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The Beginnings of Philosophy in Greece$
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Maria Michela Sassi

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780691180502

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691180502.001.0001

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Philosophy in the Cosmogonies

Philosophy in the Cosmogonies

(p.32) Chapter Two Philosophy in the Cosmogonies
The Beginnings of Philosophy in Greece

Maria Michela Sassi

, Michele Asuni
Princeton University Press

This chapter examines the origins of Greek philosophy in the context of the cosmogonies. It begins with an analysis of Hesiod's poem Theogony, which describes the genealogies of the Greek gods and delineates a picture of the origin of the cosmos. It then considers the cosmogony of Anaximander of Miletus, with a particular focus on his theory of celestial bodies which ascribes the origin of the cosmos to an entity called apeiron. It also discusses a historical framework in which philosophy starts as cosmogony and is a daughter of the polis, along with Aristotle's view regarding the theologians' cosmogonies. The chapter goes on to explore Pherecydes of Syros's “mixed theology,” which combines traditional elements with his personal reflections on the problem of the origin of the cosmos, before concluding with a commentary on whether Thetis is a divine figure endowed with conscious control of the “ways” of the cosmos.

Keywords:   cosmogony, Hesiod, Theogony, Greek gods, cosmos, Anaximander, celestial bodies, Greek philosophy, Pherecydes of Syros, Thetis

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