Philosophy can be incredibly dry at times, giving it a bad name. With all of its jargon, complex theories, and intricate history, philosophy is strictly scholarly, intimidating intellectuals, scaring away laypeople, and attracting very little attention, as most people prefer to stay away from the dense topic; what people tend to overlook, though, is that philosophy is not always boring, for philosophy is filled with humorous yet interesting anecdotes concerning famous philosophers. So, without further ado, I present part one of Philosophy Fun Facts, which will be a short series of quirky but educational fun facts about philosophers and philosophy.
The 4 Elements
The four classic elements of earth, water, air, and fire are attributed to the pre-Socratic philosopher Empedocles (495-430 BCE), who claimed the universe was composed of the tetrad, which formed the cosmos through a never-ending battle between the conjoining force of Love and the destructive force of Strife.
The philosopher Leucippus (?) and his disciple Democritus (460-370 BCE), known as the laughing philosopher, propounded the first theory of atoms, small, infinitesimal particles that, when combined in certain orders, formed matter. Based on what atoms the matter was composed of, say small and pointy atoms, the substance would retain those characteristics, creating, in this case, a sharp object. There is a finite amount of atoms, all of which fill up the cosmos, an empty void.
For further reading:
501 Things You Should Have Learned About Philosophy by Alison Rattle (2012)
1001 Ideas That Changed the Way We Think by Robert Arp (2013)
The Essentials of Philosophy by James Mannion (2006)
The Twilight of the Idols by Friedrich Nietzsche (1888)
The Dream of Reason by Anthony Gottlieb (2000)
History of Philosophy by Julian Marias (1967)