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A Journal for Ancient Philosophy and Science

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Volume 51, Issue 4


A Woven Web of Guesses: Xenophanes of Colophon

Henri van Nispen
Published Online: 2018-03-10 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/apeiron-2017-0046


Despite several attempts, amongst others from K.R. Popper, to re-evaluate the importance of Xenophanes of Colophon, this poet/philosopher is still frequently seen as a “somewhat precarious” figure in the history of philosophy. Xenophanes is mainly remembered for his bitter attacks on the anthropomorphic character of the Olympic gods, while his epistemology was discarded by Empedocles and Aristotle as being “too naïve”. This article tries to examine some of the reasons for this disqualification by analysing Popper’s attempt to rehabilitate Xenophanes as “the founder of the Greek enlightenment”.

Keywords: Xenophanes; epistemology; pre-socratics; K. R. Popper


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About the article

Published Online: 2018-03-10

Published in Print: 2018-10-25

Citation Information: Apeiron, Volume 51, Issue 4, Pages 391–403, ISSN (Online) 2156-7093, ISSN (Print) 0003-6390, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/apeiron-2017-0046.

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