Review [Book Review]

In this extraordinarily rich and provocative book by an eminent intellectual historian and philosopher, Richard Sorabji argues persuasively that there was “an intense preoccupation” among ancient western thinkers with self and related notions. In the process, he provides fresh translations and often novel interpretations of the most important passages relevant to this contention in a host of thinkers, including Homer, Epicharmus, Heraclitus, Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, Chrysippus, Cicero, Lucretius, Seneca, Plutarch, Epictetus, Hierocles, Marcus Aurelius, Tertullian, Origen, Alexander of Aphrodisias, Plotinus, Porphyry, Methodius, Themistius, Augustine, and Proclus, among others. Sorabji’s nuanced, insightful, and often novel interpretations of passages from these and other writers are invariably woven together in an illuminating way, often with an eye to modern developments. There is no other book that covers the classical western material on self and related notions anywhere near as thoroughly or as perceptively. As a consequence for decades to come this book is destined to be a major point of departure for future discussion of classical authors on such issues. That in itself..
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