Phil. Week 2 – Pre-Socratics, Pt. 1 (Metaphysics)


This week and next will be dedicated to the pre-Socratics.

In Russell, feel free to read the chapter on “The Rise of Greek Civilization” and “The Milesian” school; but I’d like to start with Pythagoras, Heraclitus, and Parmenides, as well as introduce two great resources we’ll be using throughout the course, the Philosophy Bites podcast and Stanford’s Encyclopedia of Philosophy:

So required reading for this week is Pythagoras through Parmenides in the Russell (pp. 38-59). (Who do you agree with more? Is Heraclitus right that “everything changes”, or is it Parmenides: “all is one and unchanging”?)

A suggestion: Philosophical writing can be dense. It must be read slower, and requires more repeated readings, than other reading. A suggestion from one professor of mine is to read the text aloud. This helps with comprehension…


The Week 2 Presentation is also available for viewing!


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