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Religious views as human projections
The cosmic principles of water and earth
The true belief and knowledge distinction

色诺芬尼,也译克塞诺芬尼Xenophanes of Colophon/zəˈnɒfənz/[1][2]古希臘語Ξενοφάνης ὁ Κολοφώνιος [ksenopʰánɛːs ho kolopʰɔ̌ːnios],约前570 – 前475年)[3]希腊哲學家神学家诗人,以的及社会宗教評論家。色诺芬尼一生四处周游,25岁生下伊奧尼亞后的67年继续游遍整个希腊世界。[4] 有学者说,他短暂地在西西里岛居住。[5] 关于他观点的知识来自他留下的残篇,这些残篇都是在后来的古希腊语作品里发现的,因为有人引用了他的作品。单凭这些残篇,他的哀悼的英语elegiac抑扬格的[6] 诗作,批判和讽刺了许多人的观点,包括荷马赫西俄德,还有对拟人之神的巴特农的批判,对希腊人尊敬运动才能的批判等等。他是最早的呼吁清晰写作以为后代着想古希腊诗人,创造了“遍布希腊四处的名誉,希腊的歌声不绝,他的名誉不死。”[7]


色诺芬尼出生在科洛封伊奧尼亞的一座城邦(现在土耳其西部)。有人说他是Orthomenes的儿子,也有人说是Dexius的。[8] 据说他的鼎盛年在第六十个奧林匹亚周期 (前540-537年)。[9] 残存作品引用了泰勒斯埃庇米尼得斯毕达哥拉斯的话,[10] 而他自己则获赫拉克利特埃庇卡摩斯作品提及。[11] 他的哀歌残篇中,他描述了米底入侵的事件,这正是在他活着的时候发生的,这有可能指的是哈爾帕格的远征,对抗伊奧尼亞的希腊城市(前546/5年)。他从科洛封出逃,去了西西里的爱奥尼亚殖民地,墨西拿卡塔尼亞[8] 有可能他在韦利亚居住过一段时间(福西亚人在第61个奥林匹克周期发现,前536-533年),因为他写了关于那座殖民地的文字。[12]

根据一篇哀诗,人们普遍说是他92岁时所作,他25岁离开故土,然后又在其他希腊的土地活了67年。[13] [13]

在他92岁的时候,我们看到,他仍然过着四处游荡的生活,这与下面的陈述完全不吻合,即说他在爱利亚定居,找到所学校云云。("In his ninety-second year he was still, we have seen, leading a wandering life, which is hardly consistent with the statement that he settled at Elea and founded a school there, especially if we are to think of him as spending his last days at Hieron's court, It is very remarkable that no ancient writer expressly says he ever was at Elea, and all the evidence we have seems inconsistent with his having settled there at all.")[14]


根据第欧根尼·拉尔修,色诺芬尼用六音步诗行写的哀诗和抑扬诗,反对荷马赫西俄德[8]拉尔修也提到了两篇关于founding of Colophon and Elea的史诗,但是以上这些都仅存标题。[9] 没有文献说色诺芬尼写了哲学诗作。[15] 新柏拉图主义哲学家Simplicius英语Simplicius of Cilicia写道,他从来没有见过关于 the earth stretching infinitely downwards 的韵文(fr. 28),尽管他有很多的哲学书籍。一些哲学残片可以从荷马的评论家作品里发现,[16] 因此也有可能色诺芬尼的哲学评论可能不经意间在他的讽刺作品里得到表达。[17] 这些讽刺作品被之后的写作者叫做 Silloi英语Silloi,这个名字有机会可以追溯到色诺芬尼自己,但也有可能是斐利亞修斯的第蒙,所谓“silloi写作者”(前3世纪),把他自己的讽刺作品加在了色诺芬尼头上。[17]


Xenophanes' surviving writings display a skepticism that became more commonly expressed during the fourth century BC. He satirized traditional religious views of his time as human projections.[18] He aimed his critique at the polytheistic religious views of earlier Greek poets and of his own contemporaries: "Homer and Hesiod," one fragment states, "have attributed to the gods all sorts of things that are matters of reproach and censure among men: theft, adultery, and mutual deception." 塞克斯圖斯·恩丕里柯 reported that[19] such observations were appreciated by Christian apologists. Xenophanes is quoted, memorably, in 克莱曼特,[20] arguing against the conception of gods as fundamentally anthropomorphic:

But if cattle and horses and lions had hands
or could paint with their hands and create works such as men do,
horses like horses and cattle like cattle
also would depict the gods' shapes and make their bodies
of such a sort as the form they themselves have.
Ethiopians say that their gods are snub–nosed [σιμούς] and black
色雷斯人 that they are pale and red-haired.[21]

An additional criticism of the gods is found in the quote

The gods have not, of course, revealed all things to mortals

from the beginning;

but rather, seeking in the course of time, they discover

what is better.[22]

Other passages quoted by Clement of Alexandria that argue against the traditional Greek conception of gods include:

  1. "One god, greatest among gods and humans,
    like mortals neither in form nor in thought."[23]
  2. "But mortals think that the gods are born
    and have the mortals' own clothes and voice and form".[23]

Regarding Xenophanes' theology five key concepts about God can be formed. God is: beyond human morality, does not resemble human form, cannot die or be born (God is divine thus eternal), no divine hierarchy exists, and God does not intervene in human affairs.[24] While Xenophanes is rejecting Homeric theology, he is not questioning the presence of a divine entity, rather his philosophy is a critique on Ancient Greek writers and their conception of divinity.[25]

Xenophanes espoused a belief that " is one, supreme among gods and men, and not like mortals in body or in mind."[26] He maintained there was one greatest God. God is one eternal being, spherical in form, comprehending all things within himself, is the absolute mind and thought,[13] therefore is intelligent, and moves all things, but bears no resemblance to human nature either in body or mind. He is considered by some to be a precursor to 巴门尼德 and Spinoza. Because of his development of the concept of a "one greatest among gods and men" that is abstract, universal, unchanging, immobile and always present, Xenophanes is often seen as one of the first monotheists, in the Western philosophy of 宗教, although the quotation that seems to point to Xenophanes's monotheism also refers to multiple "gods" who the supreme God is greater than. Physicist and philosopher Max Bernhard Weinstein英语Max Bernhard Weinstein specifically identified Xenophanes as one of the earliest 泛自然神論s.[27]


Xenophanes wrote about two extremes predominating the world: wet and dry or water (ὕδωρ) and earth (γῆ).[28] These two extreme states would alternate between one another, and with the alternation human life would become extinct, then regenerate (or vice versa depending on the dominant form).[29] The idea of alternating states and human life perishing and coming back suggests he believed in the principle of causation, another distinguishing step that Xenophanes takes away from Ancient philosophical traditions to ones based more on scientific observation.[29] The argument can be considered a rebuke to Anaximenes' air theory.[28] A detailed account of the wet and dry form theory is found in Hippolytus' Refutation of All Heresies英语Refutation of All Heresies.

He also holds that there is an infinite number of worlds, not overlapping in time.[13]

Xenophanes concluded from his examination of 化石s that once must have covered all of the 地球's surface. The use of evidence is an important step in advancing from simply stating an idea to backing it up by evidence and observation.[29]


Xenophanes is credited with being one of the first philosophers to distinguish between true belief and knowledge, which he further developed into the prospect that you can know something but not really know it.[30] Due to the lack of whole works by Xenophanes, a lot of meaning is lost and a large amount of guessing is at hand, so that the implication of knowing being something deeper ("a clearer truth") may have special implications, or it may mean that you cannot know something just by looking at it.[31] It is known that the most and widest variety of evidence was considered by Xenophanes to be the surest way to prove a theory.[29]

His 知识论, which is still influential today, held that there actually exists a 真理 of 現實, but that humans as mortals are unable to know it. 卡尔·波普尔 read Xenophanes as saying that it is possible to act only on the basis of working 假说—we may act as if we knew the truth, as long as we know that this is extremely unlikely.[32] Xenophanes' views then might serve as a basis of Critical rationalism英语Critical rationalism.

In today's philosophical and classics discourse, Xenophanes is seen as one of the most important presocratic philosophers. It had also been common since antiquity to see him as the teacher of 埃利亚的芝诺, the colleague of 巴门尼德, and generally associated with the 伊利亚学派, but common opinion today is likewise that this is false.[33]

There is one fragment dealing with the management of a feast, another which denounces the exaggerated importance attached to athletic victories, and several which deny the humanized gods of Homer. Arguments such as these made Xenophanes infamous for his attacks on "conventional military and athletic virtues of the time" and well known to side with the intellectual instead.[5]



  1. ^ "Xenophanes" 页面存档备份,存于互联网档案馆 entry in [[柯林斯英语词典|]].
  2. ^ Sound file. [2020-02-29]. (原始内容存档于2008-02-16). 
  3. ^ Xenophanes. 《網絡哲學百科全書英语Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy》. 
  4. ^ Charles H. Khan "Xenophanes" Who's Who in the Classical World. Ed. Simon Hornblower and Tony Spawforth. Oxford University Press, 2000. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press. 12 October 2011.
  5. ^ 5.0 5.1 "Xenophanes of Colophon" The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy. Simon Blackburn. Oxford University Press, 2008. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press. 12 October 2011.
  6. ^ Early Greek philosophy By Jonathan Barnes Page 40 ISBN 0-14-044461-0
  7. ^ See Dalby, Andrew, Rediscovering Homer, New York, London: Norton, 2006, ISBN 0-393-05788-7  已忽略未知参数|url-access= (帮助) p. 123.
  8. ^ 8.0 8.1 8.2 Diogenes Laertius, ix. 18
  9. ^ 9.0 9.1 Diogenes Laertius, ix. 20
  10. ^ Diogenes Laertius, ix. 18, i. 23, 111. viii. 36
  11. ^ Diogenes Laertius, ix. 1; Aristotle, Metaphysics 4.1010a
  12. ^ Diogenes Laertius, ix. 18, 20; comp. Aristotle, Rhetoric 2.23.27
  13. ^ 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 Diogenes Laertius, ix. 19
  14. ^ Burnet, John. Early Greek Philosophy. A. & C. Black, Ltd. 1930: 115. 
  15. ^ Early Greek Philosophy by John Burnet, 3rd edition (1920) 页面存档备份,存于互联网档案馆: "The oldest reference to a poem Περὶ φύσεως is in the Geneva scholium on Iliad xxi. 196 (quoting fr. 30), and this goes back to [[马鲁斯的克拉特斯|]]. We must remember that such titles are of later date, and Xenophanes had been given a place among philosophers long before the time of rates. All we can say, therefore, is that the Pergamene librarians gave the title Περὶ φύσεως to some poem of Xenophanes."
  16. ^ Three fragments (27, 31, 33) come from the Homeric Allegories, two (30, 32) are from Homeric scholia.
  17. ^ 17.0 17.1 Early Greek Philosophy by John Burnet, 3rd edition (1920). Classicpersuasion.org. [2013-09-14]. (原始内容存档于2018-01-08). 
  18. ^ Johansen, Karsten Friis A history of ancient philosophy: from the beginnings to Augustine p.49
  19. ^ Sextus Empiricus, Against the Mathematicians, I.289, and IX.192f.
  20. ^ Clement, Miscellanies V.110 and VII.22.
  21. ^ Diels-Kranz, Die Fragmente der Vorsokratiker, Xenophanes frr. 15-16. Many other translations of this passage have Xenophanes state that the Thracians were "blond".
  22. ^ Stephen M. Trzaskoma, R. Scott Smith, Stephen Brunet, Thomas G. Palaima; Anthology of Classical Myth: Primary Sources in Translation, p. 433.
  23. ^ 23.0 23.1 Osborne, Catherine. "Chapter 4". Presocratic Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford UP. 62. Print.
  24. ^ McKirahan, Richard D. "Xenophanes of Colophon. Philosophy Before Socrates. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 1994. 60-62. Print.
  25. ^ McKirahan, Richard D. "Xenophanes of Colophon. Philosophy Before Socrates. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 1994. 61. Print.
  26. ^ Zeller, Vorsokrastische Philosophie, p. 530, n. 3.
  27. ^ Max Bernhard Weinsten, Welt- und Lebensanschauungen, Hervorgegangen aus Religion, Philosophie und Naturerkenntnis ("World and Life Views, Emerging From Religion, Philosophy and Nature") (1910), page 231: "Pandeistisch ist, wenn der Eleate Xenophanes (aus Kolophon um 580-492 v. Chr.) von Gott gesagt haben soll: "Er ist ganz und gar Geist und Gedanke und ewig", "er sieht ganz und gar, er denkt ganz und gar, er hört ganz und gar."
  28. ^ 28.0 28.1 McKirahan, Richard D. "Xenophanes of Colophon. Philosophy Before Socrates. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 1994. 65. Print.
  29. ^ 29.0 29.1 29.2 29.3 McKirahan, Richard D. "Xenophanes of Colophon. Philosophy Before Socrates. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 1994. 66. Print.
  30. ^ Osborne, Catherine. "Chapter 4". Presocratic Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford UP. 66-67. Print.
  31. ^ Osborne, Catherine. "Chapter 4". Presocratic Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford UP. 67. Print.
  32. ^ K. Popper, A. Friemuth Petersen, J. Mejer: The World of Parmenides, p. 46
  33. ^ Lesher, p. 102.



Secondary scholarship[编辑]

  • J. Lesher, Presocratic Contributions to the Theory of Knowledge, 1998
  • U. De Young, "The Homeric Gods and Xenophanes' Opposing Theory of the Divine", 2000 页面存档备份,存于互联网档案馆
  • W. Drechsler and R. Kattel, "Mensch und Gott bei Xenophanes", in: M. Witte, ed., Gott und Mensch im Dialog. Festschrift für Otto Kaiser zum 80. Geburtstag, Berlin – New York 2004, 111-129
  • H. Fränkel, "Xenophanesstudien", Hermes 60 (1925), 174-192
  • E. Heitsch, Xenophanes und die Anfänge kritischen Denkens. Mainzer Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur, Abh. d. Geistes- und Sozialwiss. Kl., 1994, H. 7
  • W. Jaeger英语Werner Jaeger, The Theology of the Early Greek Philosophers, Gifford Lectures 1936, repr. Westport, Ct. 1980
  • K. Jaspers, The Great Philosophers 3, New York etc. 1993
  • R. Kattel, "The Political Philosophy of Xenophanes of Colophon", Trames 1(51/46) (1997), 125-142
  • O. Kaiser英语Otto Kaiser (scholar), "Der eine Gott und die Götter der Welt", in: Zwischen Athen und Jerursalem. Studien zur griechischen und biblischen Theologie, ihrer Eigenart und ihrem Verhältnis, Berlin - New York 2003, 135-152
  • Luchte, James. Early Greek Thought: Before the Dawn. London: Bloomsbury Publishing. 2011. ISBN 978-0567353313. 
  • Richard D. McKirahan, Xenophanes of Colophon. Philosophy Before Socrates. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 1994
  • K. Ziegler, "Xenophanes von Kolophon, ein Revolutionär des Geistes", Gymmasium 72 (1965), 289-302


  • Classen, C. J. 1989. "Xenophanes and the Tradition of Epic Poetry". In Ionian Philosophy. Edited by K. Boudouris, 91–103. Athens, Greece: International Association for Greek Philosophy英语International Association for Greek Philosophy.
  • Graham, D. W. 2010. The Texts of the Early Greek Philosophers: The Complete Fragments and Selected Testimonies of the Major Presocratics. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.
  • Granger, H. 2007. "Poetry and Prose: Xenophanes of Colophon". Transactions of the American Philological Association 137:403–433.
  • Granger, H. 2013. "Xenophanes’ Positive Theology and his Criticism of Greek Popular Religion". Ancient Philosophy 33:235–271
  • Mansfeld, J. 1987. "Theophrastus and the Xenophanes Doxography". Mnemosyne 40:286–312.
  • Warren, J. 2007. Presocratics. Stocksfield, UK: Acumen.


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