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Philolaus And The Central Fire

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Chapter Summary

The evidence suggests, however, that Philolaus? focus was more, or at least as much, on the central fire as the now mobile earth; the central fire is after all in the center and it was with the central fire that Philolaus began his cosmogony (DK 44 B7). This chapter restores Philolaus? emphasis and reexamines the significance of the central fire in his cosmogony and cosmology. It shows the difficulties that Kingsley overlooks and suggests that, while he has raised important questions about the understanding of the central fire, his account of its origin and nature fails. The chapter presents the author's own account of the origin and nature of the central fire showing that it arose as a result of Philolaus? unique development of themes in the Presocratic tradition of natural philosophy rather than from interpretation of Homer.

Keywords: central fire; cosmogony; cosmology; natural philosophy; Philolaus; Presocratic tradition



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