Heraclitus and Thales’ Conceptual Scheme: A Historical Study


In Heraclitus and Thales’ Conceptual Scheme: A Historical Study Aryeh Finkelberg offers an alternative to the traditional teleological interpretation of early Greek thought. Instead of explaining it as targeted at later results, viz. philosophy, as this thought was first conceptualized by Aristotle and has been regarded ever since, the author seeks to determine its intended meaning by restoring it to its historical context as evinced, inter alia, by epigraphic and papyrological evidence, in particular the Gold Leaves, the Olbian bone plates, and the Derveni papyrus. This approach, together with a considerable amount of hitherto unidentified or largely disregarded evidence, yields a picture of early Greek thought significantly different from the traditional history of ‘Presocratic philosophy’.

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Aryeh Finkelberg, Ph.D (1985, Hebrew University of Jerusalem); Senior Lecturer in Ancient Philosophy at Tel Aviv University (retired); he is the author of many articles on the Presocratics published in leading professional journals.
"Finkelberg’s book is essential reading for scholars of Presocratic philosophy, particularly for the careful and learned treatment of philological problems, and the detailed analysis of virtually every fragment of Heraclitus. I do not say this as a polite concession—everybody working on Heraclitus must now make a habit of consulting Finkelberg’s well-prepared indices."
Tom Hercules Davies, Princeton University, Bryn Mwr Classical Review 2018.5.31

"That Finkelberg makes an effort to attend to the whole body of available evidence is reflected in the extensive bibliography and notes that document his reading of a remarkable range of sources. This documentation alone would make the book an important contribution; but the way in which he puts the documentation to work sheds new light on Heraclitus and Thales as well."
Steven Schroeder, Reading Religion, May 2017

"This book (...) represents more than a decade of work (p. ix) by this eminent scholar. It is intended primarily for scholars of Classical Greek; however, F.’s laudable practice of, in most cases, providing English translations and repeating them when needed, makes it accessible to non-specialists and undergraduates, as he intended (...) I happily recommend it to the scholarly community for their consideration."
Keith Begley, Trinity College Dublin, The Classical Review, First View April 2018.
The monograph is intended for classical scholars working in the fields of Greek culture, religion, philosophy, and science.