Plato's Cretan City is a thorough investigation into the roots of Plato's Laws and a compelling explication of his ideas on legislation and social institutions. A dialogue among three travelers, the Laws proposes a detailed plan for administering a new colony on the island of Crete. In examining this dialogue, Glenn Morrow describes the contemporary Greek institutions in Athens, Crete, and Sparta on which Plato based his model city, and explores the philosopher's proposed regulations concerning property, the family, government, and (...) the administration of justice, education, and religion. He approaches the Laws as both a living document of reform and a philosophical inquiry into humankind's highest earthly duty. (shrink)
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.
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)
This comprehensive, historically organized introduction to philosophy communicates the richness of the discipline and provides the student with a working knowledge of the development of Western philosophy. New co-author James Fieser has brought this classic text up-to-date both chronologically and stylistically while preserving the thoughtful, conceptual characteristics that have made it so successful. The text covers all periods of philosophy, lists philosophers alphabetically and chronologically on the end-papers, and features an exceptional glossary of key concepts.
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)
In this study, George Rudebusch addresses whether Socrates was a hedonist--whether he believed pleasure to be the good. In attempting to locate Socrates' position on hedonism, Rudebusch examines the passages in Plato's early dialogues that are the most disputed on the topic. He maintains that Socrates identifies pleasant activity with virtuous activity, describing Socrates' hedonism as one of activity, not sensation. This analysis allows for Socrates to find both virtue and pleasure to be the good, thus solving the textual puzzle (...) and showing the power of Socratic argument in leading human beings toward the good. (shrink)
The material elements of writing have long been undervalued, and have been dismissed by recent historicising trends of criticism; but analysis of these elements - sound, signature, letters - can transform our understanding of literary texts. In this book Tom Cohen shows how, in an era of representational criticism and cultural studies, the role of close reading has been overlooked. Arguing that much recent criticism has been caught in potentially regressive models of representation, Professor Cohen undertakes to counter this by (...) rethinking the 'materiality' of the text itself. Through a series of revealing new readings of the work of writers including Plato, Bakhtin, Poe, Whitman and Conrad, Professor Cohen exposes the limitations of new historicism and neo-pragmatism, and demonstrates how 'the materiality of language' operates to undo the representational models of meaning imposed by the literary canon. (shrink)
This book investigates the link Kant discerned between our experience of beauty and our experience of the moral law. By examining Kant's relation to Greek philosophy, to Plato and Pythagoras, as found in Kant's own writings, the author sheds new light on one the most intriguing and mysterious doctrines of Kant's third Critique.
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)
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.
A great thinker once said that "all philosophy is merely footnotes to Plato."Through Plato, Father O'Connell provides us here with an introduction to all philosophy. Designed for beginning students in philosophy, Plato on the Human Paradox examines and confronts human nature and the eternal questions concerning human nature through the dialogues of Plato, focusing on the Apology, Phaedo, Books III-VI of the Republic, Meno, Symposium, and O'Connell presents us here with an introduction to Plato through the philosopher's quest to define (...) "human excellence" or arete in terms of defining what "human being" is body and soul, focusing on Plato's preoccupations with the questions of how and what it means to have a "good life" in relation to or as opposed to a "moral life.". (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.
Greek ways of thinking -- Matter and form: (ionians and pythagoreans) -- The problem of motion: (Heraclitus, Parmenides and the pluralists) -- The reaction towards humanism: (the Sophists and Socrates) -- Plato (I): the doctrine of ideas -- Plato (II): ethical and theological answers to the sophists -- Aristotle (I): the aristotelian universe -- Aristotle (II): human beings.
Intended for general readers, The Illustrated To Think Like God explores how philosophy became a speculative science, tracing its origins to the Greek colonies of southern Italy, from the late sixth century to the mid-fifth century BCE. In this lavishly illustrated full-color work, Arnold Hermann tells the story of the sage Pythagoras, the poet Xenophanes, and the lawmaker Parmenides, describing how each in his own way believed that true insight belonged only to the gods. With a sympathetic and critical eye, (...) Hermann investigates how the Pythagoreans tried to discover otherworldly knowledge by studying numerical relationships, believing that these govern the universe. He shows that the difficulties of their quest were further aggravated by cultism, political conspiracies, and bloody uprisings. Numbers were not the key to the divine that everyone had hoped for. The real challenge, Hermann argues, came from Xenophanes, who argued that divine or absolute truth was beyond the reach of mortals. Even if a human being should happen to state exactly what was the case, he had no reliable way of knowing that he did. Hermann convinces readers that this dilemma certainly would have concerned a legislative mind like that of Parmenides, and he examines how Parmenides introduced techniques for testing the truth of statements. Parmenides�2 unparalleled approach was not based on physical evidence of the experience of our five senses. Instead, they relied on the faculty we humans share with the gods--our ability to reason. Handsome illustrations, created by the same designers responsible for Stephen Hawking�2s Universe in a Nutshell, accompany Hermann�2s text, illuminating and expanding its complex ideas. Incisive, thought-provoking, and certain to engage the intellectually curious, The Illustrated To Think Like God reveals Parmenides to be the true father of theoretical science. As the philosopher who taught us that truth is not about claims but about proof, Parmenides ironically gave birth to the discipline in the process of trying to plumb the depths of the mind of god. "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. �5lovingly written, lavishly laid-out�5making it engaging enough to draw in readers to whom it has not been assigned." - Publisher's 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. (shrink)
The last two decades have witnessed a virtual explosion of research in Socratic philosophy. 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 philosophy (...) accessible to both scholars and non-specialists. (shrink)
This collection of essays provides a sophisticated and accessible introduction to the moral theories of the ancient world. It covers the ethical theories of all the major philosophers and schools from the earliest times to the Hellenistic philosophers. A substantial introduction considers the question of what is distinctive about ancient ethics.
A study of Hippolytus of Rome and his treatment of Presocratic Philosophy, used as a case study to argue against the use of collections of fragments and in favour of the idea of reading "embedded texts" with attention to the interpretation and interests of the quoting author. A study of methodology in early Greek Philosophy. Includes novel interpretations of Heraclitus and Empedocles, and an argument for the unity of Empedocles's poem.
This posthumous book represents the first publication of one of the seminars of Cornelius Castoriadis, a renowned and influential figure in twentieth-century thought. A close reading of Plato’s Statesman, it is an exemplary instance of Castoriadis’s pragmatic, pertinent, and discriminating approach to thinking and reading a great work: “I mean really reading it, by respecting it without respecting it, by going into the recesses and details without having decided in advance that everything it contains is coherent, homogeneous, makes sense, and (...) is true.” Castoriadis brings out what he calls The Statesman’s “quirky structure,” with its three digressions, its eight incidental points, and its two definitions, neither of which is deemed good. He does not hesitate to differ with the text, to show that what is, in appearance, secondary is really essential, and that the denunciation of the Sophists accommodates itself quite well to the use of sophistical procedures. Castoriadis shows how The Statesman takes us into the heart of what is distinctive in the late Plato: blending, acceptance of the mixed, of the intermediate. These transcriptions of Cornelius’s afford the reader an opportunity to discover his trenchant, convincing, energetic, provocative, and often droll voice. Here is a hitherto unknown Castoriadis, who reflects as he speaks, collects himself, corrects himself, and doesn’t hesitate to revisit key points. In short, this is Castoriadis’s thinking in action. (shrink)
The word myth is commonly thought to mean a fictional story, but few know that Plato was the first to use the term muthos in that sense. He also used muthos to describe the practice of making and telling stories, the oral transmission of all that a community keeps in its collective memory. In the first part of Plato the Myth Maker , Luc Brisson reconstructs Plato's multifaceted description of muthos in light of the latter's Atlantis story. The second part (...) of the book contrasts this sense of myth with another form of speech that Plato believed was far superior: the logos of philosophy. Gerard Naddaf's substantial introduction shows the originality and importance both of Brisson's method and of Plato's analysis and places it in the context of contemporary debates over the origin and evolution of the oral tradition. "[Brisson] contrasts muthos with the logos found at the heart of the philosophical reading. [He] does an excellent job of analyzing Plato's use of the two speech forms, and the translator's introduction does considerable service in setting the tone."-- Library Journal. (shrink)