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)
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)
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)
The third volume of Professor Guthrie's great history of Greek thought, entitled The Fifth-Century Enlightenment, deals in two parts with the Sophists and Socrates, the key figures in the dramatic and fundamental shift of philosophical interest from the physical universe to man. Each of these parts is now available as a paperback with the text, bibliography and indexes amended where necessary so that each part is self-contained. The Sophists assesses the contribution of individuals like Protagoras, Gorgias and Hippias to the (...) extraordinary intellectual and moral fermant in fifth-century Athens. They questioned the bases of morality, religion and organized society itself and the nature of knowledge and language; they initiated a whole series of important and continuing debates, and they provoked Socrates and Plato to a major restatement and defence of traditional values. (shrink)
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.
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)
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)
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)
Aristotle is widely regarded as the greatest of all philosophers; indeed, he is traditionally referred to simply as `the philosopher'. Today, after more than two millennia, his arguments and ideas continue to stimulate philosophers and provoke them to controversy. In this book J.L. Ackrill conveys the force and excitement of Aristotle's philosophical investigations, thereby showing why contemporary philosophers still draw from him and return to him. He quotes extensively from Aristotle's works in his own notably clear English translation, and a (...) picture emerges of a lucid, lively, subtle and tough-minded thinker of astonishing range and penetration. Professor Ackrill identifies many striking connections between Aristotle's ideas and ideas in recent philosophy; he also raises philosophical questions of his own, and exemplifies the way in which Aristotle can still be argued with and learned from. (shrink)
Introduction -- Waking up -- Getting ready -- Travelling to work -- Being at work -- Going to the doctor -- Having lunch with your parents -- Bunking off -- Shopping -- Booking a holiday -- Going to the gym -- Taking a bath -- Reading a book -- Watching TV -- Cooking and eating dinner -- Going to a party -- Arguing with your partner -- Having sex -- Falling asleep and dreaming.
Each of the two major approaches to Aristotle--the unitarian, which understands his work as forming a single, unified system, and the developmentalist, which seeks a sequence of developing ideas--has inherent limitations. This book proposes a synthetic view of Aristotle that sees development as a change between systematic theories. Setting theories of the so-called logical works beside theories of the physical and metaphysical treatises, Graham shows that Aristotle's doctrines fall into two distinct systems of philosophies that are genetically related. This (...) study--the first major alternative to the unitarian approach since Jaeger pioneered the developmentalist method in 1923--provides a sweeping reappraisal of Aristotle's science and metaphysics and a new approach to the problem of substance presented in the Metaphysics. (shrink)
Covering over 1000 years of classical philosophy from Homer to Saint Augustine, this accessible, comprehensive study details the major philosophies and philosophers of the period--the Pre-Socratics, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Stoicism, Epicureanism, and Neoplatonism. Though the emphasis is on questions of philosophical interest, particularly ethics, the theory of knowledge, philosophy of mind, and philosophical theology, Irwin includes discussions of the literary and historical background to classical philosophy as well as the work of other important thinkers--Greek tragedians, historians, medical writers, and early (...) Christian writers. The most complete one-volume introduction to ancient philosophy available, the book will be an invaluable survey for students of philosophy and classics and general readers. (shrink)
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)
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)
Socrates, as he is portrayed in Plato's early dialogues, remains one of the most controversial figures in the history of philosophy. This book concerns six of the most vexing and often discussed features of Plato's portrayal: Socrates' methodology, epistemology, psychology, ethics, politics, and religion. Brickhouse and Smith cast new light on Plato's early dialogues by providing novel analyses of many of the doctrines and practices for which Socrates is best known. Included are discussions of Socrates' moral method, his profession of (...) ignorance, his denial of akrasia, as well as his views about the relationship between virtue and happiness, the authority of the State, and the epistemic status of his daimonion. By revealing the many interconnections among Socrates' views on a wide variety of topics, this book demonstrates both the richness and the remarkable coherence of the philosophy of Plato's Socrates. (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.
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)
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)
Philosophy is a dangerous profession, risking censorship, prison, even death. And no wonder: philosophers have questioned traditional pieties and threatened the established political order. Some claimed to know what was thought unknowable; others doubted what was believed to be certain. Some attacked religion in the name of science; others attacked science in the name of mystical poetry; some served tyrants; others were radical revolutionaries. This historically based collection of philosophers' reflections--the letters, journals, prefaces that reveal their hopes and hesitations, their (...) triumphs and struggles, their deepest doubts and convictions--allow us to witness philosophical thought-in-process. It sheds light on the many--and conflicting--aims of philosophy: to express skepticism or overcome it, to support theology or attack it, to develop an ethical system or reduce it to practical politics. As their audiences differed, philosophers experimented with distinctive rhetorical strategies, writing dialogues, meditations, treatises, aphorisms. Ranging from Plato to Hannah Arendt, with contributions from 44 philosophers (Augustine, Maimonides, AlGhazali, Descartes, Pascal, Leibniz, Voltaire, Rousseau, Hobbes, Hume, Kant, Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Wittgenstein, among others) this remarkable collection documents philosophers' claim that they change as well as understand the world. In her introductory essay, "Witnessing Philosophers," Amelie Rorty locates philosophers' reflections in the larger context of the many facets of their other activities and commitments. (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.
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.
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)
In The Crane's Walk, Jeremy Barris seeks to show that we can conceive and live with a pluralism of standpoints with conflicting standards for truth--with the truth of each being entirely unaffected by the truth of the others. He argues that Plato's work expresses this kind of pluralism, and that this pluralism is important in its own right, whether or not we agree about what Plato's standpoint is.The longest tradition of Plato scholarship identifies crucial faults in Plato's theory of Ideas. (...) Barris argues that Plato deliberately displayed those faults, because he wanted to demonstrate that basic kinds of error or illogic have dimensions that are crucial to the establishing of truth. These dimensions legitimate a paradoxical coordination of logically incompatible conceptions of truth. Connecting this idea with emerging currents of Plato scholarship, he emphasizes, in addition to the dialogues' arguments, the importance of their nonargumentative features, including drama, myths, fictions, anecdotes, and humor. These unanalyzed nonargumentative features function rigorously, as a lever with which to examine the enterprise of rational argument itself, without presupposing its standards or illegitimately assimilating any position to the standards of another.Today, communities are torn apart by conflicts within and between a host of different pluralist and absolutist commitments. The possibility developed in this book-a coordination of absolute and relative truth that allows an understanding of some relativist and some absolutist positions as being fully legitimate and as capable of existing in a relation to their opposites-may contribute to perspectives for resolving these conflicts. (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)
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 ...
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)