Early Greek Philosophy
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: The Catholic University of America Press
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Title Page, Copyright, In Memoriam
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This volume arose from a lecture series, “Early Greek Philosophy: Rea-son at the Beginning of Philosophy,” hosted at the Catholic University of America during the fall of 2007, and it represents a series of ref_lections on the “Presocratics,” a group of thinkers who were a primary occasion for the emergence of what is of_ten referred to as the “Greek miracle.” We ...
1. The Achievement of Early Greek Philosophy: A Drama in Five Acts: From Thales to the Timaeus
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I want to survey with you the achievement of early Greek philosophy in the period from Thales to the Timaeus. I am old fashioned enough to be-lieve that this was a unique and momentous event, the like of which has never happened elsewhere, before or since. The event in question is noth-ing less than the creation of Western science and philosophy as we know ...
2. Anaximander’s apeiron and the Arrangement of Time
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For Anaximander, the f_irst philosopher of the West, there is extant only one passage in his own words.one.superior It is a precious legacy, the oldest piece of Greek prose.two.superior We turn to it immediately to set up the problem that pre-What I have to say, in its pieces, is not so daring. Scholars have ar-gued for these individual positions before, as others have argued against ...
3. The Problem of Evil in Heraclitus
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The frequent quotation of Heraclitus by later philosophers resulted in an unusually large number of surviving fragments, but the fragments are brief—even the longest is only three sentences, while in some cases the later writers quoted only a single word. According to the Diels-Kranz edition about 120 fragments survive, but they add up to only about 1,000 ...
4. Reason and Myth in Early Pythagorean Cosmology
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Scholarship on the emergence of rationality in early Greek thought has focused on two main topics. First, there is the movement from the expla-nation of the natural world in terms of persons, i.e., gods, to explanation in terms of impersonal natural materials, i.e., elements such as water and air. This movement is also accompanied by a shif_t from explanation in ...
5. A Systematic Xenophanes?
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To what degree was Xenophanes of Colophon a systematic thinker? That is, to what degree were the dif_ferent aspects of his philosophy intercon-nected? In what follows I argue that Xenophanes achieved a unif_ied under-standing on three broad fronts—on the physical makeup of the cosmos, the nature of the divine, and the prospects for human knowledge—and ...
6. Parmenides, Early Greek Astronomy, and Modern Scientific Realism
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...“Doxa,” the second part of Parmenides’s metaphysical and cosmologi-cal poem, is expressly disparaged by Parmenides himself as “of_f-track,” “deceptive,” and “lacking genuine credence.” Nonetheless, there is good evidence that “Doxa” included some astronomical breakthroughs. The study presented here dwells on fragments B10, B14, and B15 from the ...
7. Where Are Love and Strife? Incorporeality in Empedocles
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Empedocles insists that the forces of Love and Strife are necessary for the mixtures and separations that produce the visible cosmos (B17; esp. lines 19–20); he also seems to give them distinct and dif_ferent spatial locations in the dif_ferent stages of the cycles between their triumphs (B35, B3six.oldstyle). If we analyze the local mixtures that constitute sensible things, we will f_ind vari-...
8. Anaxagoras: Science and Speculation in the Golden Age
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On February 17, 478 B.sc.C., shortly before noon, the sky in Athens began to grow dark. The winter sun became dim and its bright disk narrowed to a crescent. Suddenly it went completely dark, except for a narrow ring of f_ire at the circumference. The eclipse could be seen clearly only in ref_lec-tions from water or pinhole projections, but it was visible to those who ...
9. Bacon’s Third Sailing: The “Presocratic” Origins of Modern Philosophy
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Notwithstanding his legendary interpretations of Aristotle and his pro-tracted engagement with Plato, Heidegger was not in any obvious sense of the word a dialectical thinker. His philosophizing does not typically proceed, zigzag fashion, in an ascent from and descent back to that which Socrates and his successors regarded as f_irst for us, philosophers and non-...
10. Primal Truth, Errant Tradition, and Crisis: The Presocratics in Late Modernity
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The thought on the Greeks in the work of Friedrich Nietzsche and Mar-tin Heidegger has been the inspiration for much original and penetrating philosophic scholarship in the twentieth century. Assuming that Hei-degger is the foremost re-thinker of Nietzsche’s legacy (an assumption that needs to be tested), Nietzsche’s writing and Heidegger’s teaching ...
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Index of Sources
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Index of Names
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Index of Subjects
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Page Count: 277
Publication Year: 2012
Series Title: Studies in philosophy and the history of philosophy ;