The Figure of Nature: On Greek Origins
One of America’s preeminent philosophers “has produced a book with fascinating new insights into the ancient conception of nature” (Choice).
Broaching an understanding of nature in Platonic thought, John Sallis goes beyond modern conceptions and provides a strategy to have recourse to the profound sense of nature operative in ancient Greek philosophy. In a rigorous and textually based account, Sallis traces the complex development of the Greek concept of nature. Beginning with the mythical vision embodied in the figure of the goddess Artemis, he reanimates the sense of nature that informs the fragmentary discourses of Anaximenes, Heraclitus, Parmenides, and Empedocles and shows how Plato takes up pre-Socratic conceptions critically while also being transformed. Through Sallis’s close reading of the Theaetetus and the Phaedo, he recovers the profound and comprehensive concept of nature in Plato’s thought.
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