<principle, Milesian philosophers, foundation, cause>, <Anaximander, apeiron, Empedocles>, <mataphysics, ontology, epistemology>, <absolute principle> Greek term for beginning or ultimate principle. The Milesian philosophers looked for a single material stuff of which the entire universe is composed, while Empedocles identified no fewer than four elements whose mixture makes up ordinary things. For both Plato and Aristotle, however, the arch most worth seeking would be an originating power from which the material order flows and upon which theoretical knowledge of its nature might be grounded logically. Recommended Reading: F. E. Peters, Greek Philosophical Terms: A Historical Lexicon (NYU, 1967).
[A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names]
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