Presents an introduction to philosophy in the ancient world, discussing the writings of the Pre-Socratics, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, as well as the teachings of Stoicism, Epicureanism, and the early Jewish and Christian authors.
This second Companion deals with the ancient theories of the psyche. The essays range over more than eight hundred years of psychological inquiry and provide critical analyses not only of the ancient discussions of the nature of the psyche and its states, but of such central topics as perception, subjectivity, the explanation of action, and what it is to be a person. In examining the wide variety of psychological theories offered by the ancient thinkers, from the increasingly complex materialism of (...) the Presocratics and Hellenists to the dualism of Plato and Plotinus, the collection demonstrates that psychology had become a wide-ranging and sophisticated discipline long before Descartes. (shrink)
Original and engaging, this exploration of early Western philosophy traces the religious roots of science and systematic speculation. Author F. M. Cornford, a distinguished historian of ancient philosophy, combines deep classical scholarship with anthropological and sociological insights to examine the mythic precursors of enduring metaphysical concepts--such as destiny, God, the soul, substance, nature, and immortality. Cornford illustrates the rise of a new spirit of rational inquiry from traditional beliefs, demonstrating that philosophy’s modes of clear definition and explicit statement were already (...) implicit in the unreasoned intuitions of mythology. (shrink)
Gareth Matthews suggests that we can better understand the nature of philosophical inquiry if we recognize the central role played by perplexity. The seminal representation of philosophical perplexity is in Plato's dialogues; Matthews examines the intriguing shifts in Plato's attitude to perplexity and suggests that these may represent a course of philosophical development that philosophers follow even today.
A timely book that uses science fiction to provoke reflection and discussion on philosophical issues From the nature of mind to the ethics of AI and neural enhancement, science fiction thought experiments fire the philosophical imagination, encouraging us to think outside of the box about classic philosophical problems and even to envision new ones. Science Fiction and Philosophy explores puzzles about virtual reality, transhumanism, whether time travel is possible, the nature of artificial intelligence, and topics in neuroethics, among other timely (...) issues. This thought-provoking volume is suitable for students and general readers but also examines new and more advanced topics of interest to seasoned philosophers and scientists. Susan Schneider is Assistant Professor in the department of philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania and an Affiliated Faculty Member at the Institutes for Research in Cognitive Science and Center for Cognitive Neuroscience. (shrink)
An important volume connecting classical studies with feminism, Feminism and Ancient Philosophy provides an even-handed assessment of the ancient philosophers' discussions of women and explains which ancient views can be fruitful for feminist theorizing today. The papers in this anthology range from classical Greek philosophy through the Hellenistic period, with the predominance of essays focusing on topics such as the relation of reason and the emotions, the nature of emotions and desire, and related issues in moral psychology. The volume contains (...) some new, ground-breaking essays on Plato, Aristotle, and the Stoics, as well as previously published pieces by established scholars like Martha Nussbaum and Julia Annas. It promises to be of interest to an interdisciplinary audience including those working in classics, ancient philosophy, and feminist theory. (shrink)
A lively dialogue between a foreign philosopher and a powerful statesman, Plato's Laws reflects the essence of the philosopher's reasoning on political theory and practice. It also embodies his mature and more practical ideas about a utopian republic. Plato's discourse ranges from everyday issues of criminal and matrimonial law to wider considerations involving the existence of the gods, the nature of the soul, and the problem of evil. Translated by the distinguished scholar Benjamin Jowett, this edition is an authoritative choice (...) for students of philosophy, political science, and literature. (shrink)
This Oxford Reader seeks to introduce some of the main philosophical questions raised by the Greek and Roman philosophers of classical antiquity. Selections from the writings of ancient philosophers are interspersed with Terence Irwin's incisive commentary, and sometimes with contributions from modern philosophers expounding relevant philosophical positions or discussing particular aspects of classical philosophy. The arrangement of the book is thematic, rather than chronological, allowing the reader to focus on philosophical problems and ideas, but a general introduction places philosophers and (...) schools within their historical context. Irwin brings together contributions which shaped debates about knowledge, freedom, ethics, politics, and religious belief - debates which continue to be contested today, 2500 years from their conception. (shrink)
Fred Feldman's fascinating new book sets out to defend hedonism as a theory about the Good Life. He tries to show that, when carefully and charitably interpreted, certain forms of hedonism yield plausible evaluations of human lives. Feldman begins by explaining the question about the Good Life. As he understands it, the question is not about the morally good life or about the beneficial life. Rather, the question concerns the general features of the life that is good in itself for (...) the one who lives it. Hedonism says (roughly) that the Good Life is the pleasant life. After showing that received formulations of hedonism are often confused or incoherent, Feldman presents a simple, clear, coherent form of sensory hedonism that provides a starting point for discussion. He then presents a catalogue of classic objections to hedonism, coming from sources as diverse as Plato, Aristotle, Brentano, Ross, Moore, Rawls, Kagan, Nozick, Brandt, and others. One of Feldman's central themes is that there is an important distinction between the forms of hedonism that emphasize sensory pleasure and those that emphasize attitudinal pleasure. Feldman formulates several kinds of hedonism based on the idea that attitudinal pleasure is the Good. He claims that attitudinal forms of hedonism - which have often been ignored in the literature -- are worthy of more careful attention. Another main theme of the book is the plasticity of hedonism. Hedonism comes in many forms. Attitudinal hedonism is especially receptive to variations and modifications. Feldman illustrates this plasticity by formulating several variants of attitudinal hedonism and showing how they evade some of the objections. He also shows how it is possible to develop forms of hedonism that are equivalent to the allegedly anti-hedonistic theory of G. E. Moore and the Aristotelian theory according to which the Good Life is the life of virtue, or flourishing. He also formulates hedonisms relevantly like the ones defended by Aristippus and Mill. Feldman argues that a carefully developed form of attitudinal hedonism is not refuted by objections concerning 'the shape of a life'. He also defends the claim that all of the alleged forms of hedonism discussed in the book genuinely deserve to be called 'hedonism'. Finally, after dealing with the last of the objections, he gives a sketch of his hedonistic vision of the Good Life. (shrink)
This book argues that Josiah Royce bequeathed to philosophy a novel idealism based on an ethico-religious insight.This insight became the basis for an idealistic personalism, wherein the Real is the personal and a metaphysics of community is the most appropriate approach to metaphysics for personal beings, especially in an often impersonal and technological intellectual climate. -/- The first part of the book traces how Royce constructed his idealistic personalism in response to criticisms made by George Holmes Howison. That personalism is (...) interpreted as an ethical and panentheistic one, somewhat akin to Charles Hartshorne's process philosophy. The second part investigates Royce's idealistic metaphysics in general and his ethico-religious insight in particular. In the course of these investigations, the author examines how Royce's ethico-religious insight could be strengthened by incorporating the philosophical theology of Dr. Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., and Emmanuel Levinas's ethical metaphysics. The author concludes by briefly exploring the possibility that Royce's progressive racial anti-essentialism is, in fact, a form of cultural, antiblack racism and asks whether his cultural, antiblack racism taints his ethico-religious insight. (shrink)
This book presents the first detailed analysis of the way Greek philosophers treated mental conflict. The ancient Greeks considered mental conflict as the condition of a divided mind consciously torn between contrary desires or beliefs. Greek philosophers offered a variety of formulations for mental conflict, either as a reason that fails to be resolute or as a split soul that houses a play of forces. Studying the treatment of mental conflict by Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and the Stoics, A. W. Price (...) demonstrates how the arguments of the Greeks are still relevant to current philosophical discussion. Reflecting upon their accounts can alert us to the elusiveness at once of mental reality and of the understanding by which we hope to capture and transform it. (shrink)
Pre-Socratics, physiologists, sages and sophists -- Platonists, Cyrenaics, Aristotelians and cynics -- Sceptics, stoics and epicureans -- Classical Chinese philosophers -- Romans (serious and ridiculous) and neoplatonists -- The deaths of Christian saints -- Medieval philosophers: Christian, Islamic, and Judaic -- Philosophy in the Latin Middle Ages -- Renaissance, Reformation and scientific revolution -- Rationalists (material and immaterial), empiricists and religious dissenters -- Philosophes, materialists and sentimentalists -- Many Germans and some non-Germans -- The masters of suspicion and some unsuspicious (...) Americans -- The long twentieth century I: philosophy in wartime -- The long twentieth century II: analytics, continentals, a few moribunds and a near-death experience. (shrink)
The essays in this volume examine the nature of human flourishing and its relationship to a variety of other key concepts in moral theory. Some of them trace the link between flourishing and human nature, asking whether a theory of human nature can allow us to develop an objective list of goods that are of value to all agents, regardless of their individual purposes or aims. Some essays look at the role of friendships or parent-child relationships in a good life, (...) or seek to determine whether an ethical theory based on human flourishing can accommodate concern for others for their own sake. Other essays analyze the function of families or other social-political institutions in promoting the flourishing of individuals. Still others explore the implications of flourishing for political theory, asking whether considerations of human flourishing can help us to derive principles of social justice. (shrink)
Sir Anthony Kenny here tells the fascinating story of the birth of philosophy and its remarkable flourishing in the ancient Mediterranean world. This is the initial volume of a four-book set in which Kenny will unfold a magisterial new history of Western philosophy, the first major single-author history of philosophy to appear in decades. Ancient Philosophy spans over a thousand years and brings to life the great minds of the past, from Thales, Pythagoras, and Parmenides, to Socrates, Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, (...) and Augustine. The book's great virtue is that it is written by one of the world's leading authorities on the subject. Instead of an uncritical, straightforward recitation of known facts--Plato and his cave of shadows, Aristotle's ethics, Augustine's City of God--we see the major philosophers through the eyes of a man who has spent a lifetime contemplating their work. Thus we do not simply get an overview of Aristotle, for example, but a penetrating and insightful critique of his thought. Kenny offers an illuminating account of the various schools of thought, from the Pre-Socratics to the Epicureans. He examines the development of logic and reason, ancient ideas about physics ("how things happen"), metaphysics and ethics, and the earliest thinking about the soul and god. Vividly written, but serious and deep enough to offer a genuine understanding of the great philosophers, Kenny's lucid and stimulating history will become the definitive work for anyone interested in the people and ideas that shaped the course of Western thought. (shrink)
My personal odyssey -- Tripping the night fantastic. Who-and what-am I? -- The journey home. Take me to the river-- -- The being human -- White crows : mystics, savants, and other harbingers of human potential. Mystic mind (or how to crack open the cranium) -- Wake up! Greek philosophy breaks the trance -- The ultimate cage match : philosophy, science, and religion (or togas, Bibles, and microscopes : why can't we all just get along?) -- Homo anxious : I (...) think, therefore I worry. Mindfulness walk : "being" without thinking -- Why philosophy matters-and how it just might save your life! Am I a neuron in the mind of God? -- Reality bites -- The physical world : the tip of the reality iceberg. More to reality than meets the eye -- Real deal reality : beyond sense and beyond reason. Beyond logic : riddles and paradoxes. Pyramids, togas, and cosmic consciousness -- Pythagoras squared : who was this mystic mathemagician? Infinity : the ultimate mind trip -- Good vibrations : Pythagoras and the big beat. The cosmic symphony : music from the universal orchestra -- Escaping Plato's cave -- Plato's retreat-from the material world. the universe as one big thought -- On the nature of change : the more things change--. Change : the great illusion -- Death : the new birth. Incubation (or how death can transform your life) -- Yes, but what does it all mean? -- New science and old wisdom -- Musings from my dissertation -- Some final thoughts. (shrink)
German classicist's monumental study of the origins of European thought in Greek literature and philosophy. Brilliant, widely influential. Includes "Homer's View of Man," "The Olympian Gods," "The Rise of the Individual in the Early Greek Lyric," "Pindar's Hymn to Zeus," "Myth and Reality in Greek Tragedy," and "Aristophanes and Aesthetic Criticism.".
[Adapted from the book's back-cover:] -/- This is the ‘philosophy and. .’ book that really needed to be written – because it is about The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. For (to paraphrase the great man himself) Hitchhiker’s is not above a little philosophy in the same way that the sea is not above the sky. Moreover: this edited collection tries hard to combine accessibility – and some humour – with rigour. The book contains an introduction, nine chapters (all originally (...) unpublished, save one that has been reworked for the volume), a glossary, and multiple indexes. Topics covered include the meaning of life (and ‘42’), vegetarianism, the ethics of entertainment, artificial intelligence, parallel universes, God, and philosophical method. (shrink)
The three Socratic theses.--The Socratic quest.--The Platonic quest.--The Socratic paradox: the dualism of Plato.--Psychology.--The doctrine of ideas.--Science and cosmogony.--Metaphysics.--Conclusion.
Prepared by editors of the distinguished series The Works of Jonathan Edwards, this authoritative anthology includes selected treatises, sermons, and autobiographical material by early America’s greatest theologian and philosopher.
In Intimations of Christianity Among the Ancient Greeks , Simone Weil discusses precursors to Christian religious ideas which can be found in ancient Greek mythology, literature and philosophy. She looks at evidence of "Christian" feelings in Greek literature, notably in Electra, Orestes, and Antigone , and in the Iliad , going on to examine God in Plato, and divine love in creation, as seen by the ancient Greeks.