Andrei V. Lebedev, Research Fellow at the Department of the History of Western Philosophy
Born Мay 9, 1951 in Moscow.
Graduated from Saint Petersburg State University, Department of Classics, in 1973.
PhD in Letters(1980). PhD Thesis: «Reconstructing ancient Ionian cosmogonical texts (Thales, Anaximander, Heraclitus)»; supervisor Professor Aristide Dovatour.
Early Greek Philosophy;
Ancient Greek Ethics;
Main research project
Early Greek philosophy without «Presocratics».
Research Fellow at the Department of Western Philosophy, Institute of Philosophy (Moscow).
Visiting Professor of Philosophy, University of Crete, Department of Philosophy and Social Studies, Crete, Greece, 1996–2000.
Associate Visiting Professor, John Hopkins University, Department of Classics, Baltimore, MD, USA, 1990–1992.
Assistant, junior research fellow, Research fellow and Senior research fellow at the Institute of Philosophy of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Department of the History of Philosophy of the countries of Western Europe and America, 1973–1989.
Visiting Fellow, All Souls College, Oxford University, Oxford, UK, 1995–1996.
Visiting Fellow and Perkins Fellow in Humanities, Princeton University, NJ, USA, 1992–1993.
Junior Visiting Fellow, Center for Hellenic Studies (Harvard University), Washington, DC, 1989–1990.
The Logos of Heraclitus: A Reconstruction of his Thought and Word. With a New Critical Edition of the Fragments. – Nauka Publishers, St.Petersburg, 2014. – 533 pages. – Hardcover. – ISSN 978-5-02-038399-9 (In Russian)
Lebedevʼs monograph falls into two parts. Part I contains an outline of life and philosophy of Heraclitus of Ephesus (c. 540 – c. 480 B.C.), as well as a systematic study of his metaphorical language which is crucial for the precise intepretation of the extant fragments. The author arrives at the main conclusion that Heraclitus was not a «presocratic» «physicist», but an ethical, political and theological thinker of reformist stamp while his lost treatise in its aims in many respects anticipates the subject of Plato's «Poiliteia». The new readings and interpretations of the extant fragments demonstrate that the Stoics both in their philosophy of nature and in their ethics borrowed and developed some authentic fundamental ideas of Heraclitus rather that «projected» and read into his texts their own philosophical tenets. Part II of the monograph contains a new critical edition of the Greek text of the extant fragments (actually a new collection with a new reconstruction of the original structure of the lost work) with apparatus criticus and a new Russian translation followed by an extensive commentary to the fragments. The commentary to each fragment consists of two parts as well: the first discusses problems of textual criticisms and authenticity, the second provides a philosophical interpretation. Both in scale and detailed analysis the new commentary is unparalleled in Russian historiography of ancient philosophy and Heraclitean studies.
The Fragments of the Early Greek Philosophers. Part I: From the Epic Theocosmogonies to the Birth of the Atomistics / Edited by Andrei Lebedev. – Moscow, Nauka Publishers, 1989. – 576 pages. (In Russian)
A critical Russian translation of chapters 1-66 in Diels–Kranz with numerous (and carefully chosen) additions of both testimonia and fragments, some of them based on our attribution. The translation is based on the revised Greek text with numerous departures from the text of DK and a number of new readings. The chapters on Heraclitus and Empedocles are based in the collections (but not exactly on the Greek text) of Marcovich and Bollack respectively.
ARTICLES AND PAPERS (SELECTED)
The Derveni Papyrus and Prodicus of Ceos// Indoevropeiskoe yazykoznanie i klassicheskaya filologiya / Indo-European linguistics and classical philology (Joseph M. Tronsky memorial Conference). Proceedings of the 22nd Conference in Memory of Professor Joseph M. Tronsky. Vol. 22(1). 2017. P. 493–536. – DOI:10.30842/ielcp230690152256
Summary. Section (1) explains why the Deveni papyrus has often been misunderstood: among the main reasons are the wrong label «Orphic» and the confusion of two types of pantheism in Greek thought: the ethicoreligious and the naturalistic. The Orphic hymn to Zeus is a classical example of the first type, the Derveni commentary – of the second which is incompatible with the immortality of the soul and afterlife. Section (2) deals with the literary genre, the general purpose and the hermeneutical method of the Derveni treatise, and draws a preliminary intellectual portrait of its author describing his peculiar features, a kind of a «composite image». In the section (3) we argue for Prodicus as the author of PDerv and present 18 testimonia on which this attribution is based. These include both the verbatim quotations with Prodicus’ name that find an exact correspondence in the text of PDerv and the common peculiar features of the language and style. In the section (4) we propose a reconstruction and interpretation of the text of the col. IV that contains a quotation from Heraclitus. This column is of primary importance for the understanding of the aims and allegorical method of the author in general as well as for his theory of names. Section (5) detects a neglected (polemical) peritrope of Prodicus’ benefaction theory of the origin of religion in Xenophon’s Memorabillia 4.4. In the section (6) the problems of the original title and date of the Derveni treatise are addressed, its relation to the Psephisma of Diopeithes (432 BC) as well as to the trial and death of Anaxagoras. The last section (7) clarifies our use of the term peritrope and explains the Derveni treatise as a polemical naturalistic peritrope of a religious text (Orphic theogony).
Summary. 1. The problem. The physicalist interpretation of Parmenides’ concept of being derives from the late 19th century positivist overreaction to Hegelianism and German idealism in the historiography of Greek philosophy and involves insurmountable difficulties. What might be the purpose of a «theory» that the real world is a changeless mass of dead matter? Why is it presented as a divine revelation? There is only one possibility to make philosophical sense of Parmenides’ poem: to take seriously the ancient tradition of his Pythagorean background and to interpret his metaphysics as monistic idealism (mentalism) or immaterialism. 2. Ancient biographical tradition on Parmenides’ Pythagorean affiliation and background. 3. Pythagorean elements in Aletheia and Doxa. The doctrine of elemental transmigration rather than animal reincarnation is attested for Parmenides. 4. We propose three new readings of the text of the Proem. Read: 1) πάντα <πο>τῆι in B 1.3 «by flight»; 2) εὐπειθέως ἀτρεκές in B 1.29; 3) χρῆν δοκίμως ἱέναι «to recite» for εἶναι in B 1.32. The relation of B 1. 1–3 with the myth of the chariot of the soul in Plato's Phaedrus 246a. The anonymous goddess of the road and the revealing goddess is the same, the personified Aletheia. 5. Attribution to Parmenides of a neglected verbatim fragment νύμφη ὑψιπύλη ‘the nymph of High Gates’ quoted by Proclus (Syrianus). Hypsipyle is not a personal name, but refers to the goddess Aletheia. 6. The oracular (Apollonian) metaphorical code of the Proem: the quest for divine knowledge as a consultation trip (theoria) to the celestial oracular temple and the prophecy of the celestial Pythia named Aletheia. 7. Elements of allegory in the proem of Parmenides. Sextus’ interpretation is to some extent correct. The motive of the «flight of the mind through the Universe» and the apotheosis of philosopher. 8. The Pythagorean origin of the eschatological use of Aletheia as a mystical name for the the original abode of the souls before their incarnation in mortal bodies. 9. The structural parallelism of the basic oppositions in Aletheia and Doxa reveals the doctrine of immaterialism: what-is of the Aletheia correponds to the «light» of Doxa, what-is-not of Aletheia to the «Night» of Doxa. Consequently, «night», i.e. body does not exist. The meaning of «empty» and «full» in Parmenides. The linguistic mistake of mortals results in the phenomenal world of plurality. 10. The doctrine of monistic idealism or immaterialism is directly and explicitly stated by Parmenides in fr. B 3. 11. The idealist (mentalist) interpretation of Parmenides' theory of being is not only directly stated in two verbatim fragments, but is also confirmed by all external ancient evidence. 12. The Pythagorean symbol of the «invisible Sun of Justice» as the basis and the source of Parmenides’ description of the eternal Sphere of Being guarded by Dike in Aletheia. The theological dimension of Parmenides’ Aletheia. 13. Parmenides’ poem is concieved as a «hieros logos» of Pythagoras. Therefore the Kouros of the Proem is Pythagoras, not Parmenides himself. The Pythagorean legend of Pythagoras as flying god, Apollo Herboreios. 14. The three ways as history of philosophy: The way of Being (Aletheia) refers to the philosophy of Pythagoras (monistic idealism), the Way of Non-Being to the Ionian peri physeos historia (monistic naturalism) and the «two-headed» philosophers to Heraclitus. 15. The ethical dimension of Parmenides’ metaphysics: the sphere of Being as a symbol for meditation and a paradigm for the hesychia of the wise. 16. Parmenides’ impact on the 5th century philosophy of nature was nil, his influence on Plato was profound. Some doubts on the validity of the term «pluralists». 17. Apollodorus’ date of Parmenides is better supported by all evidence, the meeiting of Parmenides and Socrates in Plato’ dialogue is anachronistic. Appendix: Philodemus on the frist god. Philodemus’ description of Parmenides’ «first god» as «inanimate» is polemical and does not support the physicalist interpretation.
Epicharmus on God as Mind (ΝΟΟΣ). Α Neglected Fragment in Stobaeus(With some remarks on early Pythagorean metaphysics and theology) // Aristeas: Philologia Classica et Historia Antiqua. № 16. 2017. P. 13–27.
Alcmaeon of Croton on Human Knowledge, the Seasons of Life and Isonomia: A New Reading of B 1 DK and Two Additional Fragments from Turba Philosophorum and Aristotle // Physiologia. Topics in Presocratic Philosophy and its Reception in Antiquity / Ed. by Ch. Vassallo. Trier: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag, 2017. P. 227–257.
The Metaphor of Liber Naturae and the Alphabet Analogy in Heraclitus’ Logos Fragments (with some remarks on Plato’s "dream theory" and the origin of the concept of elements) // Heraklit im Kontext / Ed. by E. Fantino, U. Muss, Ch. Schubert, K. Sier. Berlin; Boston: Walter de Gruyter, 2017 (Studia Praesocrsatica Vol. 8). P. 231–268. DOI: 10.1515/9783110421323-012
Summary. In the first part we will recuperate and reinforce our arguments againsts Diels’ Aëtius hypothesis. We will also discuss the nature and purpose of the extant Ps.Plutarch’s De placitis philosophorum and will argue that in its present form it is a truncated copy of the original handbook of physics (παραδώσειν!) with only 6 authorial definitions remaining from many more in the original. We assign to this «better Plutarch» the siglum P+. The archetype of the P tradition was probably a personal copy of a Christian apologist who was interested only in diaphonia of the Hellenes and therefore dropped most of the apodictic definitions and other authorial remarks and explanations as worthess. The second main complex of problems we will address is the relation between P+ and Stobaeus (S) on the one hand, and between both of them and Arius Didymus, on the other. We will refute Göransson’s claim that Arius the doxographer should be distinguished from Arius the court philosopher. We add to 8 known authorial definitions in P and S two neglected ones from Stobaeus. One of them (on ἀνάγκη, Ι,4,7b) we connect with the lemma Διδύμ. Which means that P+ was known to Stobaeus as a work of Arius Didymus. Tertlullian is the second independent source who quotes P+ as «apud Arium». Finally we will present the new stemma of doxographical sources that emerges from our research in which the central role is accorded neither to Dielsian hypothetical «Theophrastus», not to the ficticious writer «Aëtius», but to the real giant of post-hellenistic philosophy Arius Didymus from Alexandria, the teacher of emperor Augustus.
The Theogony of Epimenides of Crete and the origin of the Orphic-Pythagorean doctrine of reincarnation // Indo-Europen Linguistics and Classical Studies. Proceedings of the Memorial Tronsky Conference, Institute for Linguistic Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences at St-Petersburg. T. 19. St-Petersburgh, 2015. P. 550–584. (in Russian)
Summary: It is commonly believed that the epic Theogony of Epimenides of Crete derives from the corpus of pseudepigrapha under his name and that it was composed by anonymous author (with Pythagorean background) after 500 B.C. We demonstrate (mainly on the basis the reconstruction of the proem of the Theogony) that such influences do not exist and we arrive at the conclusion that the Theogony was written by Epimenides himself around 600 B.C. Aristotle who was sceptical about the authorship of the poems attributed to Orpheus and Musaeus, cites Epimenides without reservations as the real author of the verses he cites. Therefore the common elements between Epimenides on the one hand, and the Orphics and Pythagoreans on the other (Night as the first principle, the cosmic egg, the immortality and reincarnation of the soul), should be interpreted as borrowings by the latter from Epimenides, not vice versa. As a “priest of Zeus and Rhea” Epimenides belongs to the ancient Cretan hieratic clan that claimed descendance from Aiakos, son of Zeus; in view of the extreme conservatism of Cretan cultural, political and religious traditions, the sources of Epimenides' divine wisdom should be sought not in the hypothetical “northern” or eastern quarters, but in the local oral traditions that go back the Late Minoan times and are closely tied with the cults and myths of the region around Mount Ida and similar oracular caves. The discussion of Epimendes' herbal medicine shows that it is connected both with therapeutuc use of herbs and with cathartic rituals; Indian Ayurveda provides a close typological parallel to this, so common Indo-European roots are possible. After this we address the problem of the origin and the sources of the Orphic Theogony and propose a new solution. Taking at its face value Aristotle's information on Onomacritus as the author of the Orphic epic Theogony, we discuss the “Cretan connections” of Onomacritus and adduce in favour of our hypothesis numerous literary and epigraphical-archeological pieces of evidence that connect early Orphism and the belief in the reincarnation with the Idaen cave and the region around it (Orphic golden plates and epistomia from Eleutherna and Sfakaki near Rethymno collected and studied by Tzifopoulos). Inter alia, we also propose a new interpretation of the Orphic graffiti written on bone plates from Olbia as divinatory devices (mantic cards, the oldest known ancestor of the cards Tarot) that probably belonged to the “diviner of Hermes” Pharnabazos of Olbia and were connected with the dice divination ( astragalomanteia ), the proper art of Hermes. The divinatory dodecahedron found in the Idaean cave seems to be connected with astragalomanteia, as well.
Alphabetical Analogy in Greek philosophy: Heraclitus, Democritus, Plato// Problems of Philosophy (Voprosy Filosofii). 2014. Vol. 6. P. 64–70. (in Russian)
Summary. The grammatical analogy plays important role in Greek epistemology, metaphysics and philosophy of nature. It is the source of the philosophical notion of “elements” and it is related with the method of analysis or resolution of a complex whole into simple constituents. Speech or text (λογος) is “divided” into names (ονοματα), names into syllables (συλλαβαι), syllables into “letters” - stoiceia or grammata (phonetic or graphical). According to Eudemus (fr. 31 W.) Plato was the ﬁrst to introduce the abstract use of the term stoicei'a. The locus classicus is the so called “dream theory” in Plato's Theaetetus 210d which Wittgenstein compared with his own philosophy of language in the “Tractatus”. We argue that this theory (also known to Democritus) derives not from Antisthenes, but from Heraclitus. It is attested in Hercalitus B 10 Sullavyieõ ou\la kai; oujc ou\la “syllables: voiced and unvoiced letters” (i.e. vowels and consonants) and is the basis of the metaphorical model of “this logos” or Liber Naturae in fr. B 1. We accept the superior text of Hippolytus (without εκαστον added by Sextus). It follows that the object of the verb διαιρεων “dividing” and the subject of his book are not the particulars (which do not exist according to Heraclitus' metaphysics), but the “words and deeds” (επη και εργα) of the visible “logos” of the Universe which Heraclitus “divides” correctly (“according to nature”) into names,syllables and letters. The correct reading of the “Book of nature” results in the integration of all separate things (opposites) into single unifi ed Logos of the divine Universe.
Western Greek Philosophical Poems and the Homeric Tradition: Continuity or Rupture? // Indo-Europen Linguistics and Classical Studies. Proceedings of the Memorial Tronsky Conference, Institute for Linguistic Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences at St-Petersburg. T. 14 (2). St-Petersburg, 2010. P. 101–110. (in Russian)
Summary. Why did western Greek philosophers (Xenophanes, Parmenides, Empedocles), unlike their Eastern Ionian colleagues, chose the Homeric hexameter rather than prose to express their thought? It has been thought by some that these philosophical poems represent a continuation or adaptation of the Homeric tradition for didactic purposes. We reject this interpretation because it ignores the fundamental difference between the Ionian and Italian philosophical traditions. The Ionian tradition was scientific in spirit and therefore used Ionian prose. The Italian tradition starting from Pythagoras was a revolt against the Ionian naturalistic monism and an attempt to restore the traditional mythopoetic world-view in a new quasiscientific form. Western Greek philosophy from the start was ethical-religious in its aims, and therefore it chose the most "hieratic" poetic medium of the time, the language of Pythia and Apollo. And in doing so it did not aim so much at the "continuation" of the Homeric tradition as at "replacing" the old bad mythology of the poets with a good new one, just as Plato later tried to replace bad old myths with new philosophical myths of his own. Western Greek philosophical poems, consequently, should be viewed not as a revival of the old epic poetry, but as its radical reform and a peritope. In Greek dialectics peritrope was a technical term for "turning" the opponent's argument against himself. We use this term in a less technical and wider sense of a polemical device which aims at "defeating an opponent with his own weapons". Peritope is an often neglected polemical device of the Greek culture of the philosophical debate. E.g. the cosmogony of Plato's "Timaeus" can be interpreted as a peritrope of the Ionian (and atomistic) determinist physics.
Getting rid of the «Presocratics» // Filosoffia v dialoge kul'tur [Philosophy in the dialogue of cultures]. Proceedings of the International UNESCO Day of Philosophy Annual Conference held in the Institute of Philosophy, Moscow, 14–15 November, 2009. Moscow, Progress-Tradition Publ., 2010. P. 177–183. (in Russian)
Greek Philosophy as a Reform of Language // Indo-Europen Linguistics and Classical Studies. Proceedings of the of the Memorial Tronsky Conference, Institute for Linguistic Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences at St-Petersburg, from June 22 to June 24, 2009. St-Peterburg, 2009. P. 359–368. (in Russian)
// Hermes. Bd. 128. Heft 4. 2000. S. 385–391.
The Justice of Chiron (Titanomachia, Fr. 6 and 11 B.) // Philologus. Bd. 142. No. 1. 1998. P. 3–10.
// Zeitschrift fur Papyrologie und Epigraphik. Bd. 112. 1996. S. 279–283.
// Zeitschrift fur Papyrologie und Epigraphik. Bd. 112. 1996. S. 268–278.
// Zeitschrift fur Papyrologie und Epigraphik. Bd. 112. 1996. S. 263–268.
Orpheus, Parmenides or Empedocles: The Aphrodite Verses in The Naassene Treatise of Hippolytus' Elenchus // Philologus 138. 1994. S. 24–31.
Alcmaeon on Plants: A New Fragment in Nicolaus Damascenus // Parola del Passato 273. 1993. P. 456 ff.
// Apeiron. Vol. 23. No. 2. 1990. P. 77–85.
Heraclitus in Pap. Derveni // Zeitschrift fur Papyrologie und Epigraphik. Bd. 79. 1989.
Did the Doxographer Aëtius Ever Exist? // Philosophie et Culture: Actes Du XVIIe Congrès Mondial de Philosophie / Edited by Venant Cauchy. Montréal: Montmorency, 1988. P. 813–817. – (text in PDF).
Anaximander the originator of the mixis theory of matter and the founder of the mechanistic physics // Ionian Philosophy. First International Conference of Greek Philosophy (Samos 27–31 August 1988). 1988. P. 56-57. – (text in PDF)
The imagery of "Lampadedromia" in Heraclitus // Filosopfia (Φιλοσοφια). 1987–1988. No. 17–18. Σ. 233–257.
The Cosmos as a Stadium: Agonistic Metaphors in Heraclitus’ Cosmology // Phronesis. 1985. Vol. 30. No. 2. 1985. P. 131–150.
A new fragment of Xenophanes // Studi di filosofia preplatonica. Napoli, 1985. P. 13 sqq.
Φύσις ταλαντεύουσα: Neglected fragments of Democritus and Metrodorus of Chios // Proceedings of the Ist International Congress on Democritus. Vol. 1. Xanthi: International Democritean Foundation, 1984. P. 13–18.
ΠΑΤΗΡ–ΔΗΜΙΟΥΡΓΟΣ–ΒΑΣΙΛΕΥΣ. On the synonymity of metaphorical codes in early Greek cosmogonical texts // BALCANO-BALTO-SLAVICA. Symposium on the structure of text. Ed. V.V. Ivanov. Moscow, 1979 p. 24 ff. (in Russian)
ΤΟ ΑΠΕΙΡΟΝ: not Anaximander, but Plato and Aristotle // Vestnik Drevnei Istorii (Moscow), 1978, Nr.1, p.39–54; Nr.2, p.43–58 (in Russian with English summary)
Book review: Heraclitus of Ephesus. The complete Heritage. In the language of the original and in Russian translation. Edited by S.N. Mouraviev. «Ad marginem» Publishing house, Moscow, 2012 // Vestnik Drevnei Istorii (Moscow), 2013, Nr 4. (forthcoming). – (text in PDF).
Organisational and project activities
Head of the Section «Ancient Greek philosophy-Presocratic philosophy» at the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy «Philosophy as Inquiry and Way of Life», August 4–10, 2013, Athens (Greece).
Placing the Ionian ΠΕΡΙ ΦΥΣΕΩΣ ΙΣΤΟΡΙΑ in Context: the Role of Seafaring, Navigation and Milesian Colonization in the Birth of Greek Science» // International Conference EX IONIA SCIENTIA: “Knowledge in Archaic Greece”, organized by the Universities of Southern Illinois (USA) and University of Athens, Athens, Greece, 11‒14 December 2016
«This logos» as Liber Naturae in Heraclitus B 1 and B 50 DK» // International conference «Heraklit von Ephesos und seine Zeit» 7–12 Okrober 2013, Selcuk Municipaluty, Turkey.
«Idealism in early Greek philosophy: The case of Pythagoreans and Eleatics» // XXIII World Congress of Philosophy «Philosophy as Inquiry and Way of Life», August 4-10, 2013, Athens (Greece).
«Western Greek Philosophical Poems and the Homeric Tradition: Continuity or Rupture?» // Indo-European Linguistics and Classical Studies: The Memorial Tronsky Conference, Institute for Linguistic Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences at St-Petersburg, St-Petersburgh, 2010.
«Getting rid of the «Presocratics» // Round Table «Getting rid of Stereotypes in the History of Philosophy» at the International UNESCO Day of Philosophy Annual Conference held in the Institute of Philosophy, Moscow (14–15 November, 2009).
«Greek Philosophy as a Reform of Language» // Indo-Europen Linguistics and Classical Studies: The Memorial Tronsky Conference, Institute for Linguistic Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences at St-Petersburg (22–24 June 2009).
«Flux and personal identity in Heraclitus» // Self and Personality in Ancient Philosophy. University of Crete. Department of Philosophy and Social Studies. Rethimno (25–26 May 2007).
«Aristotle against Aristotle? The reconsideration of the theory of moral virtue in Aristotle's Eth.Nic. VI» // First International ConferenceEthics and Politics. University of Crete, Department of Philosophy and Social Studies, Heraklio, Crete, Greece (24–28 May 2006).