Aristotle's Account of the Origins of Philosophy

Michael Frede

in The Oxford Handbook of Presocratic Philosophy

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


Aristotle's Account of the Origins of Philosophy

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This article sheds light on Aristotle's own understanding of philosophy. It tries to give an account of how Aristotle seeks to determine and to explain the origin of philosophy and to account for its early development. It focuses on his account of the history of philosophy from its beginnings down to his own time in Metaphysics 1.3–10, in particular 1.3–6. It derives a good deal of knowledge about early Greek philosophy directly from Aristotle. A great deal of the information provided by later ancient sources itself is derived from Aristotle and his students, like Theophrastus or Eudemus. The evidential value of this information is rather high. It also is clear that Aristotle had his own particular perspective on the history of early Greek philosophy, and that his students largely shared his general view of the early history of Greek philosophy.

Keywords: Aristotle; philosophy; Metaphysics; Theophrastus; Eudemus

Article.  16539 words. 

Subjects: Classical Philosophy

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