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James Lesher [10]James H. Lesher [1]
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  1. Robinson Jeffers, 'The Double Axe'.James Lesher - manuscript
    Robinson Jeffers’ dark view of humankind is thought to owe much to Friedrich Nietzsche while his admiration for the beauty of nature has been compared to sentiments expressed by Lucretius in de rerum natura. In many respects, however, the philosopher who stands closest to Jeffers in both thought and personality is the ancient Greek thinker Heraclitus of Ephesus. Jeffers’ extended poem ‘The Double Axe’ makes no fewer than five clear references to Heraclitean ideas: (1) ‘Heraclitus’ Sibyl whose voice reached over (...)
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  2. Heraclitus and Modern Poetry: Works Cited.James Lesher - manuscript
    Heraclitus and Modern Poetry: Works Cited.
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  3.  99
    Heraclitus' Poetic Ideas.James Lesher - manuscript
    This study forms a part of a larger investigation of the influence of the philosophy of Heraclitus of Ephesus on modern poetry. T. S. Eliot, to mention the best known of the many poets inspired by Heraclitus, selected two Heraclitus fragments (B 2 and B 60) as epigraphs for his “Burnt Norton”, the first of his Four Quartets. Eliot explained that he was drawn to the fragments because of their ‘ambiguity’ and ‘extraordinary poetic suggestiveness’. Similarly, in ‘This Solitude of Cataracts’, (...)
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  4.  90
    Three Variations on a Heraclitean Theme.James Lesher - manuscript
    In ‘Hoi Rheontes’ (‘The Flowing Ones’), Alfred Lord Tennyson adopted the Heraclitean simile of the flowing river in support of philosophical relativism: (1) all things are changing all the time; therefore (2) nothing is, but is only in the process of appearing to be in some way; therefore (3) all beliefs are true. But the relativist doctrine refutes itself: it can only be true relatively to those who assert it. In his ‘In May’ the American poet Michael Collier rejected what (...)
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  5.  12
    MacNeice the Heraclitean.James Lesher - 2021 - Philosophy and Literature 45 (2):315-328.
    Many of the poems of Louis MacNeice display a knowledge of the philosophical theories he studied during his undergraduate years in Oxford. In his ‘Variation on Heraclitus’ and in several other poems, MacNeice alludes to the ‘doctrine of flux’ Plato attributed to the Greek thinker Heraclitus of Ephesus. In ‘Plurality’, his most extended exploration of the conflict between the life-affirming doctrine of flux and a life-suppressing monism, MacNeice embraces the reality of change and rejects the monism he credits to the (...)
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  6.  90
    ‘Hopkins’ Creative Use of Heraclitean Materials,.James Lesher - 2011 - International Journal for the Classical Tradition 18:262-269.
    Gerard Manley Hopkins is best remembered for his celebratory 'nature sonnets'— 'Pied Beauty', 'God's Grandeur', and 'The Windhover'. Less than a year before his death, however, Hopkins drew on ideas associated with the ancient Greek thinker Heraclitus of Ephesus to express a darker view of nature. In 'That Nature is a Heraclitean Fire and of the Comfort of the Resurrection’ Hopkins offers a vision of nature and human existence marked by dissolution and destruction. But the poet rejects that apocalyptic vision (...)
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  7. Aristotle’s Considered View of the Path to Knowledge.James H. Lesher - 2012 - In El espíritu y la letra: un homenaje a Alfonso Gomez-Lobo. Buenos Aires: Ediciones Colihue. pp. 127-145.
    I argue that these inconsistencies in wording and practice reflect the existence of two distinct Aristotelian views of inquiry, one peculiar to the Posterior Analytics and the other put forward in the Physics and practiced in the Physics and in other treatises. Although the two views overlap to some degree (e.g. both regard a rudimentary understanding of the subject as an essential first stage), the view of the syllogism as the workhorse of scientific investigation and the related view of inquiry (...)
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  8.  14
    ‘Odysseás Elytis’ Conversation with Heraclitus: “Of Ephesus”,.James Lesher - 2020 - Philosophy and Literature 44:226-236.
    ‘Of Ephesus’ begins with a series of vivid impressions of a wild and free nature—vineyards rolling across the landscape, an untrammeled sky, a runaway donkey, flaming pinecones, roosters, and colorful kites and flags. Fire in some form (wildfires, the sun, flames, torches, lightning, sunlight) is the hallmark of a dynamic reality. The reference to ‘St. Heraclitus’ supports this interpretation: Elytis, like Heraclitus, seeks to alert his audience to the possible existence of a higher realm of being. So he fashions a (...)
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  9.  14
    ‘Heraclitean Ideas in Stevens’ “This Solitude of Cataracts”,.James Lesher - 2014 - Wallace Stevens Journal 38 (spring):21-34.
    ‘Cataracts’ in Stevens’ poems are falling waters—here a river flowing near a mountain. The ‘apostrophe that was not spoken’ may be an address that was not made, perhaps an unspoken affirmation of nature’s beauty. And the river that ‘is never the same twice’ can only be the flowing river Plato claimed Heraclitus used as a simile for all existing things: ‘Heraclitus says somewhere that everything gives way and nothing remains, and likening existing things to the flow of a river, he (...)
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  10.  11
    ‘The Self in Conflict with Itself: A Heraclitean Theme in Eliot’s Cocktail Party’.James Lesher - 2013 - In Seduction and Power: Antiquity in the Visual and Performing arts. London and New York: Bloomsbury Publishing. pp. 121-132.
    In ‘Burnt Norton’, the first of his ‘four quartets’, Eliot selected two Heraclitus’ fragments as epigraphs. In quoting fragment B 60 (‘the way up and the way down are one and the same’) he was reminding his readers that entrance into a spiritual life calls for both engagement and withdrawal, for both descending and ascending. And in quoting B 2 he reaffirmed Heraclitus’ conviction that most people fail to recognize the truth even when it is directly presented to them. In (...)
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  11.  7
    'Borges' Love Affair with Heraclitus'.James Lesher - 2017 - Philosophy and Literature 41:303-314.
    References to Heraclitus and the simile of the ever-flowing river into which one cannot step twice occur frequently in the poetry of Jorge Luis Borges. Borges understood the constantly flowing river to represent both the inevitable passage of time and the constantly changing nature of human existence. On occasion, however, Borges indicates that a Heraclitean identification of our personal existence with an ever-flowing river cannot be the whole story. As he suggests in ‘Year’s End’, ‘There is something in us that (...)
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