Presocratic Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction

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OUP Oxford, Apr 22, 2004 - Philosophy - 144 pages
This is a book about the invention of Western philosophy, and the first thinkers to explore ideas about the nature of reality, time, and the origin of the universe. It begins with the finding of the new papyrus fragment of Empedocles' poem, and uses the story of its discovery and interpretation to highlight the way our understanding of early philosophers is marked by their presentation in later sources. Generations of philosophers, both ancient and modern, have traced their inspiration back to the presocratics, even though we have very few of their writings left. In this book, Catherine Osborne invites her readers to dip their toes into the fragmentary remains of thinkers from Thales to Pythagoras, Heraclitus to Protagoras, to try to fill in the bits of a jigsaw that has been rejigged many times and in many different ways. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

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User Review  - MarcusBastos - LibraryThing

One can relate to Presocratic philosophy as a history of thinkers trying to solve some few importants questions, specially the cosmology one. Catherine Osborne choses another path, one in which the ... Read full review

Review: Presocratic Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions #103)

User Review  - Maya - Goodreads

3.75 Not as well focused as Ancient Philosophy: A Very Sort Introduction. I wish that instead of talking about philosophers the way she did she would have instead taken the theories and followed them ... Read full review


1 Lost words forgotten worlds
2 Puzzles about first principles
3 Zenos tortoise
more adventures in metaphysics
5 Heraclitus
6 Pythagoras and other mysteries
7 Spin doctors of the 5th century
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About the author (2004)

Catherine Osborne has been a Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of East Anglia, Norwich (since 2003), Reader in the School of Archaeology, Classics, and Oriental Studies at the University of Liverpool from 2000 to 2003, and before that Reader in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Wales, Swansea. Her publications include Rethinking Early Greek Philosophy (1987) and Eros Unveiled: Plato and the God of Love (1994), as well as the chapter on Heraclitus in the Routledge History of Philosophy, Volume 1 and many articles on a wide range of issues in Ancient Philosophy from the Presocratics to the Early Christian period.

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