Catalogue


Explaining the cosmos [electronic resource] : the Ionian tradition of scientific philosophy /
Daniel W. Graham.
imprint
Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, c2006.
description
xiii, 344 p. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0691125406, 9780691125404
format(s)
Book
More Details
imprint
Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, c2006.
isbn
0691125406
9780691125404
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
contents note
The Ionian program -- Anaximander's principles -- Anaximenes' theory of change -- The generating substance theory as an explanatory hypothesis -- Heraclitus's criticism of Ionian philosophy -- Parmenides' criticism of Ionian philosophy -- Anaxagoras and Empedocles : Eleatic pluralists -- The elemental substance theory as an explanatory hypothesis -- The atomist reform -- Diogenes of Apollonia and material monism -- The Ionian legacy.
catalogue key
8840427
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [309]-325) and indexes.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
"Daniel Graham's "Explaining the Cosmos" offers a new take on the Presocratic natural philosophers, arguing that the long-dominant account of the early Ionians as material monists is mistaken. The book makes a significant contribution. It is quite readable, and original. In sum, it is a fine work."--Allan Silverman, Ohio State University"Daniel Graham concentrates chiefly on the early Ionian thinkers as the key to a new understanding of the history of Presocratic philosophy. The result is a serious and coherent account of the history of an important strain of Greek philosophical thought before Plato. The book is carefully argued and clearly written, and makes an excellent contribution to our understanding of Presocratic philosophy."--Patricia Curd, Purdue University
Flap Copy
"Daniel Graham's Explaining the Cosmos offers a new take on the Presocratic natural philosophers, arguing that the long-dominant account of the early Ionians as material monists is mistaken. The book makes a significant contribution. It is quite readable, and original. In sum, it is a fine work."-- Allan Silverman, Ohio State University "Daniel Graham concentrates chiefly on the early Ionian thinkers as the key to a new understanding of the history of Presocratic philosophy. The result is a serious and coherent account of the history of an important strain of Greek philosophical thought before Plato. The book is carefully argued and clearly written, and makes an excellent contribution to our understanding of Presocratic philosophy."-- Patricia Curd, Purdue University
Flap Copy
"Daniel Graham's Explaining the Cosmos offers a new take on the Presocratic natural philosophers, arguing that the long-dominant account of the early Ionians as material monists is mistaken. The book makes a significant contribution. It is quite readable, and original. In sum, it is a fine work."--Allan Silverman, Ohio State University "Daniel Graham concentrates chiefly on the early Ionian thinkers as the key to a new understanding of the history of Presocratic philosophy. The result is a serious and coherent account of the history of an important strain of Greek philosophical thought before Plato. The book is carefully argued and clearly written, and makes an excellent contribution to our understanding of Presocratic philosophy."--Patricia Curd, Purdue University
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2007-03-01:
Graham (Brigham Young Univ.) argues that the Ionian tradition is the key to understanding pre-Socratic philosophy in general. Once one understands the Ionians correctly, everything else falls into place, i.e., the dialectical relationships among the Ionians themselves, and between them and their Eleatic critics. On Graham's revised picture of pre-Socratic philosophy, the Ionian world view represents the great tradition in pre-Socratic thought. In fact, it was so great that it shaped the thought of its successors, including the Pythagoreans and the Eleatics, and continues to exert its influence on people today. If it were not for these Ionian forebears, Graham observes, humankind would not live in a world built on advanced science and technology. Due to the depth and breadth of its research, its lucidity, and the cogency of its arguments, Explaining the Cosmos will undoubtedly become a new standard against which future work on the pre-Socratics is measured. Some critics might object to Graham's exclusive focus on the Ionians as protoscientists (after all, none of them entirely abandons references to the divine). But they can look to Graham's work as the most systematic and comprehensive account of the position with which they disagree. ^BSumming Up: Essential. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty/researchers. M. A. Ralkowski University of New Mexico
Reviews
Review Quotes
Essential. . . . Due to the depth and breadth of its research, its lucidity, and the cogency of its arguments, "Explaining the Cosmos" will undoubtedly become a new standard against which future work on the pre-Socratics is measured.
Essential. . . . Due to the depth and breadth of its research, its lucidity, and the cogency of its arguments, Explaining the Cosmos will undoubtedly become a new standard against which future work on the pre-Socratics is measured.
"Essential. . . . Due to the depth and breadth of its research, its lucidity, and the cogency of its arguments, Explaining the Cosmos will undoubtedly become a new standard against which future work on the pre-Socratics is measured."-- Choice
Essential. . . . Due to the depth and breadth of its research, its lucidity, and the cogency of its arguments, Explaining the Cosmos will undoubtedly become a new standard against which future work on the pre-Socratics is measured. -- Choice
Essential. . . . Due to the depth and breadth of its research, its lucidity, and the cogency of its arguments,Explaining the Cosmoswill undoubtedly become a new standard against which future work on the pre-Socratics is measured. -- Choice
Graham harks back to Harold Cherniss's critical reading of Aristotle as more of an engaged interpreter than objective historian of the Presocratics. . . . This is a genuine achievement. . . . [M]uch of what Graham offers . . . is persuasive, illuminating, and occasionally brilliant.
Graham harks back to Harold Cherniss's critical reading of Aristotle as more of an engaged interpreter than objective historian of the Presocratics. . . . This is a genuine achievement. . . . [M]uch of what Graham offers . . . is persuasive, illuminating, and occasionally brilliant. -- Simon Trepanier, Isis
"Graham harks back to Harold Cherniss's critical reading of Aristotle as more of an engaged interpreter than objective historian of the Presocratics. . . . This is a genuine achievement. . . . [M]uch of what Graham offers . . . is persuasive, illuminating, and occasionally brilliant."-- Simon Trpanier, Isis
Graham harks back to Harold Cherniss's critical reading of Aristotle as more of an engaged interpreter than objective historian of the Presocratics. . . . This is a genuine achievement. . . . [M]uch of what Graham offers . . . is persuasive, illuminating, and occasionally brilliant. -- Simon Trpanier, Isis
[S]cholars everywhere will be grateful for this engaging intellectual adventure.
"[S]cholars everywhere will be grateful for this engaging intellectual adventure."-- Robert Hahn, Journal of the History of Philosophy
[S]cholars everywhere will be grateful for this engaging intellectual adventure. -- Robert Hahn, Journal of the History of Philosophy
Daniel Graham concentrates chiefly on the early Ionian thinkers as the key to a new understanding of the history of Presocratic philosophy. The result is a serious and coherent account of the history of an important strain of Greek philosophical thought before Plato. The book is carefully argued and clearly written, and makes an excellent contribution to our understanding of Presocratic philosophy.
Daniel Graham'sExplaining the Cosmosoffers a new take on the Presocratic natural philosophers, arguing that the long-dominant account of the early Ionians as material monists is mistaken. The book makes a significant contribution. It is quite readable, and original. In sum, it is a fine work.
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, March 2007
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
Explaining the Cosmos is a major reinterpretation of Greek scientific thought before Socrates. Focusing on the scientific tradition of philosophy, Daniel Graham argues that Presocratic philosophy is not a mere patchwork of different schools and styles of thought. Rather, there is a discernible and unified Ionian tradition that dominates Presocratic debates. Graham rejects the common interpretation of the early Ionians as "material monists" and also the view of the later Ionians as desperately trying to save scientific philosophy from Parmenides' criticisms. In Graham's view, Parmenides plays a constructive role in shaping the scientific debates of the fifth century BC. Accordingly, the history of Presocratic philosophy can be seen not as a series of dialectical failures, but rather as a series of theoretical advances that led to empirical discoveries. Indeed, the Ionian tradition can be seen as the origin of the scientific conception of the world that we still hold today.
Table of Contents
Prefacep. xi
Abbreviations and Brief Referencesp. xv
The Ionian Programp. 1
Anaximander's Projectp. 4
Anaximander's Project as a Scientific Programp. 14
Toward an Understanding of the Ionian Traditionp. 18
Anaximander's Principlesp. 28
Out of the Boundlessp. 28
Powers in Conflictp. 34
Elements and Powersp. 39
Anaximenes' Theory of Changep. 45
The Theory of Changep. 45
Material Monismp. 48
Problems with Material Monismp. 50
Anaximenes and the Generating Substance Theoryp. 67
Anaximenes' Achievementp. 82
The Generating Substance Theory as an Explanatory Hypothesisp. 85
GST Formalizedp. 85
A Compromise View?p. 88
GST as a Paradigm of Explanationp. 91
Advantages of GSTp. 98
Disadvantages of GSTp. 106
Heraclitus's Criticism of Ionian Philosophyp. 113
Extreme Interpretationsp. 113
Barnes's Argument for Heraclitus-Fp. 118
The Unity of Oppositesp. 122
The Flux Thesisp. 129
Heraclitus and GSTp. 137
Parmenides' Criticism of Ionian Philosophyp. 148
Parmenides' Response to Heraclitusp. 148
Parmenides' Criticismp. 155
Properties of What-Isp. 162
Deceptive Cosmologyp. 169
Parmenides' Scientific Discoveryp. 179
Parmenides' Response to GSTp. 182
Anaxagoras and Empedocles: Eleatic Pluralistsp. 186
The Standard Interpretationp. 186
Questions about the Standard Intepretationp. 188
The Elemental Substance Theoryp. 195
Parmenides and Origins of the Elemental Substance Theoryp. 201
Two Theories of Elementsp. 208
Empirical Advancesp. 220
The Elemental Substance Theory as an Explantory Hypothesisp. 224
EST Formalizedp. 224
EST and Eleatic Theoryp. 227
EST with and without Emergencep. 229
Advantages of ESTp. 233
Disadvantages of ESTp. 241
The Atomist Reformp. 250
The Challengep. 250
Foundational Argumentsp. 256
Atomism and ESTp. 269
Birth of the Cosmosp. 271
Diogenes of Apollonia and Material Monismp. 277
Diogenes in Modern Accountsp. 277
Diogenes in a New Lightp. 279
Diogenes in Historical Contextp. 284
A New Theory of Matterp. 290
The Ionian Legacyp. 294
Paradigms of Explanationp. 294
Explanatory Progressp. 298
The Primacy of Ionian Researchp. 302
Referencesp. 309
Index Locorump. 327
General Indexp. 337
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

This information is provided by a service that aggregates data from review sources and other sources that are often consulted by libraries, and readers. The University does not edit this information and merely includes it as a convenience for users. It does not warrant that reviews are accurate. As with any review users should approach reviews critically and where deemed necessary should consult multiple review sources. Any concerns or questions about particular reviews should be directed to the reviewer and/or publisher.

  link to old catalogue

Report a problem