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Presocratic Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions #103)

3.53  ·  Rating Details ·  115 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
Generations of philosophers, both ancient and modern, have traced their inspiration back to the Presocratics. Part of the fascination stems from the fact that little of what they wrote survives. Here Osborne invites her readers to dip their toes into the fragmentary remains of thinkers from Thales to Pythagoras, Heraclitus to Protagoras, and to try to reconstruct the moves ...more
Paperback, 144 pages
Published September 16th 2004 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published September 1st 2003)
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Ahmad Sharabiani
Presocratic philosophy : a very short introduction (Very Short Introductions #103), Catherine Osborne
عنوانها: فلسفه پیش سقراطی؛ پیش سقراطیان؛
عنوان: فلسفه پیش سقراطی؛ نویسنده: کاترین آزبرن (اسبرن)؛ مترجم: گلنار صالح کریمی؛ تهران، ماهی، 1390؛ در 191 ص، کتابنامه، نمایه، شابک: 9789642090952؛
عنوان: پیش سقراطیان؛ نویسنده: کاترین آزبرن (اسبرن)؛ مترجم: سعید جاودانیان؛ مشهد، همسایه آفتاب، 1393، در 163 ص، شابک: 9786006156637؛ موضوع: فیلسوفان پیش از سقراط
Sep 17, 2016 Javad rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: فلسفه
فلسفۀ پیشسقراطی کتاب خوشخوان و مفرحی است برای آشنایی با اندیشۀ فیلسوفانی که قبل از سقراط میزیستهاند و در واقع سلف فکری او و فلاسفۀ بعدش بودهاند. خواندن این کتاب برای کسانی که قصد دارند مطالعهای اجمالی در تاریخ فلسفه انجام دهند بسیار مفید است. آگاهی از همین اندیشههای نادقیق و نهچندان مدونِ متفکران پیشسقراطیْ آبشخورهای فلسفههای توسعهیافتهتر بعدی را نشان میدهد و به فهم بهتر آن اندیشههای پسینی کمک میکند.

ترجمۀ خانم صلاحکریمی نیز بر این کتاب روان و صمیمی است و این مسئله بههمراه لحن شبهمحاورهای و قصهگ
Abdullah Basaran
Jul 21, 2016 Abdullah Basaran rated it it was ok
Some verbalism and pieces from the original texts, nothing more.
Jul 09, 2016 Sonic rated it it was amazing
This is a super excellent book! First to talk about this vast subject, is commendable, secondly to speak succinctly on this topic, is amazing, and thirdly the way Catherine Osborne engages us (the readers) is quite exceptional. Ms. Osborne is capable of asking good questions, and sometimes being satisfied with some good questions instead of reducing these concepts to erroneous and incomplete assumptions. She has an engaging and down-to-earth voice that is incredibly refreshing amongst the schola ...more
Jo Walton
Feb 20, 2015 Jo Walton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliantly lucid, readable, and remarkably comprehensive for such a short book.

I bought this because I was enjoying Osborne/Rowett's papers on so much that I wanted to give her some money.
Jan 16, 2016 Christopher rated it liked it
This entry in Oxford University Press’s series of “Very Short Introductions” aims give readers an overview in 168 pages of the Presocratics, the philosophers of the Greek-speaking world who lived before Socrates and were among the first to note down musings on the nature of reality and the physical makeup of the universe. In chapters dedicated slightly more to general themes than to individual thinkers, Catherine Osborne presents some of the major contributions that they made to philosophy: the ...more
So Hakim
May 06, 2015 So Hakim rated it liked it
Shelves: philosophy
Useful, but thematic organization let the book down.

It would have been better if the book divided chapters by thinkers or schools, focusing on their ideas. Unfortunately it didn't: instead the author tried to use a bird-eye-view perspective, connecting one thinker to others.

Better introductions to the Presocratics are available, and even public domain version is pretty good: John Burnet's Early Greek Philosophy (1908) comes to mind.
Viji Sarath (Bookish endeavors)
After having read Stace and Thilly and Copleston,this book really feels like what it is-a very short introduction. Still I would say that it didn't cover much of what is termed pre-Socratic philosophy. Most of the philosophers were just mentioned and their contributions were compressed to a single sentence. I understand completely that they have to limit it to some 150 pages but they could've reduced the number of pictures which most of the time didn't have any relevance,at least philosophically ...more
Daniel Wright
The term 'Presocratic' seems to be something of a misnomer to be - 'Preplatonic' would be more accurate, since Socrates seems to have had no real philosophy of his own, and we now only see him through Platonic lenses (also Xenophon, but he gets rather neglected, being primarily a historian). In any case, it's a bit sad that the first thing that ever gets said about such deep and colourful thinkers as Thales, Parmenides and Heraclitus is that they came before Socrates - they are defined by someon ...more
Jackson Cyril
Catherine Osborne's introduction is brilliantly structured and takes you through an in-depth tour of Presocratic philosophy. She explores the major philosophers of the period and provides the reader with plenty of primary sources to tackle with, providing great commentary and asking questions to provoke thought.
Marcus Vinicius
Mar 26, 2015 Marcus Vinicius rated it it was amazing
One can relate to Presocratic philosophy as a history of thinkers trying to solve some few importants questions, specially the cosmology one. Catherine Osborne choses another path, one in which the presocratics examined various problems with no specifically order. This work introduces the reader to the ideas and doubts of men that lived in 5th and 4th centuries BC. The exposition is clear and the reader's benefits enormous.
Darrell Keller
Organization was not the best. I guess Osborne wanted to deviate from a historical timeline and focus on the ideas. Sounded good in theory, but it came out disconnected and awkward. She should have kept to the historical timeline and then connected the ideas, as is usually done when dealing the Presocratics.

Overall, three stars because it does fill a niche, but could have been better organized.
Apr 15, 2012 Peter rated it really liked it
This book was a decent introduction to the Presocratic Philosophy. It covers a large amount of material so it doesn't go into any great depth, but it does a good job of a) contextualizing these philosophers and b) giving brief introductions to their thought.

Finally, it has a fairly comprehensive list of further readings, which was exactly what I was looking for.
Apr 16, 2010 Maya rated it liked it
Shelves: ebook, philosophy
3.75 Not as well focused as Ancient Philosophy: A Very Sort Introduction. I wish that instead of talking about philosophers the way she did she would have instead taken the theories and followed them from the beginning to the end instead. She seems to jump around on the theories instead of building them up. Still a good read though.
Mills College Library
182 R881 2004
Jeremy Sabol
Dec 15, 2007 Jeremy Sabol rated it liked it
good, accessible - kind of takes too much time "debunking" the very useful Master Narrative of the presocratics, built around Parmenides. Her critiques of this narrative are accurate but petty. But I liked the focus on Empedocles!
Oct 02, 2010 Nick rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
This book did not inform, and, barring the last two chapters, was not much of an introduction to anything. I liked the chapter on the Sophists, which was only supposed to be supplementary to the key presocratics. Mediocre book.
Aug 29, 2013 Ethan rated it really liked it
An engaging, thoughtful introduction to the Presocratics and some issues in contemporary scholarship in early Greek philosophy.
Craig Bolton
Presocratic Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) by Catherine Osborne (2004)
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