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Presocratic philosophy

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-A095-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved June 21, 2024, from

Article Summary

The Presocratics were the first Western philosophers. The most celebrated are Thales, Anaximander, Pythagoras, Heraclitus, Parmenides, Zeno of Elea, Empedocles, Anaxagoras and Democritus. Active in Greece throughout the sixth and fifth centuries bc, they concentrated on cosmogony and cosmology – the tasks of explaining the world’s origin and order, without recourse to mythology.

Citing this article:
Sedley, David. Presocratic philosophy, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-A095-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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