Beginning of Knowledge by Hans-Georg Gadamer

By Hans-Georg Gadamer

During this paintings Gadamer reminds us that philosophy for the Greeks used to be not only a question of metaphysics and epistemology yet encompassed cosmology, physics, arithmetic, drugs and the total achieve of theoretical interest and highbrow mastery. while Gadamer's publication "The starting of Philosophy" handled the inception of philosophical inquiry, this publication brings jointly the majority of his formerly released yet by no means translated essays at the Presocratics. starting with a hermeneutical and philological research of the Heraclitus fragments (1974 and 1990), he then strikes directly to a dialogue of the Greek Atomists (1935) and the Presocratic cosmologists (1964). within the final essays (1978 and 1994/95), Gadamer elaborates at the profound debt that sleek clinical pondering owes to the Greek philosophical culture.

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It contains itself and holds itself in order. ) What we know of Heraclitus does not fit this very well. The idea that what is is fundamentally fire is not very well suited to making the stable order of the universe or the story of its origination understandable. Obviously, the all-consuming fire cannot be prevented, by any limitations, from devouring everything. ). If Anaximander, one of the great Ionian inquirers prior to Heraclitus, is supposed to have explained the role of the heavenly bodies and their forms, he seems to have gotten himself into a serious predicament.

In place of the steady hand that steers the ship through the waves, we find the lightning that flashes suddenly and then goes out. We can puzzle over the meaning of this statement, but the interpretation that prevails to this day, that of seeing the lighting as the attribute of an all-steering godhead, fails to hear the paradox that should definitely be attended to in Heraclitus. Of course, the particular fascination that emanates from Heraclitus does not ultimately depend upon the paradoxes and dialectical structure of such statements.

Symposium, 221d-222a: Alcibiades likens Socrates to a statue of Silenus which must be opened, and in the center of which one finds images of the gods. Heraclitus Studies 49 apparentness of the different and the opposite and everywhere discovers the one. This need not preclude the idea that still other, morally emphatic, applications are meant to resonate in the statement about the path, applications that were precisely what was really intended. His logos, however, is the one. He discerns this in such diverse phenomena as the flow of things, the abrupt change from fire into water and from sleep to waking, and he discovers the same riddle in everything—in the flame that consumes itself and is extinguished, in the motion that begins by itself and ceases by itself.

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