Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York
 


Presocratic Philosophy


PHGA 7114 Presocratic Philosophy

Professor Dana Miller
Spring 2007
Prof. Dana Miller

DESCRIPTION:
This course will examine the fragments of all the major Presocratic philosophers, paying particular attention to their philosophical assumptions, arguments, and today’s debates over interpretation.

TEXTS:
Kirk, Raven, Schofield. The Presocratic Philosophers. Cambridge UP.
R. McKirahan. Philosophy before Socrates. Hackett.

REQUIREMENTS:
One class presentation. 20 pp. paper at the end of the term.

January 17: Pre-philosophic materials
January 24: Thales, Anaximander, Anaximenes
January 31: Anaximander, Anaximenes continued; Xenophanes
February 14: Heraclitus
February 21: Parmenides
February 28: Parmenides
March 7: Zeno of Elea, Melissus
March 21: Pythagoras, Philolaus
March 28: Empedocles
April 4: Anaxagoras
April 11: Leucippus, Democritus
April 18: Democritus
April 25: Hippocrates: On Ancient Medicine (handout)
May 2: Protagoras of Abdera, Gorgias

Recommended reading
General:
W.K.C. Guthrie. A History of Greek Philosophy. Vols I & II. Cambridge UP.
J. Barnes. The Presocratic Philosophers. RKP.
G.E.R. Lloyd. Polarity and Analogy. Cambridge UP / Hackett; Magic, Reason and Experience: Studies in the Origins and Development of Greek Science. Cambridge UP.
D. Furley. The Greek Cosmologists. I. Cambridge UP.

Useful collections of essays:
A. Mourelatos ed. The Presocratics. Princeton UP.
G. Vlastos. Studies in Greek Philosophy. I. Princeton UP.
Caston & Graham (eds). Presocratic Philosophy. Ashgate Presss. 2002.
Ed. A. Preus. Before Plato. Essays in Ancient Greek Philosophy 6. SUNY UP.
Ed. A. Long. The Cambridge Companion to Early Greek Philosophy. Cambridge UP.

On specific Presocratic philosophers, including commentary on their fragments:
Anaximander
C. Kahn. Anaximander and the Origins of Greek Cosmology. Columbia UP / Hackett
Xenophanes
J. Lesher. Xenophanes of Colophon. U of Toronto Press.
Heraclitus
G.S. Kirk. Heraclitus: the Cosmic Fragments. Cambridge UP.
C. Kahn. The Art and Thought of Heraclitus. Cambridge UP.
Parmenides
A. Coxon. The Fragments of Parmenides. Van Gorcum.
P. Curd. The Legacy of Parmenides: Eleatic Monism and later Presocratic           Thought. Princeton UP.
Pythagoras
W. Burkert. Lore and Science in Ancient Pythagoreanism. Harvard UP.
C. Kahn, Pythagoras and the Pythagoreans. Hackett.
Philolaus
C. Huffman. Philolaus of Croton. Cambridge UP.
Empedocles
B. Inwood. The Poem of Empedocles. U of Toronto Press. 2001 ed.
J. Bollack. Empédocle. I-III. Gallimard.
Anaxagoras
D. Sider. The Fragments of Anaxagoras. Anton Hain.
M. Schofield. An Essay on Anaxagoras. Cambridge UP.
Democritus
C.C.W. Taylor, The Atomists: Leucippus and Democritus. U of Toronto Press.

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