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Philolaus of Croton: Pythagorean and Presocratic
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  • 1 b/w illus.
  • Page extent: 468 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.86 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 182/.2
  • Dewey version: 20
  • LC Classification: B235.P44 H84 1993
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Philolaus,--of Croton,--approximately 470 B.C.-
    • Philosophy--Early works to 1800

Library of Congress Record

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 (ISBN-13: 9780521415255 | ISBN-10: 052141525X)

Manufactured on demand: supplied direct from the printer

$139.00 (C)

This is the first comprehensive study for nearly 200 years of what remains of the writings of the Presocratic philosopher Philolaus of Croton (470-390 B.C.). Professor Huffman presents the fragments and testimonia with accompanying translations and introductory chapters and interpretive commentary. He produces further arguments for the authenticity of much that used to be neglected, and undertakes a critique of Aristotle's testimony, opening the way for a quite new reading of fifth-century Pythagoreanism in general and of Philolaus in particular.


Part I. Introduction: 1. Life and writings; 2. Authenticity; Part II. Philolaus' Philosophy: 3. Limiters and unlimiteds; 4. Number and Harmonia; 5. Philolaus' use of archai and the method of hypothesis; Part III. Genuine Fragments and Testimonia: 6. Basic principles; 7. Epistemology; 8. Cosmogony; 9. Astronomy; 10. Embryology and medicine; 11. Soul and psychic faculties; 12. Miscellaneous genuine fragments and testimonia; Part IV. Spurious or Doubtful Fragments and Testimonia: 13. The world soul; 14. Fragments and testimonia on number; 15. Fragments and testimonia on music; 16. Gods and angles; 17. Fragments and testimonia on cosmology; 18. Fragments on soul; 19. Miscellaneous fragments and testimonia; Bibliography; Indexes.


" and rewarding...The book is clearly a labor of love, and Huffman does his best to give us a Philolaus who has important and intelligent things to say; but he is not blind to faults, honestly pointing out difficulties and obscurities where they occur in Philolaus' thought. 'Important' is a term that is used far too often in book reviews; but this is an important book; it has been a long time since 1819 [when the first book devoted to Philolaus alone was published], but Carl Huffman's Philolaus of Croton: Pythagorean and Presocratic has been worth waiting for." Bryn Mawr Classical Review

" outstanding work...Huffman's views on Philolaus' mathematical orientation are exciting and deserve special attention..." Luis Vega, Mathematical Reviews

"Huffman's book is, without question, a major contribution to Presocratic studies. As a result of the many richly detailed and extremely well-argued analyses of the fragments Huffman has produced we now have solid grounds for dating a sizeable portion of the Philolaus material (roughly a third of the standard texts) to the second half of the fifth century BCE. More importantly, Huffman's excellent study will almost certainly stimulate further exploration of Philolaus' role in the debates that characterized Presocratic thought, arguably the only truly seminal period in the history of Western philosophy." J.H. Lesher, Ancient Philosophy

"Huffman's splendid new book is the most important investigation of Pythagoreanism since the (already) classic study by Walter Burkert,Lore and Science in Ancient Pythagoreanism...." The Review of Metaphysics

"...Huffman has produced a major contribution to early Greek thought. All research libraries and all students of the pre-Socratics will want to own this book." David Sider, Classical World

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