The Figure of Nature

The Figure of Nature

On Greek Origins
John Sallis
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 08/29/2016
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 978-0-253-02288-2
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Broaching an understanding of nature in Platonic thought, John Sallis goes beyond modern conceptions and provides a strategy to have recourse to the profound sense of nature operative in ancient Greek philosophy. In a rigorous and textually based account, Sallis traces the complex development of the Greek concept of nature. Beginning with the mythical vision embodied in the figure of the goddess Artemis, he reanimates the sense of nature that informs the fragmentary discourses of Anaximenes, Heraclitus, Parmenides, and Empedocles and shows how Plato takes up pre-Socratic conceptions critically while also being transformed. Through Sallis’s close reading of the Theaetetus and the Phaedo, he recovers the profound and comprehensive concept of nature in Plato’s thought.

Author Bio

John Sallis is Frederick J. Adelmann Professor of Philosophy at Boston College. He is author of more than 20 books, including Light Traces (IUP, 2014) and Logic of Imagination (IUP, 2012).


“Sallis has produced a book with fascinating new insights into the ancient conception of nature. . . . Highly recommended.”
 — Choice

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Table of Contents

1. The Reign of Artemis
2. Open Air: On Philosophy before Philosophy
3. Enshrouded Nature and the Fire of Heaven
4. Radical Gatherings. The Imperative of Philosophy
5. Monstrous Wonder. The Advance of Nature
(a) Openings, Chronology, Topology
(b) Appearings
(c) Ventriloquy, the Protagorean , and the Scene of
(d) The Scene of Philosophy
(e) Parerga
6. Earthbound. The Return of Nature
(a) Theseus
(b) Down to Earth
(c) Mythologizing
(d) Remembrance
(e) Ascent
(f) Second Sailing
(g) Song of the Earth