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The Pre-Socratic Scholars


positive
philosophical contribution, often exaggerated, lay
mainly in the
fields of epistemology and semantics. Secondly, we have
not set
out to produce a necessarily orthodox exposition (if,
indeed, such
a thing is conceivable in a field where opinion is
changing so
rapidly), but have preferred in many places to put
forward our
own interpretations. At the same time we have usually
mentioned
other interpretations of disputed points, and have
always tried to
present the reader with the main materials for the
formation of his
own judgement.
The part of the book dealing with the Ionian tradition,
in-
cluding its forerunners and also the atomists and
Diogenes (i.e.
chapters i-vi, xvn and xvm), with the note on the
sources, is by
G. S. Kirk, while the part dealing with the Italian
tradition, and
also the chapters on Anaxagoras and Archelaus (i.e.
chapters vn-
xvi), are by J. E. Raven. The contributions of each
author were of
course subjected to detailed criticism by the other,
and the planning
of the book as a whole is by both.
The scale of different sections of the book is
admittedly rather
variable. Where the evidence is fuller and clearer
particularly
where considerable fragments survive, as for example in
the case
vii
PREFACE
of Parmenides the commentary can naturally be shorter;
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