Osborne avoids the common presentation of the presocratics as essentially cosmologists responding to one another in a linear sequence, and particularly questions whether Parmenides was responding to Heraclitus or vice versa.
The book opens with a motivating discussion of a papyrus newly assembled in 1992 containing fragments of Empedocles which brings into question the division between his mystical and cosmological writings (by plausibly indicating they were contained in a single work).
The takeaway is that we should recognize the Presocratics as thinkers with a wide variety of interests, just as we would expect of later philosophers.
|Oxford University Press||Publisher|
|A note on the pronunciation||xiv|
|1: Lost words, forgotten worlds||1|
|2: Puzzles about first principles||29|
|3: Zeno's tortoise||51|
|4: Reality and appearance: more adventures in metaphysics||61|
|6: Pythagoras and other mysteries||97|
|7: Spin doctors of the 5th century||112|