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Science before Socrates – Parmenides, Anaxagoras, and the New Astronomy - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Science before Socrates: Parmenides, Anaxagoras, and the New Astronomy

Daniel Graham


Historians of science hold that the Presocratic philosophers had scientific attitudes but did not produce any empirical science and that the first Greek science, astronomy, did not develop until the time of Plato or later. This study argues that Presocratic philosophers made significant advances in the study of astronomy that deserve to be considered as scientific contributions. In the early fifth century BC, Parmenides recognized that the moon gets its light from the sun. Building on this insight, Anaxagoras developed a theory according to which the moon and other heavenly bodies were spheric ... More

Keywords: Greek philosophy, science, astronomy, cosmology, history of science, Presocratics, historiography

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2013 Print ISBN-13: 9780199959785
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199959785.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Daniel Graham, author
Brigham Young University