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Griechische Zeitbegriffe vor Platon

Theunissen, Michael

Archiv für Begriffsgeschichte, Bd. 44 (2002), Iss. 0: S. 8–24

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Theunissen, Michael


The early Greek understanding of time is characterized by the fact that it develops various concepts of different forms of time but it is itself not exhausted bythe total sum of its own concepts. Homer already employs a differentiated concept of time, depending on whether he speaks of chronos, émar (day) or aión. From Hesiod comes the earliest literary record of the concept kairós. Even richer than substantivized time is time in its epic form, unfolding three-dimensionally, historically.That is why an adequate understanding of the early Greek conception of time can only be reached through literature. Pre-socratic philosophy is embedded in a context which includes lyric poetry and tragedy as well as Homer and Hesiod. Predominant here is Pindar, whose work supplied Plato with key words and who resolved the traditional concepts of time in the movement of his fundamental idea.


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Michael Theunissen: Griechische Zeitbegriffe vor Platon 7