The Presocratics were the founding fathers of the Western philosophical tradition, and the first masters of rational thought. This volume provides a comprehensive and precise exposition of their arguments, and offers a rigorous assessment of their contribution to philosophical thought.
Roger Scruton is one of the most widely respected philosophers of our time, whose often provocative views never fail to simulate debate. In Modern Philosophy he turns his attention to the whole of the field, from the philosophy of logic to aesthetics, and in so doing provides us with an essential and comprehensive guide to modern thinking.
“In this extraordinary meditation, Eva Brann takes us to the fierce core of Heraclitus's vision and shows us the music of his language. The thought and beautiful prose in The Logos of Heraclitus are a delight.”—Barry Mazur, Harvard University “An engaged solitary, an inward-turned observer of the world, inventor of the first of philosophical genres, the thought-compacted aphorism,” “teasingly obscure in reputation, but hard-hittingly clear in fact,” “now tersely mordant, now generously humane.” Thus Eva Brann introduces Heraclitus—in her view, the West’s first philosopher. The collected work of Heraclitus comprises 131 passages. Eva Brann sets out to understand Heraclitus as he is found in these passages and particularly in his key word, Logos, the order that is the cosmos. “Whoever is captivated by the revelatory riddlings and brilliant obscurities of what remains of Heraclitus has to begin anew—accepting help, to be sure, from previous readings—in a spirit of receptivity and reserve. But essentially everyone must pester the supposed obscurantist until he opens up. Heraclitus is no less and no more pregnantly dark than an oracle…The upshot is that no interpretation has prevailed; every question is wide open.”
The Story of Philosophy sees philosophy for what it is: a passionate, exhilarating quest for human understanding that cannot be reduced to dry categories or simple definitions. It's a story with plot twists, a murder, accidental discoveries, disastrous love affairs, geniuses, idiots, monks, and vagabonds. At the heart of it all are the ideas and obsessions that have captured great thinkers from the very beginning. Packed with intriguing anecdotes and fascinating detail, James Garvey and Jeremy Stangroom bring us face to face with the most important philosophers in western history. Rigorous, refreshingly free of academic jargon, and highly accessible, this is the ideal introduction for anyone who wants to gain a new perspective on philosophy's biggest thoughts.
Throughout the long centuries of western metaphysics the problem of the infinite has kept surfacing in different but important ways. It had confronted Greek philosophical speculation from earliest times. It appeared in the definition of the divine attributed to Thales in Diogenes Laertius (I, 36) under the description "that which has neither beginning nor end. " It was presented on the scroll of Anaximander with enough precision to allow doxographers to transmit it in the technical terminology of the unlimited (apeiron) and the indeterminate (aoriston). The respective quanti tative and qualitative implications of these terms could hardly avoid causing trouble. The formation of the words, moreover, was clearly negative or privative in bearing. Yet in the philosophical framework the notion in its earliest use meant something highly positive, signifying fruitful content for the first principle of all the things that have positive status in the universe. These tensions could not help but make themselves felt through the course of later Greek thought. In one extreme the notion of the infinite was refined in a way that left it appropriated to the Aristotelian category of quantity. In Aristotle (Phys. III 6-8) it came to appear as essentially re quiring imperfection and lack. It meant the capacity for never-ending increase. It was always potential, never completely actualized.
Parmenides of Elea was the most important and influential philosopher before Plato. Patricia Curd here reinterprets Parmenides' views and offers a new account of his relation to his predecessors and successors. On the traditional interpretation, Parmenides argues that generation, destruction, and change are unreal and that only one thing exists. He therefore rejected as impossible the scientific inquiry practiced by the earlier Presocratic philosophers. But the philosophers who came after Parmenides attempted to explain natural change and they assumed the reality of a plurality of basic entities. Thus, on the traditional interpretation, the later Presocratics either ignored or contradicted his arguments. In this book, Patricia Curd argues that Parmenides sought to reform rather than to reject scientific inquiry and offers a more coherent account of his influence on the philosophers who came after him. The Legacy of Parmenides provides a detailed examination of Parmenides' arguments, considering his connection to earlier Greek thought and how his account of what-is could serve as a model for later philosophers. It then considers the theories of those who came after him, including the Pluralists (Anaxagoras and Empedocles), the Atomists (Leucippus and Democritus), the later Eleatics (Zeno and Melissus), and the later Presocratics Philolaus of Croton and Diogenes of Apollonia. The book closes with a discussion of the importance of Parmenides' views for the development of Plato's Theory of Forms.
A Companion to the Philosophy of Time presents thebroadest treatment of this subject yet; 32 specially commissionedarticles - written by an international line-up of experts –provide an unparalleled reference work for students and specialistsalike in this exciting field. The most comprehensive reference work on the philosophy of timecurrently available The first collection to tackle the historical development ofthe philosophy of time in addition to covering contemporarywork Provides a tripartite approach in its organization, coveringhistory of the philosophy of time, time as a feature of thephysical world, and time as a feature of experience Includes contributions from both distinguished,well-established scholars and rising stars in the field