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Ephesian school sometimes refers to the philosophical thought of the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus of Ephesus, who considered that the being of all the universe is fire. According to him, the being is material and one, but at the same time he acknowledges that the world witnesses constant change. Motion of the archelement (fire) is discordant and unharmonious, even though harmony is the final result of the process. This change, the transformation of material from one state into another, does not happen by accident, but rather "according to law", within certain limits and within certain time. This law is named logos (λόγος) by Heraclitus. Therefore, the term "Ephesian School" could be applied to the Presocratic Greek thought which, looking upon the problem of One and Many (and their relationship), attempts at bringing the two "extremes" to peace: Parmenides' assertion of One and negation of many and change, on the one part, and the Pythagorean assertion of Many (monads) and motion and negation of One, on the other hand.

Although there was never an official "Ephesian School," Diogenes Laërtius (ix. 6) mentions that his philosophy did have followers who called themselves "Heracliteans." Plato portrays Cratylus in his dialogue of the same name as a disciple of Heraclitus.

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