EPIMENIDES VS EMPEDOCLES: how early greek philosophers fought еpidemics






Epimenides, Empedocles, pandemic, early ancient Greek philosophy, medicine, divine concept of origin of diseases, ontological concept of origin of diseases


The article attempts to highlight the development of the unity of medicine and philosophy in the context of combating epidemics of two early Greek thinkers Epimenides and Empedocles. The idea that Epimenides adheres to the divine origin of the disease is justified, but at the same time, in the process of ritual purification from the plague, it attracts elements of the Pythagorean view of healing, as well as close to Indo-Iranian traditions of the time. It is proved that in the course of the development of ancient thought, the view of the disease also evolves “from myth to logos”, which leads to the understanding of this phenomenon in Empedocles as an ontological problem. Accordingly, it has been established that, for the Sicilian philosopher, mass diseases (epidemics) are caused primarily by the fact that he is more prevalent in the world. If the society is engulfed by hatred and malice, then diseases will inevitably emerge and increase. Instead, overcoming and disappearing of epidemics are possible because peace and harmony between people will prevail. The author substantiates the thesis that helping residents to overcome epidemics in various ancient cities, testifies to the great importance of the early Greek thinkers, who combined not only reflection but also praxis.

Author Biography

Vitalii Turenko

PhD, Junior Research Fellow at the Faculty of Philosophy, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv,
60, Volodymyrska St., Kyiv, 01033


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How to Cite

Turenko, V. (2020). EPIMENIDES VS EMPEDOCLES: how early greek philosophers fought еpidemics: Essays. Filosofska Dumka, (4), 39–49. https://doi.org/10.15407/fd2020.04.039






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