Parmenides of Elea was the most important and influential philosopher before Plato. He rejected as impossible the scientific inquiry practiced by the earlier Presocratic philosophers and held that generation, destruction, and change are unreal and that only one thing exists. In this book, Patricia Curd argues that Parmenides sought to reform rather than to reject scientific inquiry, and she offers a more coherent account of his influence on later philosophers._ _The Legacy of Parmenides_ examines Parmenides' arguments, considering his connection to (...) earlier Greek thought and how his account of what-is could have served as a model for later philosophers. Curd also explores the theories of his successors, including the Pluralists, the Atomists, the later Eleatics, and the later Presocratics. She concludes with a discussion of the importance of Parmenides' work to Plato's _Theory of Forms._ _The Legacy of Parmenides_ challenges traditional views of early Greek philosophy and provides new insights into the work of Parmenides. "_The Legacy of Parmenides_ represents a milestone... of Parmenides' interpretation. It is full of ideas and tells a coherent story about Parmenides and early Greek thought." --_ Alexander Nehamas, Princeton University___ "Professor Curd offers a genuinely original and possibly correct interpretation of the core thesis of the poem of Parmenides in a field so well worked over that saying something both new and true is profoundly difficult, this is a notable achievement." --_ Thomas M. Robinson, University of Toronto___ "This will be a substantial book in the story of early Greek philosophy, and future writers on the tradition from Thales through Plato will not be able to ignore it without missing an important interpretive alternative. It will be of value to students of Presocratic philosophy or the Greek tradition, as well as to students of the scientific revolution, cosmology, the origins of logic, or comparative mysticism." --_ Scott W. Austin, Texas A&M University___ PATRICIA CURD_ is professor at Purdue University where she works primarily in Ancient Philosophy. She is a co-editor of _Readings in Ancient Greek Philosophy_, and is the editor of _A Presocratics Reader._. (shrink)
Anaxagoras of Clazomenae proposed a theory of everything. Like other Presocratics, Anaxagoras addressed topics that could now be placed outside the sphere of philosophical inquiry: not only did he explore metaphysics and the nature of human understanding but he also offered explanations in physics, meteorology, astronomy, physiology, and biology. His aim seems to have been to explain as completely as possible the world in which human beings live, and one's knowledge of that world; thus he seeks to investigate the universe (...) from top to bottom. This article explores Anaxagoras's world from its basic foundations. It undertakes to show the connections among the metaphysical, epistemological, and cosmological parts of Anaxagoras's theory. The discovery and publication of new material has also enhanced the understanding of Presocratic thought. A spectacular example is the new material from Empedocles of Acragas that has become available. (shrink)
Building on the virtues that made the first edition of _A Presocratics Reader_ the most widely used sourcebook for the study of the Presocratics and Sophists, the second edition offers even more value and a wider selection of fragments from these philosophical predecessors and contemporaries of Socrates. With revised introductions, annotations, suggestions for further reading, and more, the second edition draws on the wealth of new scholarship published on these fascinating thinkers over the past decade or more, a remarkably rich (...) period in Presocratic studies. At the volume's core, as ever, are the fragments themselves--but now in thoroughly revised and, in some cases, new translations by Richard D. McKirahan and Patricia Curd, among them those of the recently published Derveni Papyrus. (shrink)
Aristotle claims that Empedocles took perception and knowledge to be the same; Theophrastus follows Aristotle. The paper begins by examining why Aristotle and Theophrastus identify thought/knowing with perception in Empedocles. I maintain that the extant fragments do not support the assertion that Empedocles identifies or conflates sensation with thought or cognition. Indeed, the evidence of the texts shows that Empedocles is careful to distinguish them, and argues that to have genuine understanding one must not be misled into supposing that sense (...) perception is sufficient for knowledge. Nevertheless, sense perception is necessary for human knowing. (shrink)
This handbook brings together leading international scholars to study the diverse figures, movements, and approaches that constitute Presocratic philosophy. More than a survey of scholarship, this study presents new interpretations and evaluations of the Presocratics' accomplishments, from Thales to the sophists and from theology to science.
The last twenty years have seen a remarkable increase in scholarly work on the Presocratics: new texts have appeared, new interpretations have been advanced, and a new appreciation for the scientific and philosophical claims of the early Greek thinkers is evident.1 There has been a general broadening of the questions that have been examined: scholars have been exploring the supposed boundaries of Presocratic thought, and new work on reception history and on the transmission of texts has enriched our understanding of (...) the earliest Greek philosophers. Here, I survey some of the trends and results of the new Presocratic scholarship.2Because no complete Presocratic text survives, those who work with the early Greek .. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that the logos, the primary object of knowledge in Heraclitus’ epistemology, is a unity both as an object of knowledge and as an instance of being rather than becoming. Section I begins with discussions of knowledge and Heraclitus’ conception of logos; section II is concerned with knowledge and unity. The two later sections of the paper explore the consequences of the account I attribute to Heraclitus: section III considers being, unity, and change; and section IV (...) discusses Heraclitus’ views of knowledge and sense perception. (shrink)
Anaxagoras of Clazomenae (a major Greek city of Ionian Asia Minor), a Greek philosopher of the 5th century B.C.E. (born ca. 500–480), was the first of the Presocratic philosophers to live in Athens. He propounded a physical theory of “everything-in-everything,” and claimed that nous (intellect or mind) was the motive cause of the cosmos. He was the first to give a correct explanation of eclipses, and was both famous and notorious for his scientific theories, including the claims that the sun (...) is a mass of red-hot metal, that the moon is earthy, and that the stars are fiery stones. Anaxagoras maintained that the original state of the cosmos was a mixture of all its ingredients (the basic realities of his system). The ingredients are thoroughly mixed, so that no individual ingredient as such is evident, but the mixture is not entirely uniform or homogeneous. (shrink)
Soon after its publication, _Readings in Ancient Greek Philosophy_ was hailed as the favorite to become _the 'standard' text for survey courses in ancient philosophy. Nothing on the market touches it for comprehensiveness, accuracy, and readability._*. Fifteen years on, that prediction has been borne out, and the volume's preeminence as the leading anthology for the teaching of ancient philosophy still stands. The Fourth Edition features a completely revamped and expanded unit on the Presocratics and Sophists that draws on the wealth (...) of new scholarship published on these fascinating thinkers over the past decade or more. At the core of this unit, as ever, are the fragments themselves--but now in thoroughly revised and, in some cases, new translations by Richard McKirahan and Patricia Curd, among them those of the recently published Derveni Papyrus. (shrink)
Here is a welcome reminder that not all members of the Academy were Platonists; that the Academy must have been a lively place, full of discussion and disagreement; and that Platonism itself is not monolithic. The focus is, as the title promises, doctrines maintained by two associates of the early Academy: the immanentism of Eudoxus and Speusippus's view that although The One is the first principle, it is not an existent.