“Empedocles, then, thinks that sense-perception and thinking occur thus; but from what he says one might wonder first of all how ‘living things’ differ from ‘other things’ with respect to sense-perception. For things fit into the pores of ‘lifeless things’ too; for in general he says that mixture occurs by a symmetry of pores. That is why oil and water do not mix [N1], but other fluids do, as indeed do other substances whose proper blends he lists. Consequently, everything will perceive and mixture, sense-perception, and growth will be the same process. For he makes them all [occur] by the symmetry of pores, unless he add some differentiating feature.”— Author (c.300BC), “Testimonia #12”, in: The Poem of Empedocles (pg. 198) 
“In living things themselves why will the fire inside the animal do the perceiving rather than the fire outside, if indeed they fit into each other? For they possess both symmetry and likeness. Moreover; there has to be a difference [between them] if it itself [i.e. internal fire] cannot fill up the pores but the external fire does so as it enters. Consequently, if it was like in all respects and in all circumstances, there would be no perception. Moreover, are the pores full or empty? For if they are empty, he would turn out to be contradicting himself — for he says that there is absolutely no void. [N1] But if [the pores] are full, animals would always perceive. For if it is so obvious that, as he says, what is like fits into them.”— Author (c.300BC), “Testimonia #13”, in: The Poem of Empedocles (pg. 198) 
“If horses could draw, god would have four limbs and run very fast.”— Empedocles (c.450), attributed aphorism (Ѻ); most (Walsh, 1997), however, attribute saying to Xenophanes
“For it was fit that they who wrote should themselves have been eye-witnesses of those things concerning which they made assertions, or should accurately have ascertained them from those who had seen them; for they who write of things unascertained beat the air. For what did it profit Homer to have compose the Trojan war, and to have deceived many; or Hesiod, the register of the theogony of those whom he calls gods; or Orpheus, the three hundred and sixty-five gods, whom in the end of his life he rejects, maintaining in his precepts that there is one god? What profit did the sphaerography of the world's circle confer on Aratus, or those who held the same doctrine as he, except glory among men? And not even that did they reap as they deserved. And what truth did they utter? Or what good did their tragedies do to Euripides and Sophocles, or the other tragedians? Or their comedies to Menander and Aristophanes, and the other comedians? Or their histories to Herodotus and Thucydides? Or the shrines and the pillars of Hercules to Pythagoras, or the Cynic philosophy to Diogenes? What good did it do Epicurus to maintain that there is no providence; or Empedocles to teach atheism (see: atheism professor); or Socrates to swear by the dog, and the goose, and the plane-tree, and AEsculapius struck by lightning, and the demons whom he invoked? And why did he willingly die? What reward, or of what kind, did he expect to receive after death? What did Plato's system of culture profit him? Or what benefit did the rest of the philosophers derive from their doctrines, not to enumerate the whole of them, since they are numerous? But these things we say, for the purpose of exhibiting their useless and godless opinions.”
“Empedocles notion of god is the most distasteful lapse. He would have it that the four elements, from which he maintains that all things originate, are divine, though it is obvious that the elements come into existence and are destroyed, and lack all sensation.”
|The models of re-interpretation of "life" and "death", of Empedocles, according to which "coming into being" (aka LIFE in layspeak) is but the "co-mingling" of the elements and "coming out of being" (aka DEATH in layspeak) is but the "separation" of the elements. This view is corroborated by Charles Sherrington (1938) who sees life and death as but anthropisms that disappear from the scene when chemistry and physics enter.|
See main: Death does not existThe following quote statement by Empedocles on the falsity of belief in life and death is renowned:
“There is neither birth nor death for any mortal, but only a combination and separation of that which was combined, and this is what amongst laymen they call ‘birth’ and ‘death’. Only infants or short-sighted persons imagine any thing is ‘born’ which did not exist before, or that any thing can ‘die’ or parish totally.”— Empedocles (c.450BC), Fragment I21 / DK8 + Fragment I23 / DK11; cited by Baron d’Holbach in The System of Nature (pg. 27); cited by cited by Alfred Lotka (1925) in Elements of Physical Biology (pg. 185, 246)
“When the elements have been ‘mingled’ in the fashion of a man, and come to the light of day, or in the fashion of the race of wild beasts or plants or birds, then men say that these ‘come into being’, and when they are ‘separated’, they call that in common parlance, death .... let not the error prevail over the mind that there is any other source of all the perishable creatures that appear in countless numbers.”— Empedocles (c.450BC), cited by Alfred Lotka (1925) in Elements of Physical Biology (pg. 185) “There is no coming into being of aught that perishes, nor any end for it .... but only mingling, and separation of what has been mingled.”
“Birth is the aggregation of atoms, death is their disaggregation or destruction of atomic composite, without anything being derived from nothing and nothing going into anything in the process.”— Leucippus (c.460BC), and or the analogous views of Empedocles and Anaxagoras 
|A general diagram, from the Greek philosophy tree, of the intellectual influence on Empedocles, specifically that of: Pythagoras, Telauges, Xenophanes, Anaxagoras, and Parmenides.|
Empedokles: a native of Sicily, about 450BC. He was a man of wealth and learning, who embraced the atomic theory of Demokritos (see: that heading), and affirmed that all nature evolved under fixed laws, without the interference of the gods. With poetic fancy he spoke of atoms combined or separated through love and hate. He thus anticipated our modern theory, and our discoveries as to attractions and repulsions. He said that unfit combinations endured only for a time, to be succeeded by others, and that matter was but the combination of unalterable and substantial atoms, which he called "the roots of things." He distinguished four elements, fire, air, water, and earth, deified, he said, as Zeus, Hera, Nestis, and Aidoneus. These he supposed to be simple elementary substances, eternal and unalterable, which united mechanically according to properties of attraction and repulsion. He conceived them to be constituted by spheres of pure existence, offering equal resistance in every direction, and embodying the ideas of pure divinity, united by Love. Like the Eleatiks he spoke of a "holy and infinite Spirit passing through the world with rapid thoughts ... an eternal power of Necessity " (see Prof. Brandis. Smith's Dicty. Gr. and Rom. Biogr.).
Empedokles insists on good moral conduct, as the best preventive of disease, since all things so follow their natural course. He was extolled as an "averter of evils," and even as a "controller of storms," his disciples saying that he accomplished this miraculously: that he drained marshes, and quelled noxious winds, and epidemics: that he cured strange malignant diseases, and prolonged lives. He was supposed to desire that men should regard him as being an incarnate god. It was an age of varied movements; and Empedokles was acquainted with Anaxagoras, Parmenides, Pausanias, and the Pythagoreans; he was also said to have visited Magi. He believed in transmigrations of souls; and Aristotle places him among the "lonik" physiologists, holding that an existence could as little be supposed to pass into non-existence as that the non-existent could pass into existence, since "from nothing nothing comes." Thus a complete final annihilation (of the universe), is, he said, impossible; and life and death are mere questions of mixture and separation.
“Empedocles (500BC) held that in the beginning all matter existed undifferentiated as one universal sphere; that all matter is really one; that all the various forms possible are but the result of mixture and change.”
“Empedocles accepted Parmenides’ notion of being as uncreated and indestructible. However, he held that motion was real. His explanation of motion is of some interest. Being is made up of four chief kinds of atoms: earth, air, fire, and water. Each object in sense-perception is constituted of different arrangements or combinations of these four kinds of atoms. The movement of these atoms occurs because of the universal principles of love and hate, that is, of attraction and repulsion. Thus the atoms, like Parmenides’ being, are eternal and unchangeable by nature; but, like the logos of Heraclitus, they do move according to principles which are forever in conflict.”
“Empedocles claimed that the numerous basic realities of the cosmos are entities with the features of basic reality for which Parmenides had argued. Although these basic entities are eternally real and unchanging in their natures, their mixture and separation cause the world of the senses.
Empedocles says that there are six such basic things in the cosmos, each a genuine being in the Parmenidean sense: the ‘roots’ (as Empedocles refers to them) earth, water, air, and fire (later called ‘elements’ by Aristotle), and two forces, love [attraction] and strife [repulsion]. The roots are mixed and separated (by love and strive) to produce the world that we sense and are made part of this mixture and separation take the place of coming-to-be and passing-away, since the ingredients remain all though the changes.
In selections 87 (B96) and 88 (B98) Empedocles provides ‘recipes’ for such phenomenal things as bone and blood. At the same time, under the waxing and waning of the comparative strengths of the forces of love and strife the cosmos undergoes cycles from complete mixture of the roots to their complete separation: how many cycles there are, and the events within those cycles are subjects of controversy among commentators.
Within these cycles, living things come to be and pass away; Empedocles’ system includes ‘daimones’ (singular, daimon) [see: Goethe’s daimonic] which are divinities of some sort. These daimones undergo many lives, apparently because of some transgression. Although they, like the gods, are called ‘long-lived’ by Empedocles, they are not immortal, for they, like the roots of which they are made, are all absorbed into the complete mixture of the roots at the height of love’s power. Only the roots and love and strife are genuinely immortal, subject neither to coming-to-be or passing-away. The destiny of the daimones is connected with the sorts of lives they lead, and it is the nature, behavior, and fates of the daimones that Empedocles’ natural and religious views come together.”
|The basic Empedoclean model, according to which everything (humans included) is comprised of four elements (earth, air, fire, and water), or "roots" as he called them, and two forces, namely “philia” (love/attraction) and “neikos” (hate/repulsion), as he called them.|
See main: Goethe + EmpedoclesThe following are a historical selection of the development over time of Empedocles' most famous water, wine, oil, friends, and enemies quotes, wherein, to note, the full quote fragment containing all five key points (water, wine, oil, friends, and enemies) is not extant, but seems to be aggregate over time :
“Water mixes easily with wine, but with oil it does not want to mix.”— Empedocles (c.455BC), Fragment I89 / DK 91
“For all these things—shining sun and earth and heaven and sea—are united with their own parts, all that are split off and have come to be in mortal things. In the same way, all that are more fitted for mixture are made alike by Aphrodite [force of love] and have come to love one another. But greatest enemies are those furthest separated from one another in birth and mixture and molded forms, in every way unaccustomed to be together and very mournful through their birth in strife, because their births were in anger.”— Empedocles (c.455BC), Fragment B22 (Ѻ); cited by Simplicius (c.540AD) in Commentary on Aristotle’s Physics (160.26)
“Water has a greater affinity with wine, but with olive oil it is unwilling to mix.”— Empedocles (c.450BC), fragment 56 (B91); cited by Philoponus (c.550AD) in Commentary on Aristotle’s Generation of Animals (123.19-20) 
“And that,” interrupted Edward, “will be different according to the natural differences of the things themselves. Sometimes they will meet like friends and old acquaintances; they will come rapidly together, and unite without either having to alter itself at all—as wine mixes with water. Others, again, will remain as strangers side by side, and no amount of mechanical mixing or forcing will succeed in combining them. Oil and water may be shaken up together, and the next moment they are separate again, each by itself.”— Johann Goethe (1809), Elective Affinities (P1:C4)
“Has not Goethe, following Empedocles, told us how carbon and oxygen love each other, how passionately they fly, lover-like, into each other's arms? The union is extremely firm, as is testified by the quantity of heat evolved by a fire during the process of combination, and by the chemist's great difficulty when he seeks artificially to undo it.”— Caleb Saleeby (1904), “The Green Leaf” 
“These elements are equal, all of them, and of like ancient race; and one holds one office and another and each has his own nature”—some being predominantly warm, others cold. They were coeval and eternal—for if they perish whither should they go? (Fragment 87.) "From these arose blood and various kinds of flesh" (203), “and if your faith be at all lacking in regard to these (elements), how from water and earth and air and sun (fire) when they are mixed arose such colors and forms of mortal things,” the attraction and repulsion of modern physical chemistry, symbolized under the conception of love and hate accomplished it, a simile carried out in the meaning of Empedocles by Goethe in his wonderful novel (Die Wahlverwandtschaften—Elective Affinities). Combinations of the elements arose under “the uniting power of Aphrodite” (210). He seems to have thrown much, if not all, of his written work into the form of poetry and his other physical ideas as well, are full of poetical conceptions even in the reports and traditions of later writers. So Goethe made poetry of the Metamorphosis of Animals and Plants.”— Jonathan Wright (1920), “Empedocles the Primitive Physiologist” (pg. 143-44)
“The idea [of society as a many particle system] goes back to Empedocles who in his On Nature explains the solubility of wine in water by the attraction of love of relatives, the segregation of water and oil by the hate of enemies. Goethe used this idea in his Elective Affinities to demonstrate that human relations depend on the chemical laws of society.”— Jurgen Mimkes (1997), “Society as a Many Particle System” 
“Relatives mix like water and wine; enemies avoid each other like water and oil.”— Jurgen Mimkes (2005), “Chemistry of the Social Bond” 
“People who love each other mix like water and wine; people who hate each other segregate like water and oil.”— Libb Thims (2007), Human Chemistry 
See main: Standard model (classical); Standard model (particle physics); Standard model (human existence)Empedocles also originating the first standard model of physics, according to which the universe was comprised of four elements: fire (), earth (), air (), water (), meaning that humans are entities made of four elements, whose interactions were governed by two forces: philia (●→|←●), i.e. attraction (or love) and neikos (←●|●→), i.e. repulsion (or hate).
“Empedocles claimed that event the orderliness of living bodies might be able to arise spontaneously, simply by preserved accident. From these sparse beginnings all the more complex features of the world, like living bodies, could arise by combinations of more basic parts which themselves arose and combined by accident.
Empedocles argues that even aimless mechanical processes could produce functionally useful complexity. Initially, all that would be produced would be incongruous combinations and monstrosities. For example a man-faced ox, that might willy-nilly be products of such a wild natural shuffling of materials and form. But, he notes, most such combinations would be awkward and inappropriate to the world, and would quickly perish. Only those combinations that exhibited both an appropriate balance of component features and fittedness to the surroundings would be likely to persist in the world (and presumably, if living, would produce progeny).
Further, he suggested that these creatures would sort themselves out into different environments, with those suited to water more likely to spend time there and those more suited to air more likely to spend time there, where each would then, by the same logic, get honed by elimination into progressively more specialized and distinguishable types. So, he claimed, without prior design, a blind and promiscuous process of mixing of elements could by dint of the elimination of the less coherent, less elegant, less appropriate variations, after the fact, result in forms that were both internally and relationally well designed and well suited to their contexts.”
“Now though this great country is seen to deserve, in many ways, the wonder of mankind, and is held to be well worth visiting, rich in all good things, guarded by large force of men, yet seems it to have held within it nothing more glorious than this man [Empedocles], and nothing more holy, marvelous, and dear. The verses, too, of his godlike genius cry with a loud voice, and set forth in such wise his glorious discoveries, that he hardly seems born of a mortal stock.”— Lucretius (60BC), On the Nature of Things; cited by Friedrich Lange (1875) in The History of Materialism, Volume One (pg. 136)
“If Aristotle does not misrepresent Empedocles, as he often doth Plato, then it must be granted, that he being a mechanical physiologer, as well as theologer, did something too much indulge to fortuitous mechanism; which seems to be an extravagancy, that mechanical philosophers and atomists have been always more or less subject to. But Aristotle doth not charge Empedocles with resolving all things into fortuitous mechanism, as some philosophers have done of late, who yet pretend to be theists and incorporealists, but only that he would explain some things in that way. Nay, he clearly puts a difference betwixt Empedocles and the Democritic atheists, in these words subjoined: [Greek], etc. which is as if he should have said, ‘Empedocles resolved some things in the fabric and structure of animals into fortuitous mechanism; but there are certain other philosophers, namely, Leucippus and Democritus, who would have all things whatsoever in the whole world, heaven, and earth, and animals, to be made by chance and the fortuitous motion of atoms, without a deity.’ It seems very plain, that Empedocles's Philia and Neikos, his friendship and discord, which he makes to be the [Greek], the active cause,—and principle of motion in the universe, was a certain plastic power, superior to fortuitous mechanism; and Aristotle himself acknowledges somewhere as much. And Plutarch tells us, that, according to Empedocles, the order and system of the world is not the result of material causes and fortuitous mechanism, but of a divine wisdom, assigning to everything [Greek] not such a place as nature would give it, but such as is most convenient for the good of the whole.”— Ralph Cudworth (1678), True Intellectual System of the Universe
“Empedocles believed in the transmigration of souls, and forbade the offering of sacrifices as well as the eating of flesh.”— Friedrich Lange (1875), The History of Materialism, Volume One (pg. 36)
“Empedocles is the most multi-faceted figure of all ancient Greek philosophy.”— Friedrich Nietzsche (c.1880) (Ѻ)
“Hear first [of] the four roots of all things: bright Zeus (fire), life-giving Hera (air), and Aidoneus (earth), and Nestis (water) who moistens the springs of men with her tears. And a second thing I will tell thee: there is no origination of anything that is mortal, nor yet any end in baneful death; but only mixture and separation of what is mixed, but men call this ‘origination’.”— Empedocles (c.455BC), On Nature and Purifications (Fragments 33-34); cited by Karl Luckert (1991) in Egyptian Light and Hebrew Fire (pg. 219) 
“All things have thought and share of understanding.”— Empedocles (c.455BC), On Nature and Purifications (Fragment I16 / DK110) 
“All things, including animals and plants, are rational.”— Empedocles (c.455BC), On Nature and Purifications (Fragment #); cited by Sextus Empiricus (c.200) in Against the Mathematicians (8.286) 
“As when a young girl, playing with a clepsydra of shining bronze, puts the passage of the pipe against her pretty hand and dunks it into the delicate body of silvery water, no liquid enters the vessel, but the bulk of air, pressing from inside on the close-set holes, keeps it out until she uncovers the compressed stream. But then when the air is leaving the water duly enters.”— Empedocles (c.450), On Nature and Purifications (Fragment #); cited by Don Lemons (2017) in Drawing Physics (pgs. 13-14) who thinks this is where Empedocles got the “air” as fourth element from