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History of Philosophy I

From Heraclitus to the Sophists


Michal Zvarík

This coursebook addresses key presocratics from Heraclitus to the sophists, who stand at the origin of philosophy as cornerstone of European spirituality. Readers might find that already at this point we encounter timeless and actual questions concerning the human condition in the world, limits of our knowledge, or the problem of adequate articulation of reality. Later thinkers did not philosophised from scratch, but criticised or were inspired by their predecessors. The coursebook thus provides an introduction to presocratic thought as an important field of our spiritual history.


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List of Abbreviations


  DL = Diogenes Laertius: Lives of Eminent Philosophers   Hdt. Hist. = Herodotus: The Persian Wars   KRS = Kirk, G. S., Raven, J. E., Schofi eld, M.: Předsókratovští fi losofové   Plat. Crat. = Plato: Cratylus Plat. Prot. = Plato: Protagoras Plat. Theaet. = Plato: Theaetetus   Ps.-Arist. MXG. = Pseudo-Aristotle: On Melissus, Xenophanes and Gorgias Simpl. In Phys. = Simplicius: In Aristotelis Physica commentaria   Thuc. = Thucydides: The Peloponesian War    

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