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Xenophanes Quotes

Quotes by and about Xenophanes

(Continued from his main entry on the site.)

Xenophanes: "If an act is blameworthy it is blameworthy no matter who the perpetrayor; god or man."

Xenophanes: "[I spent most of my life] tossing my thought around the Greek land."

Proclus: "Xenophanes published strange satires against all philosophers and poets because of a certain mean-spiritedness that he had."

Friedrich Nietzsche: "[Xenophanes had a] tendency and compulsion to improve human beings, to cleanse and to heal them, as he wandered from place to place."

Cicero: "Of all the philosophers of the [Pre-Socratic] period who believed in the existance of the Gods, only Xenophanes opposed the practice of divining the future."

Karl Popper: "Parmenides became acquainted with Heraclitus only after he had completed his own cosmology [but] was Parmenides' cosmology free of Xenophanes' influence? I do not think so."

Walter Perdue: "[Xenophanes] often adopted a paratactic style of presentation."

J. H. Lesher: "Xenophanes [was] an unusually independent-minded thinker - an outspoken critic of the leading poets of ancient Greece, a proto-epistemologist, and an active participant in the onset of scientific inquiry."

J. H. Lesher: "[Xenophanes says:] 'If god had not made yellow honey, men would think that figs were much sweeter.' The remark is about figs and honey, but the implicit message ... [is] that no perceptual judgment, perhaps no human judgment of any kind, can be wholly free of subjective bias. ... [To Xenophanes] no one will ever achieve sure knowledge, at least concerning matters that lie beyond our direct experience."

J. H. Lesher: "[To Xenophanes the] only things we mortals can know for sure are the events or states of affairs we happen to meet with over the course of our brief lifetimes, all else must remain a matter of opinion or conjecture. In addition, whatever degree of understanding we can achieve will come about only gradually ('in time'), and through our own labors."