Philosophy before Plato

Street view in Ephesus
Heraclitus was from Ephesus on the Eastern side of the Adriatic Sea

The soul possesses a logos which grows itself.

So wrote Heraclitus of Ephesus, whose sayings are all the more enigmatic because they survive only in fragments. Philosophy emerged in the 6th century and was flourishing across Greece and its colonies at the end of the 5th century BC when Plato was born. The writings of Plato and Aristotle depict a lively philosophical debate between diverse schools, which we only know of otherwise through hearsay and gossip. But then there are these precious few authentic fragments of their original writings.

Join Martin Black of the Independent School of Philosophy for a close examination of some of the most intriguing ‘pre-Socratic’ fragments through which you may spy the very beginnings of the European tradition of science, philosophy and metaphysics.

Ancient Greek language & the first philosophers: a second online class is now available, Monday nights from 25 October. Book Now BOOKED OUT