Democritus' atomic theory of matter, Zeno's dazzling 'proofs' that motion is impossible, Pythagorean insights into mathematics, Heraclitus' haunting and enigmatic epigrams - all form part of a revolution in human thought which relied on reasoning to justify its conclusions and forged the first scientific vocabulary.
Although none of their original writings have come down to us complete, patient detective work enables us to reconstruct the crucial questions they asked and their absorbing answers. Here Jonathon Barnes brings together the surviving Presocratic fragments in their original contexts, allowing modern readers to get to grips with these pioneering thinkers whose, ideas remain at the centre of philosophical debate. The revised edition of the collection has been updated to take account of further research and a major new papyrus of Empedocles.
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10 February 2003
Part 1: precursors; Thales; Anaximander; Anaximenes; Pythagoras; Alcmaeon; Xenophanes; Heraclitus. Part II: Parmenides; Melissus; Zeno. Part III: Empedocles; fifth-century Pythagoreanism; Hippasus; Philolaus; Ion of Chios; Hippo; Anaxagoras; Archelaus; Leucippus; Democritus; Diogenes of Apollonia.
Jonathan Barnes is Professor of Ancient Philosophy at the University of Geneva. He has held visiting posts at the University of Chicago, at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and at the University of Texas. He was also a fellow of Oriel College, Oxford. His publications include The Cambridge Companion to Aristotle (1995), and The PreSocreatic Philosophers (1979).