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McInerny Center for Thomistic Studies
 
     
     
 
Program in philosophical studies
 
     
 
October 2006
 
 

 
 

Joshua Hochschild

 

Philosophy, the Beginning:

Second Class

 
 

 
     
 

ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY: THE EARLIEST BEGINNINGS

 

For the class meeting on October 11, we will cover "the Birth of Philosophy," including both the early philosophy of nature and the sophistic movement (roughly 585 to 400 BC, from the first recognized philosophers through Socrates' lifetime).  Our purpose, of course, is not just historical but philosophical; we will trace the emergence of philosophy in ancient Greece in order to begin to participate ourselves in the philosophical tradition it inaugurated that is, in order to philosophize.  So we will not just try to formulate the theories of past thinkers, but to come to terms with these theories by discerning, and so sharing, the questions and problems to which these theories were formulated as answers.

 

 

RECOMMENDED READINGS

 

 

THE PRESOCRATICS

 

A collection of fragments of early ("Presocratic") Greek philosophy is available here:

 

http://kr.geocities.com/hyun_sinnayo/presoc.htm

 

There are many passages on this webpage, but you can single out for your attention especially:

 

Anaximander, fragments (1) and (6)

Anaximines, (1), (3), (4), and (6)

Xenophanes, (11), (12), (14), (15), (18), (23), (24), (25), (26)

Heraclitus, (2), (19), (20), (22), (24), (81)

Parmenides, (2)-(8) ("The Way of Truth")

Empedocles, (8), (9), (17)

Anaxagoras, (12), (13) ("Nous" is Greek for "Mind")

Zeno, (1), (2)

Melissos, (1)-(10)

 

 

 

THE SOPHISTS

 

On sophistry or the sophistic movement, a brief and accessible summary is Ralph McInerny's own chapter on the Sophists from his History of Western Philosophy, vol. 1 (ch. 7), which can be viewed here:

 

http://www2.nd.edu/Departments//Maritain/etext/hwp107.htm

 
     

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