An Introduction to the Presocratics

On Monday 20th March at 4.30 pm, Dr Tom Mackenzie will be speaking on:

‘The First Philosophers? An Introduction to the Presocratics’

Histories of Western philosophy tend to start with the archaic Greek thinkers known as the Presocratics. Yet their theories (as far as we can reconstruct them from the few surviving fragments of their work) concern very different topics from what we would expect of philosophers today. In this talk, Dr Mackenzie will provide an overview of some of the key figures within this group (Thales, Anaximander, Xenophanes, Heraclitus, Parmenides, Zeno, Empedocles, Democritus), address some of the problems in trying to reconstruct their thought, and explore some respects in which the label of ‘Philosophy’ both is and is not fitting for their work.

Dr Mackenzie is A G Leventis Research Fellow at University College, London, and the Presocratics are one of his specialisms.

The talk is hosted by the St Paul’s Girls’ School Classics Society. Tea and cake will be served from 4.00 in the Dining Hall and the talk will be held in the Old Library. The event will finish between 5.30 and 6.00. There is no charge.

The address of the school is St Paul’s Girls’ School, Brook Green, London, W6 7BS; main telephone 020 7603 2288. The nearest tube is Hammersmith.

All are welcome, but if you or your pupils would like to attend, please email Gregory Wilsdon at with their names as soon as possible and at the latest by Friday 17th March. Please note that we are now required to compile a list of names of those attending in advance, and that all adults attending should bring a form of photo ID.