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The Presocratics (Bristol Classical Paperbacks) [Paperback]

E. (Lecturer in Ancient Philosop Hussey , Edward Hussey
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

1 April 2013 Bristol Classical Paperbacks
The origins both of modern science and modern philosophy lie in Greek civilization of the 5th and 6th centuries B.C. It was then that a series of thinkers, usually known as 'the Presocratic philosophers', created ways of looking at the world that were fundamentally new. In the middle of social and political changes, and exposed to intellectual influences from the Near East as well as to traditional Greek ideas, the first Presocratics, Thales and Anaximander of Miletus, had a vision of a universe governed by absolute and impartial law. In terms of this idea they and their successors tried to account for the observed structure of the physical world. An increasing awareness of the philosophical problems invloved in this attempt led to the striking and enigmatic pronouncements of Heraclitus, and to the struggle to escape from self-contradiction in which Parmenides created the first philosophical arguments and the beginnings of conceptual analysis. By 450 B.C. the thought of these men was having repercussions in wider areas of Greek culture, and was an important factor in the great outburst of intellectual energy in the 'sophistic age' - the last half of the 5th century. This book presents a picture of these developments, using, wherever possible, translations of the surviving fragments of the Presocratics as a foundation for the discussion.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 178 pages
  • Publisher: Bristol Classical Press; New edition edition (1 April 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1853994855
  • ISBN-13: 978-1853994852
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 13.2 x 1.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,100,187 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good introduction to the presocratics 10 Oct 2002
Format:Paperback
This book is less the study of the presocratic thinkers taken one by one, fragment by fragment, than a look at how Greek thought before Socrates shaped itself; this is something such introductions should do, since it's necessary to have a good enough grasp of the general evolution of Greek thought before embarking on further studies. Hussey tries, as much as possible (a relevant problem for any student of the presocratics), to present the context in which the ideas of the presocratics came to be. One of his goals is to mark the thinkers' importance and originality; in order to do so, he often makes connexions between different thinkers to show how one might have made another possible. Hence his chronological approach, which takes into account the 'dialogue' between the presocratics. The book does a good job of introducing the reader to the main issues surrounding the study of the presocratics; the chapters on the Milesians, Heraclitus, Parmenides and Zeno are especially of note in that regard.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good introduction to the presocratics 28 Sep 2002
By "mythologue" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book is less the study of the presocratic thinkers taken one by one, fragment by fragment, than a look at how Greek thought before Socrates shaped itself; this is something such introductions should do, since it's necessary to have a good enough grasp of the general evolution of Greek thought before embarking on further studies. Hussey tries, as much as possible (a relevant problem for any student of the presocratics), to present the context in which the ideas of the presocratics came to be. One of his goals is to mark the thinkers' importance and originality; in order to do so, he often makes connexions between different thinkers to show how one might have made another possible. Hence his chronological approach, which takes into account the `dialogue' between the presocratics. The book does a good job of introducing the reader to the main issues surrounding the study of the presocratics; the chapters on the Milesians, Heraclitus, Parmenides and Zeno are especially of note in that regard.
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