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  • proper n. Any ancient Greek philosopher who preceded or was roughly contemporaneous with Socrates and whose methods and views were influenced neither directly nor indirectly by Socrates or his primary student, Plato.
  • adj. of, or characteristic of, such a philosopher (or these philosophers) as a whole.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • (For discussions of the notion of Presocratic philosophy, see Long's introduction in Long 1999, Laks 2006, articles in Laks and Louguet 2002.)

    Presocratic Philosophy

  • In a way that reminds one of Presocratic theories, both Epicurus and the Stoics hold that the soul is a particularly fine kind of body, diffused all the way through the perceptible (flesh-and-blood) body of the animate organism.

    Ancient Theories of Soul

  • He was influenced not just by the Pythagorean tradition but also as much or more by the broader tradition of Presocratic philosophy.


  • Nor need speculation about the inhabitants of the moon indicate that the system is fantastical, since such staid Presocratic rationalists as Anaxagoras also argued that the moon was inhabited (see D.L. II 8 and DK 59 A77).


  • In one tradition, which is likely to be reliable, Philolaus is reported to have published a single book, which came to bear the traditional title for all Presocratic philosophical treatises, On Nature, although it is doubtful that this title goes back to Philolaus himself.


  • As in most Presocratic cosmologies, the cosmos is surrounded by an unlimited expanse, and Philolaus 'central fire draws in time, breath and void from that expanse.


  • Philolaus thus accepts the earlier Presocratic reliance on material principles but introduces two radical changes.


  • Unlimiteds are continua undefined by any structure or quantity; they include the traditional Presocratic material elements such as earth, air, fire and water but also space and time.


  • The next words show that Philolaus, like his Presocratic predecessors, regarded the natural world as a cosmos, as an order, and saw it as his central problem to explain that order.


  • Thus, Philolaus 'unlimiteds probably included stuffs in the broad Presocratic sense, which treats opposites such as the hot and the cold as material substances.



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