Presocratic Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction


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AuthorCatherine Osborne
Published LanguageEnglish
Publication Year1997
PublisherOxford University Press
Ships By2-3 days
SKU: OUP-26 Category:


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.

About the author
Catherine Osborne is lecturer in philosophy at the University of East Anglia. She recently moved from her position as Reader in the School of Archaeology, Classics and Oriental Studies at the University of Liverpool, and was previously a lecturer in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Wales, Swansea. Her publications include Rethinking Early Greek Philosophy, and Eros Unveiled: Plato and the God of Love , as well as the chapter on Heraclitus in the Routledge History of Philosophy, volume 1 and articles on a wide range of issues in Ancient Philosophy from the Presocratics to the Early Christian period.

Additional information

Weight0.13 kg
Dimensions17.53 × 11.07 × 1.04 cm


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2-3 days