2017 年 2017 巻 68 号 p. 45-62
In the first part of this paper, in order to reconsider the significance of the history of philosophy, I examine its relationship with philosophy in three respects. First, the history of philosophy aims to examine the beginning (archē) of philosophy. By revealing its beginnings (not only in ancient Greece), we can start to engage in a new philosophy. Second, the history provides us with philosophical texts that encourage our thinking. We find there rich resources of reasoning and ideas on philosophical issues. Third, this history shows us our own position in two ways. It presents a set of philosophical concepts, problems and frameworks that we inherit from past philosophers. Also, an examination of this heritage reveals our own position within philosophy.
In the second part, I critically survey the various candidates for “first philosopher” in ancient Greece. Each thinker, from Thales to Plato, has supporters and good justification for being considered the first. Then, in the third part, I propose a new perspective, “compound eye history”, in which we investigate plural lines of thinking. Each distinct line started from a new problem raised by a philosopher and developed through critical or positive responses by his contemporaries or later thinkers. I envisage 10 “plots” or lines of ancient philosophy by which we can conceptualise that whole intellectual activity of human life and wisdom.