The works collected in this volume form the true foundation of Western philosophy—the base upon which Plato and Aristotle and their successors would eventually build. Yet the importance of the Pre-Socratics thinkers lies less in their influence—great though that was—than in their astonishing intellectual ambition and imaginative reach. Zeno's dizzying 'proofs' that motion is impossible; the extraordinary atomic theories of Democritus; the haunting and enigmatic epigrams of Heraclitus; and the maxims of Alcmaeon: fragmentary as they often are, the thoughts of these philosophers seem strikingly modern in their concern to forge a truly scientific vocabulary and way of reasoning.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Early Greek PhilosophyMap
Preface to the Second Edition
Introduction
Synopsis
Note to the Reader
Part I
1. Precursors
2. Thales
3. Anaximander
4. Anaximenes
5. Pythagoras
6. Alcmaeon
7. Xenophanes
8. Heraclitus

Part II
9. Parmenides
10. Melissus
11. Zeno

Part III
12. Empedocles
13. Fifth-century Pythagoreanism
14. Hippasus
15. Philolaus
16. Ion of Chios
17. Hippo
18. Anaxagoras
19. Archelaus
20. Leucippus
21. Democritus
22. Diogenes of Apollonia

Appendix: The Sources
Further Reading
Subject Index
Index of Quoted Texts
Index to Diels-Kranz B-Texts

ALEXANDER MACLEOD was born in Inverness, Cape Breton and raised in Windsor, Ontario. His first collection of stories, Light Lifting, was a national bestseller, won an Atlantic Book Award, and was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, the Thomas Head Raddall Fiction Award, and the Commonwealth Book Prize. His most recent book of fiction, Animal Person, won the Dartmouth Book Award for Fiction, was named a Best Book of the Year by The New Yorker, CBC Books, and the Globe and Mail, and includes stories that were featured in The New Yorker, Granta, and The O. Henry Prize Stories. In 2019, he won an O. Henry Award for his story “Lagomorph.” MacLeod holds degrees from the University of Windsor, the University of Notre Dame, and McGill University. He currently lives in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, and teaches at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax.

SOUVANKHAM THAMMAVONGSA's fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's, Granta, The Atlantic, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, Best American Non-Required Reading, The Journey Prize Stories, and The O. Henry Prize Stories. Her debut book of fiction, How to Pronounce Knife, won the 2020 Scotiabank Giller Prize and the 2021 Trillium Book Award, and was named a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN America Open Book Award, the Danuta Gleed Award, and one of Time's Must-Read Books of 2020. Thammavongsa is also the author of four poetry books: Light, winner of the Trillium Book Award for Poetry; Found; Small Arguments, winner of the ReLit Award; and, most recently, Cluster. Born in the Lao refugee camp in Nong Khai, Thailand, she was raised and educated in Toronto, where she is at work on her first novel. View titles by Various

About

The works collected in this volume form the true foundation of Western philosophy—the base upon which Plato and Aristotle and their successors would eventually build. Yet the importance of the Pre-Socratics thinkers lies less in their influence—great though that was—than in their astonishing intellectual ambition and imaginative reach. Zeno's dizzying 'proofs' that motion is impossible; the extraordinary atomic theories of Democritus; the haunting and enigmatic epigrams of Heraclitus; and the maxims of Alcmaeon: fragmentary as they often are, the thoughts of these philosophers seem strikingly modern in their concern to forge a truly scientific vocabulary and way of reasoning.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Table of Contents

Early Greek PhilosophyMap
Preface to the Second Edition
Introduction
Synopsis
Note to the Reader
Part I
1. Precursors
2. Thales
3. Anaximander
4. Anaximenes
5. Pythagoras
6. Alcmaeon
7. Xenophanes
8. Heraclitus

Part II
9. Parmenides
10. Melissus
11. Zeno

Part III
12. Empedocles
13. Fifth-century Pythagoreanism
14. Hippasus
15. Philolaus
16. Ion of Chios
17. Hippo
18. Anaxagoras
19. Archelaus
20. Leucippus
21. Democritus
22. Diogenes of Apollonia

Appendix: The Sources
Further Reading
Subject Index
Index of Quoted Texts
Index to Diels-Kranz B-Texts

Author

ALEXANDER MACLEOD was born in Inverness, Cape Breton and raised in Windsor, Ontario. His first collection of stories, Light Lifting, was a national bestseller, won an Atlantic Book Award, and was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, the Thomas Head Raddall Fiction Award, and the Commonwealth Book Prize. His most recent book of fiction, Animal Person, won the Dartmouth Book Award for Fiction, was named a Best Book of the Year by The New Yorker, CBC Books, and the Globe and Mail, and includes stories that were featured in The New Yorker, Granta, and The O. Henry Prize Stories. In 2019, he won an O. Henry Award for his story “Lagomorph.” MacLeod holds degrees from the University of Windsor, the University of Notre Dame, and McGill University. He currently lives in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, and teaches at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax.

SOUVANKHAM THAMMAVONGSA's fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's, Granta, The Atlantic, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, Best American Non-Required Reading, The Journey Prize Stories, and The O. Henry Prize Stories. Her debut book of fiction, How to Pronounce Knife, won the 2020 Scotiabank Giller Prize and the 2021 Trillium Book Award, and was named a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN America Open Book Award, the Danuta Gleed Award, and one of Time's Must-Read Books of 2020. Thammavongsa is also the author of four poetry books: Light, winner of the Trillium Book Award for Poetry; Found; Small Arguments, winner of the ReLit Award; and, most recently, Cluster. Born in the Lao refugee camp in Nong Khai, Thailand, she was raised and educated in Toronto, where she is at work on her first novel. View titles by Various

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