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.
Ein Leben lang hat sich der aus Wien stammende Philosoph Karl R. Popper mit den Vorsokratikern Parmenides, Xenophanes, Heraklit und anderen auseinandergesetzt. Europa verdankt ihnen die Grundlegung seiner Philosophie, seiner Wissenschaft und seines Humanismus. In dieser einzigartigen Sammlung von Texten wird deutlich, wie die Urväter der Philosophie und Naturwissenschaft Probleme durchdacht haben. Popper zeigt in seiner klaren Sprache die erstaunliche Vielfalt und ungebrochene Aktualität frühgriechischen Denkens. >Parmenides öffnete mir die Augen für die poetische Schönheit der Erde und des gestirnten Himmels. Er lehrte mich, sie mit neuem Forscherblick zu betrachten.
This handbook brings together leading international scholars to study the diverse figures, movements, and approaches that constitute presocratic philosophy. The study presents interpretations and evaluations of the Presocratics' accomplishments, from Thales to the sophists and from theology to science.
The articles in this volume deal with the four major philosophical positions of the presocratic period: The arguments of Parmenides and Zeno against earlier or contemporary pluralist theories The three pluralist responses of Empedocles, Anaxagoras and the early Atomists.
"A close analysis of the Republic's diverse literary styles shows how the peculiarities of verbal texture in Platonic discourse can be explained by Plato's remolding of tropes and techniques from poetry and the Presocratics. This book argues that Plato smuggles poetic language into the Republic's prose in order to characterize the deceitful coloration and polymorphy that accompanies the world of Becoming as opposed to the Real. Plato's distinctive discourse thus can transmit, even to those figures focused on the visual within his Republic, the shiftiness of the base and the unjust."--Publisher's website.
The first philosophers paved the way for the work of Plato and Aristotle - and hence for the whole of Western thought. Aristotle said that philosophy begins with wonder, and the first Western philosophers developed theories of the world which express simultaneously their sense of wonder and their intuition that the world should be comprehensible. But their enterprise was by no means limited to this proto-scientific task. Through, for instance, Heraclitus' enigmatic sayings, the poetry of Parmenides and Empedocles, and Zeno's paradoxes, the Western world was introduced to metaphysics, rationalist theology, ethics, and logic, by thinkers who often seem to be mystics or shamans as much as philosophers or scientists in the modern mould. And out of the Sophists' reflections on human beings and their place in the world arose and interest in language, and in political, moral, and social philosophy. This volume contains a translation of all the most important fragments of the Presocratics and Sophists, and of the most informative testimonia from ancient sources, supplemented by lucid commentary. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
John Palmer develops and defends a modal interpretation of Parmenides, according to which he was the first philosopher to distinguish in a rigorous manner the fundamental modalities of necessary being, necessary non-being or impossibility, and non-necessary or contingent being. This book accordingly reconsiders his place in the historical development of Presocratic philosophy in light of this new interpretation. Careful treatment of Parmenides' specification of the ways of inquiry that define his metaphysical and epistemological outlook paves the way for detailed analyses of his arguments demonstrating the temporal and spatial attributes of what is and cannot not be. Since the existence of this necessary being does not preclude the existence of other entities that are but need not be, Parmenides' cosmology can straightforwardly be taken as his account of the origin and operation of the world's mutable entities. Later chapters reassess the major Presocratics' relation to Parmenides in light of the modal interpretation, focusing particularly on Zeno, Melissus, Anaxagoras, and Empedocles. In the end, Parmenides' distinction among the principal modes of being, and his arguments regarding what what must be must be like, simply in virtue of its mode of being, entitle him to be seen as the founder of metaphysics or ontology as a domain of inquiry distinct from natural philosophy and theology. An appendix presents a Greek text of the fragments of Parmenides' poem with English translation and textual notes.
This is a book about the invention of Western philosophy, and the first thinkers to explore ideas about the nature of reality, time, and the origin of the universe. It begins with the finding of the new papyrus fragment of Empedocles' poem, and uses the story of its discovery and interpretation to highlight the way our understanding of early philosophers is marked by their presentation in later sources. Generations of philosophers, both ancient and modern, have traced their inspiration back to the presocratics, even though we have very few of their writings left. In this book, Catherine Osborne invites her readers to dip their toes into the fragmentary remains of thinkers from Thales to Pythagoras, Heraclitus to Protagoras, to try to fill in the bits of a jigsaw that has been rejigged many times and in many different ways. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
With a new foreword by Scott Austin 'I hope that these essays may illustrate the thesis that all history is or should be the history of problem situations, and that in following this principle we may further our understanding of the Presocratics and other thinkers of the past. The essays also try to show the greatness of the early Greek philosophers, who gave Europe its philosophy, its science, and its humanism.' - Karl Popper, from the preface The World of Parmenides is a brilliant exploration of the complexity of ancient Greek thought and science by one of the twentieth century's leading philosophers. It reveals the great importance of Presocratic philosophy to Popper's thought as a whole and shows the profound enlightenment he experienced reading not only Parmenides but the wider world of Greek science and philosophy including Xenophanes and Heraclitus. Edited by Arne F. Petersen, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Humanities, University of Copenhagen.
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.
From the Presocratics to the Hellenistic Philosophers
Author: Thomas A. Blackson
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Ancient Greek Philosophy: From the Presocratics to the Hellenistic Philosophers presents a comprehensive introduction to the philosophers and philosophical traditions that developed in ancient Greece from 585 BC to 529 AD. Provides coverage of the Presocratics through the Hellenistic philosophers Moves beyond traditional textbooks that conclude with Aristotle A uniquely balanced organization of exposition, choice excerpts and commentary, informed by classroom feedback Contextual commentary traces the development of lines of thought through the period, ideal for students new to the discipline Can be used in conjunction with the online resources found at http://tomblackson.com/Ancient/toc.html
“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.”