Cover image for The world of Parmenides : essays on the Presocratic enlightenment
The world of Parmenides : essays on the Presocratic enlightenment
Popper, Karl R. (Karl Raimund), 1902-1994.
Publication Information:
London ; New York : Routledge, 1998.
Physical Description:
x, 328 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
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B187.5 .P66 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



This unique collection of essays, published together for the first time, not only elucidates the complexity of ancient Greek thought, but also reveals Karl Popper's engagement with Presocratic philosophy and the enlightenment he experienced in his reading of Parmenides. As Karl Popper himself states himself in his introduction, he was inspired to write about Presocratic philosophy for two reasons - firstly to illustrate the thesis that all history is the history of problem situations and secondly, to show the greatness of the early Greek philosophers, who gave Europe its philosophy, its science and its humanism.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

This posthumous collection of essays by Karl Popper focuses on early Greek philosophy. Some of the pieces published earlier are presented here in revised form; several items have not been previously published. While most of the essays explore issues in Parmenides' thought, Popper's discussion ranges widely throughout the cosmological thought of the Milesians, Heraclitus, and Xenophanes. A great virtue of Popper's perspective is his undiluted enthusiasm for the Presocratics. His aim is to promote wonder "at the riddle of our world." He loves the Presocratics because they above all puzzled over the nature of the universe in an open and nondogmatic manner, thus anticipating the critical attitude of modern science. Many will find this approach helpful. However, Popper's biases limit the accuracy of his interpretations. He believes that Parmenides is a materialist and that he links light with nonbeing instead of being (as the majority of scholars claim). In spite of his praise for the poetic quality of much Presocratic thought, Popper is unable to discern any symbolic dimension in their writings. However, his voice is passionate and stimulating and it should be heard. Highly recommended for university libraries. Upper-level undergraduates and above. J. Bussanich University of New Mexico