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The Origins of Philosophy

Its Rise in Myth and the Pre-Socratics - A Collection of Early Writings

Edited by Drew A. Hyland
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Humanities Press International Inc.,U.S., United States
Published: 30th Nov 1973
Dimensions: h 230mm
ISBN-10: 0391032178
ISBN-13: 9780391032170
Barcode No: 9780391032170

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Kirkus US
A selection of readings coveting the Pre-Socratic Greek philosophers and other ancient writers, accompanied by a discussion of the nature of the philosophic impulse. Hyland argues against what he calls the historical approach to the origin of philosophy, instead placing an "ahistorical" emphasis on man's sense of wonder and his self-differentiation from the divine and from nature; one need not agree with his categories or his arguments to find the discussion valuable. Similarly, his inclusion of selections from Gilgamesh, Homer, and Hesiod is suggestive, though one may question his choice from The Odyssey and the translation used. The discussion of the Pre-Socratics proper provides workmanlike insights into the conceptual discoveries behind their seemingly childlike ideas - Anaxmines' notion of air as the basic principle of things, for example - and Hyland makes good use of the commentaries of Hegel and others. The book ends fruitfully with an early dialogue of Plato's, rounding out Hyland's stress on "the erotic desire for the wholeness of wisdom." As Edward Hussey's The Pre-Socratics (p. 39) shows, socio-historical treatments are not necessarily incompatible with this kind of interpretation and might have been validly incorporated; but this remains a creditable survey for students. (Kirkus Reviews)