The Parmenides is notorious for the criticisms it directs against Plato's own Theory of Forms, as presented in the middle period. But the second and major portion of the dialogue has generally been avoided, despite its being offered as Plato's response to the problems; the text seems intractably obscure, appearing to consist of a series of bad arguments leading to contradictory conclusions. Carefully analyzing these arguments and the methodological remarks which precede them, Meinwald shows that to understand Plato's response we (...) need to recognize his important distinction between two kinds of predication. Read in the light of this distinction, the arguments can be seen to be sound, and the contradictions merely apparent. Meinwald then proceeds to demonstrate the direct application of Plato's crucial innovation in solving the problems of the first part of the dialogue, including the infamous Third Man. On Meinwald's interpretation, the new distinction is associated with developments in metaphysics which take Plato well beyond the problems commonly thought to tell against Platonism. (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)
This valuable work of reference provides a comprehensive bibliography on all scholarly work that was published on Plato and Socrates during the years 1958-73. It thus forms an important addition to Harold Cherniss’s bibliography, which covered the years 1950-7. The author has sought to include all materials primarily concerned with Socrates and Plato, together with other works which make a contribution to our understanding of the two philosophers. The bibliography is arranged by topic and there are cross-references at the end (...) of each section. The works in each category are arranged chronologically and then alphabetically (by author) within each year. An effort has been made to distinguish when a book has had more than one edition and when an article has been reprinted. Additionally the author has listed reviews of books and dissertations as these have come to his attention. (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)
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)
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.
Aristotle's teaching on the subject of happiness has been a topic of intense philosophical debate in recent years; it is of vital importance to the question of the relevance of his ethics in the present day. Aristotle's admirers struggle to read a comprehensive account of the supreme happiness into the Nicomachean Ethics; Kenny argues that those who are prepared to take the neglected Eudemian Ethics seriously preserve their admiration intact without doing violence to any of the relevant texts of the (...) Nicomachean Ethics. Kenny has refined his position on the relation between the two works, offering a fresh examination and interpretation of the Eudemian Ethics on the basis of the 1991 Oxford Classical Text. He combines scholarly discussion of the Greek texts with reflection of the topics covered by Aristotle, taking account of post-Aristotelian treatments of themes such as moral vocation and moral luck. (shrink)
In this fascinating introduction, David Bostock presents a fresh perspective on one of the great classics of moral philosophy: Aristotle's Nicomachaen Ethics. He argues that it is, and deserves to be, Aristotle's most widely studied work, for much of what it has to say is still important for today's debate on the problems of ethics. Here, Bostock guides the reader through explanations and evaluations of all the main themes of the work, exploring questions of interpretation and the differing views of (...) a range of commentators. He also emphasizes the philosophical merits and faults of the doctrines that emerge, critically discussing them in a simple, straightforward way. Each chapter concludes with suggestions for further reading on the themes discussed within the chapter, and the book finishes with an evaluation of the Ethics as a whole. The ideal companion for study of Aristotle's great insights, this book helps the reader to engage with his ideas and arguments as living philosophy. (shrink)
A Companion to Ancient Philosophy provides a comprehensive and current overview of the history of ancient Greek and Roman philosophy from its origins until late antiquity. Comprises an extensive collection of original essays, featuring contributions from both rising stars and senior scholars of ancient philosophy Integrates analytic and continental traditions Explores the development of various disciplines, such as mathematics, logic, grammar, physics, and medicine, in relation to ancient philosophy Includes an illuminating introduction, bibliography, chronology, maps and an index.
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 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.
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)
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.
Why is ethics part of philosophy? Stephen Darwall's Philosophical Ethics introduces students to ethics from a distinctively philosophical perspective, one that weaves together central ethical questions such as "What has value?" and "What are our moral obligations?" with fundamental philosophical issues such as "What is value?" and "What can a moral obligation consist in?"With one eye on contemporary discussions and another on classical texts,Philosophical Ethics shows how Hobbes, Mill, Kant, Aristotle, and Nietzsche all did ethical philosophy how, for example, they (...) sought to gain insight into what has value through understanding what value itself is. After an introductory section, and one on main approaches to metaethics, chapters discuss "modern" philosophical moralists Hobbes, Mill, and Kant and pre- and postmodern philosophical approaches to ethics in Aristotle, Nietzsche, and the ethics of care. Throughout, the reader is invited to do rather than just read about philosophical ethics and, in doing so, to think through questions that face all thoughtful human beings. Themes include the nature of value and moral obligation, freedom and choice, human flourishing, excellence and merit, radical critiques of morality, and the importance of relationships for human life. (shrink)
Hughes explains the key elements in Aristotle's Nichomachaean Ethics terminology and highlights the controversy regarding the interpretations of his writings. He carefully explores each section of the text, and presents a detailed account of the problems Aristotle was trying to address. Hughes also examines the role that Aristotle's ethics continue to play in contemporary moral philosophy by comparing and contrasting his views with those widely held today.
This book develops novel accounts of many of the most controversial topics in the philosophy of Socrates. The authors first develop Socrates' methodological, epistemological, and psychological views before examining his ethical, political, and religious convictions. The results reveals both the richness and the remarkable coherence of the philosophy of Plato's Socrates.
In this 2009 book Sylvia Berryman challenges that assumption, arguing that the idea that the world works 'like a machine' can be found in ancient Greek thought, predating the early modern philosophy with which it is most closely associated.
The doctrines of the Hellenistic Schools - Epicureans, Stoics, and Sceptics - are known to have had a formative influence on later thought, but because the primary sources are lost, they have to be reconstructed from later reports. This important collection of essays by one of the foremost interpreters of Hellenistic philosophy focuses on key questions in epistemology and ethics debated by Greek and Roman philosophers of the Hellenistic period. There is currently a new awareness of the great interest and (...) influence of Hellenistic philosophy. In bringing together a major collection of scholarly and interpretative studies by a leading figure in the field, this volume is a boon to philosophers and classicists who work on the Hellenistic period, but also to students keen to enrich their understanding of the history of epistemology and ethics. (shrink)
Among Plato's works, the Statesman is usually seen as transitional between the Republic and the Laws. This book argues that the dialogue deserves a special place of its own. Whereas Plato is usually thought of as defending unchanging knowledge, Dr Lane demonstrates for the first time how, by placing change at the heart of political affairs, Plato reconceives the link between knowledge and authority. The statesman is shown to master the timing of affairs of state, and to use this expertise (...) in managing the conflict of opposed civic factions. To this political argument corresponds a methodological approach which is seen to rely not only on the familiar method of 'division', but equally on the unfamiliar centrality of the use of 'example'. The demonstration that method and politics are interrelated transforms our understanding of the Statesman and its fellow dialogues. (shrink)
lecture 1. The world of the Greco-Roman moralists -- lecture 2. How empire changed philosophy -- lecture 3. The great schools and their battles -- lecture 4. Dominant themes and metaphors -- lecture 5. The ideal philosopher, a composite portrait -- lecture 6. The charlatan, philosophy betrayed -- lecture 7. Philosophy satirized, the comic Lucian -- lecture 8. Cicero, the philosopher as politician -- lecture 9. Seneca, philosopher as court advisor -- lecture 10. Good Roman advice, Cicero and Seneca -- (...) lecture 11. Musonius Rufus, the Roman Socrates -- lecture 12. Dio Chrysostom, the wandering rhetorician -- lecture 13. Dio Chrysostom, preaching peace and piety -- lecture 14. Epictetus, philosopher as school teacher -- lecture 15. Epictetus, the stoic path to virtue -- lecture 16. Epictetus, the messenger of Zeus -- lecture 17. Marcus Aurelius, meditations of the king -- lecture 18. Jews thinking like Greeks -- lecture 19. Philo, Judaism as Greek philosophy -- lecture 20. Plutarch, biography as moral instruction -- lecture 21. Plutarch and philosophical religion -- lecture 22. Plutarch on virtue and educating children -- lecture 23. Plutarch, envy, anger, and talking too much -- lecture 24. The missing page in philosophy's story. (shrink)
The Greek State.--The Greek woman.--On music and words.--Homer's contest.--The relation of Schopenhauer's philosophy to a German culture.--Philosophy during the tragic age of the Greeks.--On truth and falsity in their ultramoral sense.
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)