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by Heraclitus/Kahn

eBook The Art and Thought of Heraclitus: An Edition of the Fragments with Translation and Commentary download ISBN: 052128645X
Author: Heraclitus/Kahn
Publisher: Cambridge University Press (September 30, 1981)
Language: English
Pages: 354
ePub: 1167 kb
Fb2: 1847 kb
Rating: 4.5
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Category: Different
Subcategory: Humanities

Start by marking The Art and Thought of Heraclitus: An. .This little book of FRAGMENTS is interesting as a new translation, but the fragments are few and difficult to connect.

Heraclitus is all rolled into one. His fragments are tantalizing, hinting at a wisdom lost to us, but I am sure that he meant them to be fragmentary, so that all he does for the reader is a quick nod in the direction of a distant window, leaving the reader to make the journey, to peep out, and to make of the sight what he will.

Heraclitus Fragments Kahn - Download as PDF File . df), Text File . xt) or read online. CHARLES H. KAHN Professor of Philosophy, University of Pennsylvania. Cambridge university press.

Heraclitus Fragments Kahn - Download as PDF File . Cambridge london new york new rochelle melbourne sydney.

Cambridge Core - Ancient Philosophy - The Art and Thought of Heraclitus . Book summary views reflect the number of visits to the book and chapter landing pages.

Book summary views reflect the number of visits to the book and chapter landing pages.

I walked on to the next corner, sat on a bench at a bus stop, and read in my new book about Heraclitus. All things flow like a river, he said; nothing abides.

Diogenes also tells us that Heraclitus deposited his book, inscribed on a single papyrus roll, as a dedication in the great temple of Artemis . London: Cambridge University Press.

Diogenes also tells us that Heraclitus deposited his book, inscribed on a single papyrus roll, as a dedication in the great temple of Artemis, the Artemisium, at Ephesus, one of the largest temples of the 6th century BCE and one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Ancient temples were regularly used for storing treasures, and were open to private individuals under exceptional circumstances; furthermore, many subsequent philosophers in this period refer to the work. Diogenes Laërtius, ix. 6.

Behind the superficial obscurity of what fragments we have of Heraclitus' thought, Professor Kahn claims that it is possible to detect a systematic view of human existence, a theory of language which sees ambiguity as a device for the expression of multiple meaning, and a vision of human life and death within the larger order of nature. The fragments are presented here in a readable order; translation and commentary aim to make accessible the power and originality of a systematic thinker and a great master of artistic prose. The commentary locates Heraclitus within the tradition of early Greek thought, but stresses the importance of his ideas for topical theories of language, literature and philosophy.
Comments: (7)
Nettale
Kahn offers the fragments of Heraclitus in solid translation, with an extensive and thoughtful commentary that both takes account of a great deal of secondary literature and provides the author's own valuable insights.

Kahn's approach to the interpretation of Heraclitus is orthodox but sensitive. He appreciates Heraclitus' intentional and artful prose style, including his use of ambiguity and wordplay to create a multiplicity of meanings in many of the fragments. He also gives proper attention to the resonance between fragments, often picking up an echo of a word or image from one fragment while interpreting another.

I enjoyed and learned much from Kahn's commentary, though I would rate his overall success at drawing a systematic Heraclitean worldview from the fragments a limited success at best. In this I think he is surpassed by Roman Dilcher and perhaps M.L. West as well. However, Kahn's command of the ancient material, the secondary literature (in several languages), and the history and culture of the ancient world in general, is truly impressive. His erudition serves the reader very, very well, opening up a wealth of other sources and making connections that only someone with such a mastery of classical and archaic literature can. I would also strongly advise interested folks to hunt down the hundreds of footnotes in his already weighty commentary, as they frequently provide a gem of a comment or an important bibliographical reference.

All in all, this book is essential for any serious study of Heraclitus. Its staying power is testament to Kahn's superb work. I personally feel deeply in Professor Kahn's debt for his fine volume, and I'm sure I'm not alone in this. My one and only complaint has to do with his decision to reorder the fragments and number them with Roman numerals...it's truly and deeply annoying, but if this is the only fly in the ointment, I suppose we can forgive Charles Kahn. A wonderful book.
JoldGold
One of the things that is most interesting to me about this book is the way it illustrates how we can know so much about someone whose main book is not available to us. By writing about nature in a way that emphasized the power of fire, war, and strife, Heraclitus produced a book that was so well known to ancient writers that many of them lifted ideas for their own purposes. This combination of the knowledge that we have from many sources produces a picture of the permutations that basic philosophy is prone to fall prey to in a history which never finds any particular idea useful for long. I find the application of such ideas most interesting in the field of deep politics, where the idea of "killing the killers," mentioned in connection with the riddle which Homer couldn't guess at the time of his death according to the tradition explained in this book, could be related to some modern despicabilities.
Kelerius
Rather than Charles H. Kahn's 'The Art and Thought of Heraclitus: An Edition of the Fragments with Translation and Commentary' (ISBN: 052128645X), I would suggest that those who are interested in acquiring an edition of Heraclitus which gives them the Greek text with translation and commentary look for a copy of Philip Wheelwright's Heraclitus, a work equally scholarly whose translations are wonderfully lucid and quite without the clumsiness found in Kahn.

Here is Wheelwright's translation of Fragment 2 (as numbered in his edition):

"We should let ourselves be guided by what is common to all. Yet, although the Logos is common to all, most men live as if each of them had a private intelligence of his own" (page 19).

Here, in Kahn's Fragment III - yes, he pretentiously numbers the fragments using Roman numerals! - he inexplicably translates Heraclitus's "Logos", a philosophic term of great profundity for which there is no real equivalent in English, with the ridiculous and wholly inappropriate word "account":

"Although the account is shared, most men live as though their thinking was a private possession"

Another example of Kahn's clumsiness and lack of subtlety is found in his translation of Fragment IV:

"Most men do not think things in the way they encounter them, nor do they recognize what they experience, but believe their own opinions."

Contrast the awkwardness of this with the clarity and elegance of Wheelwright's English:

"Most people do not take heed of the things they encounter, nor do they grasp them even when they have learned about them, although they suppose they do" (page 58).

I would also suggest that the more scholarly inclined turn to Thomas McEvilley's The Shape of Ancient Thought: Comparative Studies in Greek and Indian Philosophies where, in Chapter Two, 'The Problem of the One and the Many,' they will find a fascinating treatment of Heraclitus which goes far beyond anything Kahn has to offer. On page 149 of this same book they will find a valuable footnote (92) which will provide them with a good idea of the quality (or lack of it) of Kahn's 'scholarship'.

Readers should also not overlook the startling Amazon review of Kahn by Alcofribas Nasier, 'Look elsewhere', of February 8, 2013, in which they will find mention of two very important editions of Heraclitus, those of M. Marcovich and Serge Mouraviev. I have not had the opportunity to consult these but bibliographical details of both are given below.

As for the general reader who doesn't need the Greek but who simply wants to read an un-annotated English translation of Heraclitus, their needs will perhaps be better served by a book such as Guy Davenport's 7 Greeks which gives an excellent translation of the complete fragments:

Davenport's translations really are superb and the 124 fragments he gives us, which are tragically all that remain of Heraclitus, take up a mere 12 pages of his book. As a bonus, the remainder of '7 Greeks' is devoted to equally fine translations of Archilocus, Sappho, Alkman, Anacreon, Diogenes, and Herondas.

Davenport's Heraclitus is pithy, pungent, and very much to the point:

16. "Awake, we see a dying world; asleep, dreams."

82. "Defend the law as you would a city wall."

97. "Life is bitter and final, yet men cherish it and beget children to suffer the same fate."

107. "Having cut, burned, and poisoned the sick, the doctor then submits his bill."

Another of Davenport's 7 Greeks, Diogenes, was for me a wonderful find and I'm still chuckling over this one:

Diogenes 109. "I've seen Plato's cups and table, but not his cupness and tableness."

For those who would like a little more than a bare translation of the fragments there is also Dennis Sweet's Heraclitus: Translation and Analysis, a much sought-after edition that is happily now back in print. Of it we are told that it "maintains the "flavor" of the Greek syntax as much as meaningful English will allow, and uses more archaic meanings over the later meanings. In the footnotes [Sweet] includes, along with various textual and explanatory information, variant meanings of the most important terms so as to convey some of the semantical richness and layers of meaning which Heraclitus often utilizes."

Finally there is Roger Von Oech's somewhat idiosyncratic though intriguing Expect the Unexpected (or You Won't Find It): A Creativity Tool Based on the Ancient Wisdom of Heraclitus. This book, although offering a selection with commentary of just 30 of Heraclitus's fragments, approaches them in a unique way by suggesting that, when we are confronted with a problem, selecting one at random (using the table provided in the book or a 30-sided die) and thinking deeply about its implications can lead us to new and unexpected solutions.

I decided to try this method out and, amazingly, it worked (although to anyone who has pondered the new understanding of consciousness brought to us by quantum theory it might not seem quite so amazing). After formulating a specific question on which I wanted a fresh perspective and then asking "What do I need to focus on to gain understanding of this problem?" I received in answer Von Oech's Heraclitean fragment #9: "Lovers of wisdom must open their minds to very many things." This resolved a problem that has bothered me for years.

To return to Kahn, the affluent student who simply must own every edition of Heraclitus should by all means acquire his (it isn't completely worthless although his translations read poorly and for a cheaply manufactured paperback the price is outrageous) plus Wheelwright's and Sweet's and also McEvilley who translates and comments on many of the fragments. Others may find Davenport's translations adequate to their needs, somewhat more memorable than Kahn's, and his book better value for money. And for the adventurous there is of course Roger Von Oech.

But whatever you do, you should certainly equip yourself with one or other of these editions. Considering that our philosopher, 2500 years before the advent of Quantum Physics, was able to intuit that "the cosmos is generated not by time but by mind" (Stobaeus, in Wheelwright, p.41) Heraclitus is clearly a thinker it would be unwise to overlook.

Bibliographical details of the Marcovich and Mouraviev editions are as follows:

Marcovich, M. Heraclitus: Greek Text with a Short Commentary. Editio Maior, Merida, Venezuela: Los Andes University Press (1967), 665 pp.

Mouraviev, Serge. Heraclite d'Ephese. Les vestiges, Les fragments du livre d'Heraclite, Les textes pertinents. 3 volumes. Sankt Augustin, Academia, 2006, XXIII, 374; XXVIII, 177; XXXIII, 209 pp. Edition critique complete des temoignages sur la vie et l'oeuvre d'Heraclite d'Ephese et des vestiges de son livre. Troisieme partie. Recensio. 3. Fragmenta Heraclitea. Textes, traductions et commentaire. Volume III.3.B/i: textes, traductions, apparatus I-III (Libri reliquiae superstites. Textus, uersiones, apparatus I-III) / Volume III.3.B/ii: Langue et forme: apparatus IV-V et schemas (Libri reliquiae superstites. Apparatus iV-V: formae orationis) / Volume III.3.B/iii: Notes critiques (Libri reliquiae superstites. Ad lectiones adnotamenta).