Presocratic Reflexivity: The Construction of Philosophical Discourse C. 600-450 BC

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Psychology Press, 1996 - Social Science - 519 pages
How did Western philosophy begin? What are the relationships between the construction of self-reflection and the social context and political institutions of ancient Greek society?
In this third volume of Logological Investigations Sandywell continues his sociological reconstruction of the origins of reflexive thought and discourse with special reference to Presocratic philosophy and science and their sociopolitical context.
He begins by criticizing traditional histories of philosophy which abstract speculative thought from its sociocultural and historical contexts, and proposes instead an explicitly contextual and reflexive approach to ancient Greek society and culture.
Each chapter is devoted to a seminal figure or 'school' of reflection in early Greek philosophy. Special emphasis is placed upon the verbal and rhetorical innovations of protophilosophy in the sixth and fifth centuries BC. These chapters are also exemplary displays of the distinctive logological method of cultural analysis and through them Sandywell shows that by returning to the earliest problematics of reflexivity in premodern culture we may gain an insight into some of the central currents of modern and postmodern self-reflection.

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About the author (1996)

Barry Sandywell is Lecturer in the Department of Sociology at the University of York.

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