Author: Daniel W. Graham
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Release Date: 2009-11-20
Explaining the Cosmos is a major reinterpretation of Greek scientific thought before Socrates. Focusing on the scientific tradition of philosophy, Daniel Graham argues that Presocratic philosophy is not a mere patchwork of different schools and styles of thought. Rather, there is a discernible and unified Ionian tradition that dominates Presocratic debates. Graham rejects the common interpretation of the early Ionians as "material monists" and also the view of the later Ionians as desperately trying to save scientific philosophy from Parmenides' criticisms. In Graham's view, Parmenides plays a constructive role in shaping the scientific debates of the fifth century BC. Accordingly, the history of Presocratic philosophy can be seen not as a series of dialectical failures, but rather as a series of theoretical advances that led to empirical discoveries. Indeed, the Ionian tradition can be seen as the origin of the scientific conception of the world that we still hold today.
Author: Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
Release Date: 2001
"Whitlock's translation definitively confirms that Nietzsche grouped Socrates with the earlier Greeks, rather than with Plato and other "mixed character philosophers" as many interpreters have claimed. That Nietzsche's philosophical sympathies lay with the pre-Platonics, as opposed to the pre-Socratics, bears substantially on his later rejection of absolutes such as Truth, Knowledge, Beauty, and Being." "The Pre-Platonic Philosophers is invaluable both as a record of Nietzsche's views on the early Greek thinkers and as a prefigurement of key aspects of his mature philosophy."--BOOK JACKET.
Author: Robin Waterfield
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2009-03-26
These first philosophers paved the way for the work of Plato and Aristotle - and hence for the whole of Western thought. This is a unique and invaluable collection of the works of the Presocratics and the Sophists. Waterfield brings together the works of these early thinkers with brilliant new translation and exceptional commentary. This is the ideal anthology for the student of this increasingly appreciated field of classical philosophy.
Author: Irad Malkin
Publisher: OUP USA
Release Date: 2011-11-01
Greek civilization and identity crystallized not when Greeks were close together but when they came to be far apart. This book looks at how Greek the network shaped a small Greek world where separation is measured by degrees of contact rather than by physical dimensions.
Author: Victor Caston
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2016-12-22
Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy is a volume of original articles on all aspects of ancient philosophy. The articles may be of substantial length, and include critical notices of major books. OSAP is now published twice yearly, in both hardback and paperback. "'Have you seen the latest OSAP?' is what scholars of ancient philosophy say to each other when they meet in corridors or on coffee breaks. Whether you work on Plato or Aristotle, on Presocratics or sophists, on Stoics, Epicureans, or Sceptics, on Roman philosophers or Greek Neoplatonists, you are liable to find OSAP articles now dominant in the bibliography of much serious published work in your particular subject: not safe to miss." - Malcolm Schofield, Cambridge University "OSAP was founded to provide a place for long pieces on major issues in ancient philosophy. In the years since, it has fulfilled this role with great success, over and over again publishing groundbreaking papers on what seemed to be familiar topics and others surveying new ground to break. It represents brilliantly the vigour--and the increasingly broad scope--of scholarship in ancient philosophy, and shows us all how the subject should flourish." - M.M. McCabe, King's College London
Author: Maria Michela Sassi
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Release Date: 2018-07-10
A celebrated study of the origins of ancient Greek philosophy, now in English for the first time How can we talk about the beginnings of philosophy today? How can we avoid the conventional opposition of mythology and the dawn of reason and instead explore the multiple styles of thought that emerged between them? In this acclaimed book, available in English for the first time, Maria Michela Sassi reconstructs the intellectual world of the early Greek "Presocratics" to provide a richer understanding of the roots of what used to be called "the Greek miracle." The beginnings of the long process leading to philosophy were characterized by intellectual diversity and geographic polycentrism. In the sixth and fifth centuries BC, between the Asian shores of Ionia and the Greek city-states of southern Italy, thinkers started to reflect on the cosmic order, elaborate doctrines on the soul, write in solemn Homeric meter, or, later, abandon poetry for an assertive prose. And yet the Presocratics whether the Milesian natural thinkers, the rhapsode Xenophanes, the mathematician and "shaman" Pythagoras, the naturalist and seer Empedocles, the oracular Heraclitus, or the inspired Parmenides all shared an approach to critical thinking that, by questioning traditional viewpoints, revolutionized knowledge. A unique study that explores the full range of early Greek thinkers in the context of their worlds, the book also features a new introduction to the English edition in which the author discusses the latest scholarship on the subject.
Author: Tim Whitmarsh
Release Date: 2016-10-18
"How new is atheism? Although adherents and opponents alike today present it as an invention of the European Enlightenment, when the forces of science and secularism broadly challenged those of faith, disbelief in the gods, in fact, originated in a far more remote past. In Battling the Gods, Tim Whitmarsh journeys into the ancient Mediterranean, a world almost unimaginably different from our own, to recover the stories and voices of those who first refused the divinities. Homer's epic poems of human striving, journeying, and passion were ancient Greece's only "sacred texts," but no ancient Greek thought twice about questioning or mocking his stories of the gods. Priests were functionaries rather than sources of moral or cosmological wisdom. The absence of centralized religious authority made for an extraordinary variety of perspectives on sacred matters, from the devotional to the atheos, or "godless." Whitmarsh explores this kaleidoscopic range of ideas about the gods, focusing on the colorful individuals who challenged their existence. Among these were some of the greatest ancient poets and philosophers and writers, as well as the less well known: Diagoras of Melos, perhaps the first self-professed atheist; Democritus, the first materialist; Socrates, executed for rejecting the gods of the Athenian state; Epicurus and his followers, who thought gods could not intervene in human affairs; the brilliantly mischievous satirist Lucian of Samosata. Before the revolutions of late antiquity, which saw the scriptural religions of Christianity and Islam enforced by imperial might, there were few constraints on belief. Everything changed, however, in the millennium between the appearance of the Homeric poems and Christianity's establishment as Rome's state religion in the fourth century AD. As successive Greco-Roman empires grew in size and complexity, and power was increasingly concentrated in central capitals, states sought to impose collective religious adherence, first to cults devoted to individual rulers, and ultimately to monotheism. In this new world, there was no room for outright disbelief: the label "atheist" was used now to demonize anyone who merely disagreed with the orthodoxy--and so it would remain for centuries."--Jacket.
Author: Kojin Karatani
Publisher: Duke University Press
Release Date: 2017-08-11
In Isonomia and the Origins of Philosophy—published originally in Japanese and now available in four languages—Kojin Karatani questions the idealization of ancient Athens as the source of philosophy and democracy by placing the origins instead in Ionia, a set of Greek colonies located in present-day Turkey. Contrasting Athenian democracy with Ionian isonomia—a system based on non-rule and a lack of social divisions whereby equality is realized through the freedom to immigrate—Karatani shows how early Greek thinkers from Heraclitus to Pythagoras were inseparably linked to the isonomia of their Ionian origins, not democracy. He finds in isonomia a model for how an egalitarian society not driven by class antagonism might be put into practice, and resituates Socrates's work and that of his intellectual heirs as the last philosophical attempts to practice isonomia's utopic potentials. Karatani subtly interrogates the democratic commitments of Western philosophy from within and argues that the key to transcending their contradictions lies not in Athenian democracy, with its echoes of imperialism, slavery, and exclusion, but in the openness of isonomia.
Author: Sarah Broadie
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 2011-11-10
Plato's Timaeus is one of the most influential and challenging works of ancient philosophy to have come down to us. Sarah Broadie's rich and compelling study proposes new interpretations of major elements of the Timaeus, including the separate Demiurge, the cosmic 'beginning', the 'second mixing', the Receptacle and the Atlantis story. Broadie shows how Plato deploys the mythic themes of the Timaeus to convey fundamental philosophical insights and examines the profoundly differing methods of interpretation which have been brought to bear on the work. Her book is for everyone interested in Ancient Greek philosophy, cosmology and mythology, whether classicists, philosophers, historians of ideas or historians of science. It offers new findings to scholars familiar with the material, but it is also a clear and reliable resource for anyone coming to it for the first time.
Author: André Laks
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Release Date: 2018-01-02
When we talk about Presocratic philosophy, we are speaking about the origins of Greek philosophy and Western rationality itself. But what exactly does it mean to talk about “Presocratic philosophy” in the first place? How did early Greek thinkers come to be considered collectively as Presocratic philosophers? In this brief book, André Laks provides a history of the influential idea of Presocratic philosophy, tracing its historical and philosophical significance and consequences, from its ancient antecedents to its full crystallization in the modern period and its continuing effects today. Laks examines ancient Greek and Roman views about the birth of philosophy before turning to the eighteenth-century emergence of the term “Presocratics” and the debates about it that spanned the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He analyzes the intellectual circumstances that led to the idea of Presocratic philosophy—and what was and is at stake in the construction of the notion. The book closes by comparing two models of the history of philosophy—the phenomenological, represented by Hans-Georg Gadamer, and the rationalist, represented by Ernst Cassirer—and their implications for Presocratic philosophy, as well as other categories of philosophical history. Other figures discussed include Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Diogenes Laertius, Schleiermacher, Hegel, Nietzsche, Max Weber, and J.-P. Vernant. Challenging standard histories of Presocratic philosophy, the book calls for a reconsideration of the conventional story of early Greek philosophy and Western rationality.
Why discovering the limits to science may be the most powerful discovery of all How much can we know about the world? In this book, physicist Marcelo Gleiser traces our search for answers to the most fundamental questions of existence, the origin of the universe, the nature of reality, and the limits of knowledge. In so doing, he reaches a provocative conclusion: science, like religion, is fundamentally limited as a tool for understanding the world. As science and its philosophical interpretations advance, we face the unsettling recognition of how much we don't know. Gleiser shows that by abandoning the dualistic model that divides reality into the known and the unknown, we can embark on a third way based on the acceptance of our limitations. Only then, he argues, will we be truly able to experience freedom; for to be free in an age of science we cannot turn science into a god. Gleiser ultimately offers an uplifting exploration of humanity's longing to conquer the unknown, and of science's power to transform and inspire.
Examines early Greek philosophy, which relied on reasoning and forged the first scientific vocabulary, and includes discussion of such topics as Democritus' atomic theory of matter and Pythagorean insights into mathematics.