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date: 25 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

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

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