Early Greek Thought Before the Dawn

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2013-03-14
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
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Early Greek Thought calls into question a longstanding mythology - operative in both the Analytic and Continental traditions - that the 'Pre-Socratics had the grandiose audacity to break with all traditional forms of knowledge' (Badiou). Each of the variants of this mythology is dismantled in an attempt to not only retrieve an 'indigenous' interpretation of early Greek thought, but also to expose the mythological character of our own contemporary meta-narratives regarding the 'origins' of 'Western', 'Occidental' philosophy. Using an original hermeneutical approach, James Luchte excavates the context of emergence of early Greek thought through an exploration of the mytho-poetic horizons of the archaic world, in relation to which, as Plato testifies, the Greeks were merely 'children'. Luchte discloses 'philosophy in the tragic age' as a creative response to a 'contestation' of mytho-poetic narratives and 'ways of being'. The tragic character of early Greek thought is unfolded through a cultivation of a conversation between its basic thinkers, one which would remain incomprehensible, with Bataille, in the 'absence of myth' and the exile of poetry.

Author Biography

James Luchte is Lecturer of Philosophy and Programme Co-ordinator of the MA in European Philosophy at the University of Wales, Trinity St. David, in Wales. His other publications include The Peacock and the Buffalo: The Poetry of Nietzsche (translator), Pythagoras and the Doctrine of Transmigration, Heidegger's Early Philosophy: The Phenomenology of Ecstatic Temporality, Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra: Before Sunrise (editor) and Kant's Critique of Pure Reason: A Reader's Guide (all Continuum). He has also published numerous articles on various topics in European Philosophy.

Table of Contents

Prologue: Before the Dawn \ Acknowledgments \ Dating: A 'RoughSketch' \ Part 1: Meta-Philosophy ofEarly Greek Thought \ 1. The Motif of the Dawn, or on Gossip \ 2. The Danceof Being: Contexts of Emergence and Mytho-Poetic Horizon \ 3. 'War is themother of all things': Nietzsche and the Birth of Philosophy \ 4. Aletheiaand Being - Heidegger contraNietzsche\ 5. Philosophy as Tragedy (and Comedy) - A Note on Post-structuralism\ Part 2: Tragic Thought \ 6. TheQuestion of the First: Thales and Anaximander \ 7. Recoiling from the Abyss:Anaximenes and Xenophanes \ 8. 'All is Flux' - Heraclitus of Epheus (535-475BC) \ 9. Eternal Recurrence of the Soul: Pythagoras of Samos \ 10. TragicDiffering - Parmenides of Elea (Early Fifth Century) \ 11. Love, Strife andMind - Empedocles and Anaxagoras \ 12. The Divine Beauty of Chaos - Democritusof Thrace (460-370 BC) \ 13. Plato in the Shadow of the Sublime \ Epilogue: Poeticsand the Matheme \ Notes \ Referencesand Further Reading \ Index

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