The Veil of Isis : An Essay on the History of the Idea of Nature, Paperback / softback Book

The Veil of Isis : An Essay on the History of the Idea of Nature Paperback / softback


Nearly twenty-five hundred years ago the Greek thinker Heraclitus supposedly uttered the cryptic words 'Phusis kruptesthai philei.' How the aphorism, usually translated as 'Nature loves to hide,' has haunted Western culture ever since is the subject of this engaging study by Pierre Hadot.

Taking the allegorical figure of the veiled goddess Isis as a guide, and drawing on the work of both the ancients and later thinkers such as Goethe, Rilke, Wittgenstein, and Heidegger, Hadot traces successive interpretations of Heraclitus' words.

Over time, Hadot finds, 'Nature loves to hide' has meant that all that lives tends to die; that Nature wraps herself in myths; and (for Heidegger) that Being unveils as it veils itself.

Meanwhile the pronouncement has been used to explain everything from the opacity of the natural world to our modern angst.


  • Format: Paperback / softback
  • Pages: 432 pages, 18 halftones
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Philosophy: metaphysics & ontology
  • ISBN: 9780674030497



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