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The Founders of Western Thought - The Presocratics


The Founders of Western Thought - The Presocratics

A diachronic parallelism between Presocratic Thought and Philosophy and the Natural Sciences
Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science, Band 257

von: Constantine J. Vamvacas

149,79 €

Verlag: Springer
Format: PDF
Veröffentl.: 28.05.2009
ISBN/EAN: 9781402097911
Sprache: englisch
Anzahl Seiten: 240

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Beschreibungen

There can be little doubt that the Greek tradition of philosophical criticism had its main source in Ionia. . . It thus leads the tradition which created the rational or scienti?c attitude, and with it our Western civilization, the only civilization, which is based upon science (though, of course, not upon science alone). Karl Popper, Back to the Presocratics Harvard University physicist and historian of Science, Gerald Holton, coined the term “Ionian Enchantment”, an expression that links the idea back in the 6th c- tury B. C. to the ancient Ionians along the eastern Aegean coast, while capturing its fascination. Approximately within a seventy- ve year period (600–525 B. C. ) -a split second in the history of humanity- the three Milesian thinkers, Thales, Anaximander and Anaximenes, without plain evidence, but with an unequalled power of critical abstraction and intuition, had achieved a true intellectual re- lution; they founded and bequeathed to future generations a new, unprecedented way of theorizing the world; it could be summarized in four statements: beneath the apparent disorder and multiplicity of the cosmos, there exists order, unity and stability; unity derives from the fundamental primary substratum from which the cosmos originated; this, and, consequently, the cosmic reality, is one, and is based not on supernatural, but on physical causes; they are such that man can - vestigate them rationally. These four statements are neither self-evident nor se- explanatory.
There can be little doubt that the Greek tradition of philosophical criticism had its main source in Ionia. . . It thus leads the tradition which created the rational or scienti?c attitude, and with it our Western civilization, the only civilization, which is based upon science (though, of course, not upon science alone). Karl Popper, Back to the Presocratics Harvard University physicist and historian of Science, Gerald Holton, coined the term “Ionian Enchantment”, an expression that links the idea back in the 6th c- tury B. C. to the ancient Ionians along the eastern Aegean coast, while capturing its fascination. Approximately within a seventy- ve year period (600–525 B. C. ) -a split second in the history of humanity- the three Milesian thinkers, Thales, Anaximander and Anaximenes, without plain evidence, but with an unequalled power of critical abstraction and intuition, had achieved a true intellectual re- lution; they founded and bequeathed to future generations a new, unprecedented way of theorizing the world; it could be summarized in four statements: beneath the apparent disorder and multiplicity of the cosmos, there exists order, unity and stability; unity derives from the fundamental primary substratum from which the cosmos originated; this, and, consequently, the cosmic reality, is one, and is based not on supernatural, but on physical causes; they are such that man can - vestigate them rationally. These four statements are neither self-evident nor se- explanatory.
Preface, Introduction, The Juncture, Introduction to the Presocratics, Thales, Anaximander, Anaximenes, Pythagoras, Xenophanes,Heraclitus, Permenides,Empedocles, Anaxogoras,Democritus, Epilogue, Bibliography, Indexes
<P>There are two main&nbsp;points&nbsp;within this book: Firstly,&nbsp;to make the founding and evolution of&nbsp; Western thought accessible to the reflective man of our day, since the spirit of the Presocratics – although it is considered to constitute a true intellectual revolution - remains unknown to the broader community and secondly to shed greater light – probably for the first time - on the scientific dimension of the Presocratics’ work, and show its timeless value.</P>
<P>This book is a balanced interdisciplinary philosophic-scientific presentation of the evolution of Western thought through the presocratic tradition, where the synthesis of rationality and intuition – rather than their opposition - is the key to answering all questions of science, as we now understand the them. It is a book that investigates the<BR>roots of Western science and philosophy, where probably for the first time a coherent interrelation is shown between presocratics’ thought and classical, as well as modern physical sciences.</P>
<P>It is&nbsp;addressed to the intelligent layperson as well as to the scientist of our time, who is interested in the emergence and evolution of Western thought – both scientific and philosophic.&nbsp; It&nbsp; will appeal to professionals and graduate students interested in general philosophy and philosophy of science.</P>
<p>The Presocratics were the first to interpret the universe critically, through a unique combination of rational thought, intuition and observation, excluding any intervention of divine or supernatural powers</p><p>They appealed to man’s conscience, elevating man to a free and responsible position</p><p>They posed the fundamental questions about ‘truth’, ‘being’, ‘becoming’</p><p>They laid the foundations for critical investigation, without which science would not exist</p>

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