xenophanes, Fr. 10)

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