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Empedocles. Portrait of the ancient Greek philosopher Empedocles of Acragas (c.450 BC). He is credited with the idea that all matter is formed from various combinations of the four fundamental elements: water, fire, earth and air. Empedocles believed that these elements were joined by attraction (love) and separated by repulsion (strife). The theory was elaborated upon by fellow Greek Aristotle, who claimed motion was caused by each element's desire to reach its rightful location. It is now known that matter is made of many different chemical elements.
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