Description : Annotation. Informed by recent developments in literary criticism and social theory, this book addresses the presumption that nature exists independent of culture and, in particular, of language.
Description : The primary source for contemporary knowledge of Epicurean thought, Lucretius' great didactic poem theorizes that natural causes are the forces behind earthly phenomena and dismisses the concept of divine intervention.
Description : Developed from a Nobel Laureate's popular lectures at the Royal Institution of Great Britain, this easy-to-understand book explains the nature of atoms, metal, gases, diamonds, ice, crystals, liquids, and other aspects of science. It illuminates many topics that are seldom explained, defining them in simple terms. 138 illustrations. 1925 edition.
Description : De rerum natura (On the Nature of Things) is a 1st century BC didactic poem by the Roman poet and philosopher Lucretius with the goal of explaining Epicurean philosophy to a Roman audience. Lucretius presents the principles of atomism; the nature of the mind and soul; explanations of sensation and thought; the development of the world and its phenomena; and explains a variety of celestial and terrestrial phenomena. The universe described in the poem operates according to these physical principles, guided by fortuna, "chance," and not the divine intervention of the traditional Roman deities.
Description : The Georgics has for many years been a source of fierce controversy among scholars of Latin literature. Is the work optimistic or pessimistic, pro- or anti-Augustan? Should we read it as a eulogy or a bitter critique of Rome and her imperial ambitions? This book suggests that the ambiguity of the poem is the product of a complex and thorough-going engagement with earlier writers in the didactic tradition: Hesiod, Aratus and - above all - Lucretius. Drawing on both traditional, philological approaches to allusion, and modern theories of intertextuality, it shows how the world-views of the earlier poets are subjected to scrutiny and brought into conflict with each other. Detailed consideration of verbal parallels and of Lucretian themes, imagery and structural patterns in the Georgics forms the basis for a reading of Virgil's poem as an extended meditation on the relations between the individual and society, the gods and the natural environment.
Description : Originally published in 1973. In this systematic treatise, Anthony Quinton examines the concept of substance, a philosophical refinement of the everyday notion of a thing. Four distinct, but not unconnected, problems about substance are identified: what accounts for the individuality of a thing; what confers identity on a thing; what is the relation between a thing and its appearances; and what kind of thing is fundamental, in the sense that its existence is logically independent of that of any other kind of thing? In Part 1, the first two problems are discussed, while in Part 2, the third and fourth are considered. Part 3 examines four kinds of thing that have been commonly held to be in some way non-material: abstract entities; the un-observable entities of scientific theory; minds and their states; and, finally, values. The author argues that theoretical entities and mental states are, in fact, material. He gives a linguistic account of universals and necessary truths and advances a naturalistic theory of value.