Early Greek philosophy

I did something similar to the day before and actively looked for something to learn. I realized that I have a university library at my fingertips. So I simply went for something interesting to read. I clicked open the Cambridge Companion to Early Greek Philosophy.

The first article sets out to make it clear why we are to understand presocratic philosophers not as chronologically earlier, but with older ideas on thinking and learning and using other forms of writing. Socrates uses the “the modern medium” of prose and the early Greek Philosophers use verse. Their approach is also a more holistic approach to life not only learning and thinking. In this sense you may argue that we can’t call them philosophers in a narrow sense.

From one of Euripides’ lost plays:
Blessed is he who has learned how to engage in inquiry,
with no impulse to harm his countrymen or to pursue
wrongful actions, but perceives the order of immortal and ageless
nature, how it is structured.
In these lines we hear early Greek philosophy praised in contemporary
words that capture its holistic ambition, scientific, speculative,
ethical, and awe-inspiring.” p.14

The Cambridge Companion to Early Greek Philosophy
Edited by A. A. Long chapter one: The scope of early Greek philosophy pp 1-21

In the collective of early Greek (presocratic) philosophers you get a feeling that they wanted to know something about everything, about what makes the world work. A little bit like what I’m doing. It’s a good feeling to be able to identify yourself with the founders of modern civilization.


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