Introduction to Presocratics: A Thematic Approach to Early Greek Philosophy with Key Readings
April 2012, ©2012, Wiley-Blackwell
- Offers a concise, thematically organized introduction to the Presocratics
- Includes a previously unpublished translation of the main fragments of the Presocratics by Classics scholar Rosemary Wright
- Covers key figures including Thales, Anaximander and Anaximenes of Miletus, Xenophanes, Heraclitus, Pythagoras, Parmenides and Zeno of Elea, Empedocles, Anaxagoras and Democritus
- Supplemented with helpful features including a timeline, map of
the ancient world, glossary of terms, and index of proper
Reference Guide to the Presocratics xii
Map: The Eastern Mediterranean in the Sixth and Fifth Century bce xiv
1 Introduction 1
2 The Philosophers 9
3 Principles 19
4 Cosmos 31
5 Being 41
6 Soul 52
7 Knowledge 62
8 Ethics 71
9 Conclusion 80
Appendix A: Translation of the Main Fragments 82
Appendix B: The Presocratic Sources 116
Appendix C: The Presocratic Legacy 119
Glossary of Greek Terms 131
Glossary of Philosophical Terms 134
"Anyone who has got his feet wet in the study of ancient
philosophy knows that the later hilosophical period one works in,
the greater the need is for intimate familiarity with its earlier
stages. Since Presocratic philosophy is standardly considered the
formative stage of ancient philosophy, Stamatellos’
Introduction to Presocratics offers the best kind of
“happy marriage” in which his expertise, as the author
of the aforementioned programmatic study of Presocratic presence in
Plotinus’ thought, places him in the auspicious position of
sharing his knowledge of the earliest and latest stages of ancient
philosophy. In such introduction, the stakes are high and the book
meets them." (The International Journal of the Platonic
Tradition, 1 January 2013)
“'...A very good introductory guide for the general public and an invaluable resource for philosophy lecturers struggling to enthuse their undergraduate students." (Classical Review, 1 April 2014)
"Writing an introduction to any subject is a difficult task. Stamatellos does do an admirable job of lucidly explaining alien concepts to the novice. There were frequent moments in reading the book when I wished that I had first approached a topic as Stamatellos presents it." (Bryn Mawr Classical Review, 1 December 2012)
“The general public and scholars alike will find Introduction to Presocratics stimulating, engaging and exceptionally useful. Stamatellos’ intriguing and illuminating theme-based approach to this subject and his inclusion of a fresh translation of all the major fragments make this book a “must have” for anyone interested in Presocratic philosophy.” – Robert D. Luginbill, University of Louisville
“An excellent introduction to early Greek philosophy - full of information, yet eminently readable and clearly organised. The thematic treatment brings new perspectives and fresh philosophical insights.” – Andrew Smith, University College Dublin
“Surveying the key surviving texts theme by theme sooner than man by man, Stamatellos offers the beginner clear and comprehensive insight into the compelling inquiries of the early Greek thinkers.” – Susan Prince, University of Cincinnati
“Giannis Stamatellos’ book is a very elegant and finely structured introduction to the fascinating beginnings of Western thought. He has succeeded in making a rather difficult and complex topic extremely accessible and stimulating.” – Mark Beck, University of South Carolina
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