A New History of Western Philosophy Vol 1 Ancient Philosophy by Anthony Kenny

Greek Roman

By Anthony Kenny

The following readers will locate not just an authoritative advisor to the historical past of philosophy, but in addition a compelling creation to each significant sector of philosophical inquiry. --from writer description

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5 Heraclitus, like Descartes and Kant in later ages, saw himself as making a completely new start in philosophy. L. 9. 1). But, again like Descartes and Kant, Heraclitus was more inXuenced by his predecessors than he realized. Like Xenophanes, he was highly critical of popular religion: oVering blood sacriWce to purge oneself of blood guilt was like trying to wash oV mud with mud. Praying to statues was like whispering in an empty house, and phallic processions and Dionysiac rites were simply disgusting (KRS 241, 243).

15 See Ch. 7 below. 23 PYTHAGORAS TO PLATO to be deemed A god, leaped fondly into Aetna Xames. (Paradise Lost iii. 470) Matthew Arnold dramatized this story in his Empedocles on Etna. He places these verses in the mouth of the philosopher at the crater’s rim: This heart will glow no more; thou art A living man no more, Empedocles! Nothing but a devouring Xame of thought— But a naked, eternally restless mind! To the elements it came from Everything will return Our bodies to earth, Our blood to water, Heat to Wre, Breath to air.

Scholars do not agree to which poem should be attached the many disjointed citations that survive; some, indeed, think that the two poems belonged to a single work. Further pieces of the textual jigsaw were recovered when forty papyrus fragments were identiWed in the archives of the University of Strasbourg in 1994. As a poet, Empedocles was more Xuent than Parmenides, and also more versatile. L. 8. 57). Empedocles’ philosophy of nature can be regarded, from one point of view, as a synthesis of the thought of the Ionian philosophers.

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