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Presocratics

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Study Questions and Suggested Essay Topics

Suggestions for Further Reading

Which of the following three philosophers was not one of the Milesians?

Out of what did Thales believe that the world emerged?

Which Presocratic philosopher was responsible for the theory of the four elements?

Which of the following was not proposed as a physis by one of the Presocratics?

Which of the following does not accurately describe the Parmenidian Real?

Which of the following philosophers was not a pluralist?

What common theoretical tenet gives the pluralists their name?

Who were the Eleatic philosophers?

What is a homeomeric substance?

What does the natural world most resemble according to Heraclitus?

According to Anaxagoras, what is the unifier and source of all natural things?

Of all the Presocratic philosophers, who was the most skeptical about the human capacity for knowledge?

Which philosopher spoke about the logos?

Which of the following does not accurately describe the logos?

By what process did Anaximines believe aer gave rise to all other elements?

Which philosopher posited nous as the ultimate motive force in the world?

Which of the following philosophers was an Atomist?

Which Eleatic demand did all the pluralists respect?

What was the Atomists solution to the problem of an orderly world?

What did Xenophanes identify as the main source of human theological error?

What famous principle makes its first appearance in the work of Anaximander?

Who was the first to predict a solar eclipse?

Which of these Presocratic philosophers had the least faith in sensory experience?

To what human institution did Anaxagoras compare the cosmos?

Which Presocratic philosopher claimed that all things are mixed in with all things?

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Correction

by theyeti888, September 23, 2015

The line "is this a dagger which I see before me" is from Macbeth, not Hamlet. C'mon, Sparknotes! I expect better from you.

What is versus what is not

by rpmiller, December 24, 2015

Is it possible that Parmenides was referring to the object orientation of our thoughts with his famous saying that "what is is and what is not is not"? Consider that when separating an object from its background, we can conceive of the object as something but can not conceive the background as a thing. The object is "what is", while the background is "what is not". This interpretation fits well with several ideas of the time, for example that opposites had a special position in our thought, that the universe is one (Zeno's paradoxes
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