In The Beginning of Knowledge, Gadamer reminds us that philosophy for the Greeks was not just a question of metaphysics and epistemology but encompassed cosmology, physics, mathematics, medicine, and the entire reach of theoretical curiosity and intellectual mastery. Whereas his book The Beginning of Philosophy dealt with the inception of philosophical inquiry, this new book brings together nearly all of GadamerÆs previously published but never translated essays on the Presocratics. Beginning with a hermeneutical and philological investigation of the Heraclitus fragments (1974 and 1990), he then moves on to a discussion of the Greek Atomists (1935) and the Presocratic cosmologists (1964). In the last two essays (1978 and 1994/95), Gadamer elaborates on the profound debt that modern scientific thinking owes to the Greek philosophical tradition.
his [Gadamer s] views on the ancient Greeks provide a powerful reply to Heidegger s enormously creative, but less than accurate interpretations Whether or not one finds Gadamer s Platonic route to the pre-Socratics to be successful, he produces stimulating insights into their views and challenges one to rearticulate why Gadamer might be wrong, if he is wrong. Such challenges are always welcome. Philosophy in Review, 12/03--David Vessey, Grand Valley State University