This original new book argues for a reassessment of Plato's challenge to the arts. Plato was the first great figure in Western philosophy to assess the value of the arts; he argued in the Republic that traditionally accepted forms of poetry, drama, and music are unsound. While this view has been widely rejected, Janaway argues that Plato's hostile case is a more coherent and profound challenge to the arts than has sometimes been supposed. Denying that Plato advocates "good art" in (...) any modern sense, Janaway seeks both to understand Plato's critique in the context of his own philosophy and to locate him in today's philosophy of art, showing how issues in aesthetics arise from responses to his charges. (shrink)
Daniel Russell develops a fresh and original view of pleasure and its pivotal role in Plato's treatment of value, happiness, and human psychology. This is the first full-length discussion of the topic for fifty years, and Russell shows its relevance to contemporary debates in moral philosophy and philosophical psychology. Plato on Pleasure and the Good Life will make fascinating reading for ancient specialists and for a wide range of philosophers.
What can the study of the history of ancient philosophy bring to the study of contemporary philosophical problems and questions? In New Essays on Plato and Aristotle eight distinguished philosophers address topics in Greek philosophy that are connected with current philosophical issues. All the essays are original and include Gilbert Ryle on Dialectic in the Academy and R. M. Hare on Plato’s indictment of mathematicians.
The strangeness of modern physics has sparked several popular books--such as The Tao of Physics--that explore its affinity with Eastern mysticism. But the founders of quantum mechanics were educated in the classical traditions of Western civilization and Western philosophy. In Nature Loves to Hide, physicist Shimon Malin takes readers on a fascinating tour of quantum theory--one that turns to Western philosophical thought to clarify this strange yet inescapable explanation of reality. Malin translates quantum mechanics into plain English, explaining its origins (...) and workings against the backdrop of the famous debate between Niels Bohr and the skeptical Albert Einstein. Then he moves on to build a philosophical framework that can account for the quantum nature of reality. He shows, for instance, how Platonic and Neoplatonic thought resonates with quantum theory. He draws out the linkage between the concepts of Neoplatonism and the more recent process philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead. The universe, Whitehead wrote, is an organic whole, composed not of lifeless objects, but "elementary experiences." Beginning with Whitehead's insight, Malin shows how this concept of "throbs of experience" expresses quantum reality, with its subatomic uncertainties, its constituents that are waves and also particles, its emphasis on acts of measurement. Once any educated person could explain the universe as a vast Newtonian web of cause and effect, but since quantum theory, reality again appears to be richer and more mysterious than we had thought. Writing with broad humanistic insight and deep knowledge of science, and using delightful conversations with fictional astronauts Peter and Julie to explain more difficult concepts, Shimon Malin offers a profound new understanding of the nature of reality--one that shows a deep continuity with aspects of our Western philosophical tradition going back 2500 years, and that feels more deeply satisfying, and truer, than the clockwork universe of Newton. (shrink)
In this incisive study Sarah Broadie gives an argued account of the main topics of Aristotle's ethics: eudaimonia, virtue, voluntary agency, practical reason, akrasia, pleasure, and the ethical status of theoria. She explores the sense of "eudaimonia," probes Aristotle's division of the soul and its virtues, and traces the ambiguities in "voluntary." Fresh light is shed on his comparison of practical wisdom with other kinds of knowledge, and a realistic account is developed of Aristototelian deliberation. The concept of pleasure as (...) value-judgment is expounded, and the problem of akrasia is argued to be less of a problem to Aristotle than to his modern interpreters. Showing that the theoretic ideal of Nicomachean Ethics X is in step with the earlier emphasis on practice, as well as with the doctrine of the Eudemian Ethics, this work makes a major contribution towards the understanding of Aristotle's ethics. (shrink)
Skepticism gives a pessimistic reply to questions on whether we really know the things we think we know, and whether our beliefs are reasonable. The theoretical and practical difficulties presented by the skeptical challenge--in that the skeptical life cannot be lived, and the doctrine seems self-defeating--are in fact superficial, according to Ruth Weintraub. Her study looks at several famous skeptical arguments of Descartes, Hume, and the ancient Greek skeptic, Sextus Empiricus. She argues that by drawing on philosophy, rather than science, (...) the skeptical challenge can be answered. (shrink)
Introduction -- The pre-socratic philosophers -- Sixth and fifth centuries B.C.E. -- Thales -- Anaximander -- Anaximenes -- Pythagoras -- Heraclitus -- Parmenides -- Zeno -- Empedocles -- Anaxagoras -- Leucippus and Democritus -- The Athenian period -- Fifth and fourth centuries B.C.E. -- The Sophists -- Protagoras -- Gorgias -- Thrasymachus -- Callicles and Critias -- Socrates -- Plato -- Aristotle -- The Hellenistic and Roman periods -- Fourth century B.C.E. through fourth century C.E. -- Epicureanism -- Stoicism -- (...) Neoplatonism -- Medieval and Renaissance philosophy -- Fifth through fifteenth centuries -- Saint Augustine -- The encyclopediasts -- John Scotus Eriugena -- Saint Anselm -- Muslim and Jewish philosophies -- Averroës -- Maimonides -- The problem of faith and reason -- The problem of the universals -- Saint Thomas Aquinas -- William of Ockham -- Renaissance philosophers -- Continental rationalism and British empiricism -- The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries -- Descartes -- Hobbes -- Spinoza -- Leibniz -- Locke -- Berkeley -- Hume -- Kant -- Post-kantian British and continental philosophy -- The nineteenth century -- Hegel -- Schopenhauer -- Kierkegaard -- Marx -- Nietzsche -- Utilitarianism -- Bentham -- Frege -- Pragmatism, the analytic tradition, and the phenomenological tradition and its aftermath -- The twentieth century -- Pragmatism -- James -- Dewey -- The analytic tradition -- Moore -- Russell -- Logical positivism -- Wittgenstein -- Quine -- The phenomenological tradition and its aftermath -- Husserl -- Heidegger -- Sartre -- Structuralism and poststructuralism -- Saussure -- Lévi-Strauss -- Lacan -- Derrida -- Irigaray. (shrink)
Socrates is one of the most important yet enigmatic philosophers of all time; his fame has endured for centuries despite the fact that he never actually wrote anything. In 399 B.C.E., he was tried on the charge of impiety by the citizens of Athens, convicted by a jury, and sentenced to death (ordered to drink poison derived from hemlock). About these facts there is no disagreement. However, as the sources collected in this book and the scholarly essays that follow them (...) show, several of even the most basic facts about these events were controversial in antiquity, and the questions persist today: How and why was Socrates brought to trial? Why did the jurors, members of the world's first democracy, find him guilty? When he was given an opportunity to escape execution, why did he refuse to do so and instead accept the punishment that he and his friends agreed was unjustly assigned to him? How exactly did Socrates die? Differences of opinion on these and other issues continue to arouse our curiosity and to challenge new generations of students and scholars. The Trial and Execution of Socrates: Sources and Controversies is the first work to collect in one place all of the major ancient sources on Socrates' death--those of both his critics and his defenders--as well as recent scholarly views. Part I includes new translations of Plato's Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, and the death scene from Phaedo, as well as other ancient sources that shed light on Socrates' trial and execution. Part II features some of the most influential recent scholarship on this historically momentous event with work by M. F. Burnyeat, Robert Parker, Mark L. McPherran, Thomas C. Brickhouse and Nicholas D. Smith, Richard Kraut, Christopher Gill, and Enid Bloch (whose essay is published here for the first time). Ideal for undergraduate surveys of ancient Greek philosophy and upper-level courses on Socrates and Socratic philosophy, this unique collection provides an unprecedented look into the many perplexing questions surrounding the trial and execution of this remarkable man. (shrink)
This new edition is eminently suitable for readers new to Plato, offering a readable translation which is accessible without the aid of a commentary andassumes no prior knowledge of the ancient Greek world or language.
Discovered one hundred years ago, Aristotle's Athenaion Politeia is invaluable to contemporary understanding of Athenian democracy. As a historical record, however, it has been found to be so unreliable that some have questioned its true authorship, and it has remained largely ignored by those studying philosophy and literature. Keaney uses a literary approach to reassert Aristotle's authorship and to present the Athenaion Politeia as a document that defies the constraints of any particular genre--probably never intended to be a piece of (...) historical writing. He goes beyond the traditional approach of historical analysis to consider the work as characteristic of a new and innovative genre created by Aristotle, that of empirically-based cultural history. (shrink)
The last two decades have witnessed a virtual explosion of research in Socratic <span class='Hi'>philosophy</span>. This volume collects essays that represent the range and diversity of that vast literature, including historical and philosophical essays devoted to a single Platonic dialogue, as well as essays devoted to the Socratic method, Socratic epistemology, and Socratic ethics. With lists of suggested further readings, an extensive bibliography on recent Socratic research, and an index locorum, this unique and much-needed anthology makes the study of Socratic (...) <span class='Hi'>philosophy</span> accessible to both scholars and non-specialists. (shrink)
Arthur W. H. Adkins's writings have sparked debates among a wide range of scholars over the nature of ancient Greek ethics and its relevance to modern times. Demonstrating the breadth of his influence, the essays in this volume reveal how leading classicists, philosophers, legal theorists, and scholars of religion have incorporated Adkins's thought into their own diverse research. The timely subjects addressed by the contributors include the relation between literature and moral understanding, moral and nonmoral values, and the contemporary meaning (...) of ancient Greek ethics. The volume also includes an essay from the late Adkins himself illustrating his methodology in an analysis of the "Speech of Lysias" in Plato's Phaedrus . The Greeks and Us will interest all those concerned with how ancient moral values do or do not differ from our own. Contributors include Arthur W. H. Adkins, Stephanie Nelson, Martha C. Nussbaum, Paul Schollmeier, James Boyd White, Bernard Williams, and Lee Yearley. Commentaries by Wendy Doniger, Charles M. Gray, David Grene, Robert B. Louden, Richard Posner, and Candace Vogler. (shrink)
Introduction -- Stoic ethics and rhetoric -- Eighteenth-century common sense and sensus communis -- Taste and sensus communis -- Propriety, sympathy, and style fusing individual and social -- Victorian language theories and the decline of sensus communis.
Fascinating illustrations contribute to this illuminating and award-winning account of how and why philosophy emerged and make it a must-read for any inquisitive thinker unsatisfied with prevailing assumptions on this timely and highly relevant subject._ By taking the reader back to the Greek colonies of Southern Italy more than 500 years B.C., the author, with unparalleled insight, tells the story of the Pythagorean quest for otherwordly konwledge -- a tale of cultism, political conspiracies, and bloody uprisings that eventually culminate in (...) tragic failure. The emerging hero is Parmenides, who introduces for the first time a technique for testing the truth of a statement that was not based on physical evidence or mortal sense-perception, but instead relied exclusively on the faculty we humans share with the gods: the ability to reason. "Figures from Anaximander to Zeno, the ruins where they lived and thought, and the paradoxes and thought-experiments they proposed are depicted among the [many] well-chosen color illustrations. The results read like an introductory textbook, but one that has been lovingly written, lavishly laid-out and crisply printed-- making it engaging enough to draw in readers to whom it has not been assigned." - _ Publishers Weekly___ "_To Think Like God_ is a highly ambitious book... Hermann's approach deserves to be taken seriously as an alternative to standard interpretations." - _ Richard D. McKirahan, Jr., Edwin Clarence Norton Professor of Classics and Professor of Philosophy, Pomona College___ "Arnold Hermann brings fresh life into the specialists' debates... a blow of wind that dissipates much fog." - _ Walter Burkert, Professor Emeritus of Classical Philology, University of Zurich___ ARNOLD HERMANN_ is pursuing independent research on the origins of philosophy and methods of thinking. He specialices on subjects connected with Parmenides and Plato's _Parmenides._. (shrink)
This interpretive introduction provides unique insight into Plato's Republic. Stressing Plato's desire to stimulate philosophical thinking in his readers, Julia Annas here demonstrates the coherence of his main moral argument on the nature of justice, and expounds related concepts of education, human motivation, knowledge and understanding. In a clear systematic fashion, this book shows that modern moral philosophy still has much to learn from Plato's attempt to move the focus from questions of what acts the just person ought to perform (...) to the more profound questions of what sort of person the just person ought to be. (shrink)
Gender and Rhetoric in the Politics of Plato explores the relation between Plato's Republic and Laws on the set of issues that the Laws itself marks out as fundamental to the comparison: the unity of the virtues, the role of women, and the place of the family. Plato aims to persuade men to abandon the view of the good life that Greek cities and their laws inculcate as the only life worth living for those who would be real men and (...) not effeminate weaklings. What we can learn about Plato is the importance for him of understanding the nature of persuasion in order to come to terms with gender justice and the apparent plurality of human goods. What we learn from Plato is that to tackle the issues that arise in our new political community of men and women we must comprehend the proper bases and limits of persuasion. (shrink)
Political Thinkers is an authoritative introduction to the entire history of Western political thought. Carefully edited by two of the leading scholars in the field, it features specially commissioned chapters by an impressive line-up of internationally renowned scholars from around the world. This book provides an overview of the canon of great political theorists--from Socrates and the Sophists to such contemporary thinkers as Habermas and Foucault. Each contributor critically discusses the ideas and significance of each thinker and gives a summary (...) of the best contemporary scholarship in the area. (shrink)
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)
Plato is the most important philosopher in the history of Western philosophy. This guidebook introduces and examines his three dialogues that deal with the death of Socrates: Euthphryo , Apology and Crito . These dialogues are widely regarded as the closest exposition of Socrates' ideas. Plato and the Trial of Socrates introduces and assesses: * Plato's life and the background to the three dialogues * The ideas and text in the three dialogues * Plato's continuing importance to philosophy Plato and (...) the Trial of Socrates will be ideal for anyone coming to Plato or the three dialogues for the first time. (shrink)
A study of Pyrrhonean skepticism, this book includes a new translation of Sextus Empiricus's Outlines of Pyrrhonism, accompanied by an analytic introduction and an in-depth, section-by-section commentary. It presents Pyrrhonism as a marked influence on the philosophical theories of Montaigne, Gassendi, Descartes, Bayle and other major thinkers, and discusses specific features of this form of skepticism which make it immune to many of the standard criticisms.
Opening an entirely new dimension of Platonic studies, this volume addresses major themes: the nature of law, property, and acquisitiveness; Socrates' famous "demonic voice"; the poetic claim to inspiration; and the psychology of the ...
In the works of Sextus Empiricus, scepticism is presented in its most elaborate and challenging form. This book investigates - both from an exegetical and from a philosophical point of view - the chief argumentative forms which ancient scepticism developed. Thus the particular focus is on the Agrippan aspect of Sextus' Pyrrhonism. Barnes gives a lucid explanation and analysis of these arguments, both individually and as constituent parts of a sceptical system. For, taken together, these forms amount to a formidable (...) and systematic challenge to any claim to knowledge or rational belief. The challenge had a great influence on the history of philosophy. And it has never been met. This study reflects the growing interest in ancient scepticism. Quotations from the ancient sources are all translated and Greek terms are explained. Notes on the ancient authors give a brief guide to the sources, both familiar and unfamiliar. (shrink)
Originally published by the Center for Hellenic Studies, this book investigates the extent to which the Presocratics were hamstrung by their lack of detailed conceptual framework in the case of the words "one" and "many." This investigation is based on Aristotle's analyses.