The Cloud‐Astrophysics of Xenophanes and Ionian Material Monism

Alexander P. D. Mourelatos

in The Oxford Handbook of Presocratic Philosophy

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780195146875
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199892112 | DOI:


The Cloud‐Astrophysics of Xenophanes and Ionian Material Monism

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Classical Philosophy
  • Philosophy of Science


Show Summary Details


This article discusses Xenophanes' “cloud astro-physics”. It analyses and explains all heavenly and meteorological phenomena in terms of clouds. It provides a view of this newer Xenophanes, who is now being recognized as an important philosopher-scientist in his own right and a crucial figure in the development of critical thought about human knowledge and its objects in the next generation of Presocratic thinkers. Xenophanes' account has been preserved in Aëtius, the doxographic compendium (1st or 2nd century ce) reconstructed by Hermann Diels late in the nineteenth century mainly from two sources that show extensive parallelism: pseudo-Plutarch Placita Philosophorum or Epitome of Physical Opinions (second century ce); and Ioannes Stobaeus' Eclogae Physicae or Physical Extracts (fifth century ce). In the Stobaeus version, which is also the one printed in the standard edition of the Pre-socratics.

Keywords: Xenophanes; cloud astro-physics; meteorological phenomena; Presocratic thinkers; Hermann Diels

Article.  16518 words. 

Subjects: Classical Philosophy ; Philosophy of Science

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.