5. Empedocles (c. 495 – c. 435 BC)

Called by Aristotle the father of rhetoric, Empedocles was a physician, as well as a philosopher and poet. Born in Agrigentum, Empedocles claimed that everything was made of four elements (earth, wind, water and fire), moved by two opposing powers, Love and Strife. Empedocles also supported the doctrine of reincarnation and was the last Greek philosopher to record his ideas in verse. He is also credited with the first comprehensive theory of light and vision – we see objects because light streams out of our eyes and touches them.

References: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, http://plato.stanford.edu/about.html

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