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Presocratic Philosophy:: A Very Short Introduction [#103]
Presocratic Philosophy:: A Very Short Introduction [#103]
  • A colourful and authoritative introduction to presocratic philosophy
  • Uses as a starting point, the recent findings of the ancient papyrus fragment carrying a poem by the Greek magician and philosopher Empedocles
  • Discusses early Greek philosophy thematically rather than chronologically
  • There is no other book on the subject at this level and price

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. 


1: Lost words, forgotten worlds
2: Puzzles about first principles
3: Zeno's tortoise
4: Reality and appearance: more adventures in Metaphysics
5: Heraclitus
6: Pythagoras and other mysteries
7: Spin doctors of the fifth century
Epilogue: a story about origins

About the author: 

Catherine Osborne is lecturer in philosophy at the University of East Anglia. She recently moved from her position as Reader in the School of Archaeology, Classics and Oriental Studies at the University of Liverpool, and was previously a lecturer in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Wales, Swansea. Her publications include Rethinking Early Greek Philosophy, and Eros Unveiled: Plato and the God of Love , as well as the chapter on Heraclitus in the Routledge History of Philosophy, volume 1 and articles on a wide range of issues in Ancient Philosophy from the Presocratics to the Early Christian period.

Product details

ISBN : 9780192840943

Catherine Osborne
168 Pages
111 x 174 mm
Pub date
Apr 2004
Very Short Introductions
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Presocratic Philosophy:: A Very Short Introduction [#103]

Presocratic Philosophy:: A Very Short Introduction [#103]

Presocratic Philosophy:: A Very Short Introduction [#103]