The earliest phase of philosophy in Europe saw the beginnings of cosmology and rational theology, metaphysics, epistemology, and ethical and political theory. It also saw the development of a wide range of radical and challenging ideas, from Thales' claim that magnets have souls and Parmenides' account of one unchanging existence to the development of an atomist theory of the physical world. This general account of the Presocratics introduces the major Greek philosophical thinkers from the sixth to the middle of the fifth century B.C. It explores how we might reconstruct their views and understand the motivation and context for their work, and it highlights the ongoing philosophical interest of their often surprising claims. Separate chapters are devoted to each of the major Presocratic thinkers, including Xenophanes, Heraclitus, Parmenides, Anaxagoras, Empedocles, Leucippus, and Democritus. With a chronology and guide to further reading, this book is an ideal introduction for the student and general reader.
Copub: Acumen Publishing Limited
James Warren is a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Classics at the University of Cambridge and is a Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.
“The most current, balanced, and most appropriate introduction available for undergraduate courses on presocratic philosophers.”—Daniel Regnier Canadian Journal Of History
“Warren's book will certainly be a useful complement to courses in ancient philosophy and the history of ideas.”—Metapsychology Online Review
"An excellent book and a pleasure to read. Readers are encouraged to engage with the judiciously chosen material, and Warren makes the Presocratics stimulating and exciting. An ideal book for an undergraduate class."—Steven Makin
"James Warren's new book is an attractive and worthwhile addition to the literature on Presocratic thought currently available to students. Among its greatest assets are a splendid 'introduction to reading Presocratic philosophy'; excellent chapters on the Milesians, Xenophanes, Heraclitus, and Empedocles; engagement with the most recent scholarly literature; clarity of expression; and a focus on the philosophically interesting question."—J. H. Lesher, University of North Carolina