Antemodern

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1. WHAT IS ANTEMODERN?

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Pre-Socratic philosophy is ancient Greek philosophy before Socrates and schools contemporary to Socrates that were not influenced by him. In Classical antiquity, the Presocratic philosophers were called physiologoi (Greek: φυσιολόγοι; in English, physical or natural philosophers). Their inquiries spanned the workings of the natural world as well as human society, ethics, and religion, seeking explanations based on natural principles rather than the actions of supernatural gods. They introduced to the West the notion of the world as a kosmos, an ordered arrangement that could be understood via rational inquiry. Significant figures include: the Milesians, Heraclitus, Parmenides, Empedocles, Zeno of Elea, and Democritus, among others.

Modern interest in early Greek philosophy can be traced back to 1573, when Henri Estienne collected a number of pre-Socratic fragments in Poesis Philosophica (Ποίησις Φιλόσοφος). Hermann Diels popularized the term “pre-Socratic” in Die Fragmente der Vorsokratiker (The Fragments of the Pre-Socratics) in 1903. However, the term “pre-Sokratic”  was in use as early as George Grote’s Plato and the Other Companions of Sokrates in 1865. Edouard Zeller was also important in dividing thought before and after Socrates. Major analyses of pre-Socratic thought have been made by Gregory Vlastos, Jonathan Barnes, and Friedrich Nietzsche in his Philosophy in the Tragic Age of the Greeks.

It may sometimes be difficult to determine the actual line of argument some pre-Socratics used in supporting their particular views. While most of them produced significant texts, none of the texts have survived in complete form. All that is available are quotations, and testimonies by later philosophers (often biased) and historians, and the occasional textual fragment.

The pre-Socratic philosophers rejected traditional mythological explanations of the phenomena they saw around them in favor of more rational explanations. Aristotle was the first to call them physiologoi or physikoi (“physicists”, after physis, “nature”) and differentiate them from the earlier theologoi (theologians), or mythologoi (story tellers and bards) who attributed these phenomena to various gods. Diogenes Laërtius divides the physiologoi into two groups: Ionian, led by Anaximander, and Italiote, led by Pythagoras. These philosophers asked questions about “the essence of things”:

  • From where does everything come?
  • From what is everything created?
  • How do we explain the plurality of things found in nature?
  • How might we describe nature mathematically?

Others concentrated on defining problems and paradoxes that became the basis for later mathematical, scientific and philosophic study.

Later philosophers rejected many of the answers the early Greek philosophers provided, but continued to place importance on their questions. Furthermore, the cosmologies proposed by them have been updated by later developments in science.

2. WHAT IS THE ESSENTIAL DIALECTIC OF ANTEMODERN?

The Essential Dialectic of Antemodern is:

{Heraclitus-Pythagoras ⇆ Pythagoras-Heraclitus ⇅ Heraclitus-Heraclitus} ↻ Pythagoras-Pythagoras

3. WHAT IS THE COMPLETE DIALECTIC OF ANTEMODERN?

The Complete Dialectic of Antemodern is:

{Pythagoras ⇆ Heraclitus ⇅ Parmenides} ↻ Empedocles

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4. WHAT IS THE EQUIVALENCY DIALECTIC OF ANTEMODERN?

The Equivalency Dialectic of Antemodern is:

{Premodern ⇆ Perimodern ⇅ Postmodern} ↻ Antemodern

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