The Stoic Idea of the City offers the first systematic analysis of the Stoic school, concentrating on Zeno's Republic . Renowned classical scholar Malcolm Schofield brings together scattered and underused textual evidence, examining the Stoic ideals that initiated the natural law tradition of Western political thought. A new foreword by Martha Nussbaum and a new epilogue written by the author further secure this text as the standard work on Presocratic Stoics. "The account emerges from a jigsaw-puzzle of items from a (...) wide range of authorities, painstakingly pieced together and then annotated in a series of appendixes, the whole executed with fine scholarship, clarity, and good humor."-- Times Literary Supplement. (shrink)
Beginning with a long and extensively rewritten introduction surveying the predecessors of the Presocratics, this book traces the intellectual revolution initiated by Thales in the sixth century B.C. to its culmination in the metaphysics of Parmenides and the complex physical theories of Anaxagoras and the Atomists in the fifth century it is based on a selection of some six hundred texts, in Greek and a close English translation which in this edition is given more prominence. These provide the basis for (...) a detailed critical study of the principal individual thinkers of the time. Besides serving as an essential text for undergraduate and graduate courses in Greek philosophy and in the history of science, this book will appeal to a wide range of readers with interests in philosophy, theology, the history of ideas and of the ancient world, and indeed to anyone who wants an authoritative account of the Presocratics. (shrink)
Saving the City provides a detailed analysis of the attempts of ancient writers and thinkers, from Homer to Cicero, to construct and recommend political ideals of statesmanship and ruling, of the political community and of how it should be founded in justice. Also, Malcolm Schofield debates to what extent the Greeks and Romans deal with the same issues as modern political thinkers.
Can moral philosophy alter our moral beliefs or our emotions? Does moral scepticism mean making up our own values, or does it leave us without moral commitments at all? Is it possible to find a basis for ethics in human nature? These are some of the main questions explored in this volume, which is devoted to the ethics of the Hellenistic schools of philosophy. Some of the leading scholars in the field have here taken a fresh look at the bases (...) of the Stoics' and Epicureans' thinking about what the Greeks took to be the central questions of philosophy. (shrink)
Barker influentially posited a development from an absolutist Republic hostile to the idea of the rule of law, through an absolutist Statesman which now engages more seriously and to a degree sympathetically with the idea, to a Laws in which the rule of law displaces the earlier absolutism. This paper demonstrates that Barker's construction is unsustainable. The Republic presents a political philosophy much more like the Laws than the absolutism of the Statesman. There is a lot of law and lawgiving (...) in the dialogue, and no more absolutism than in the Laws itself. (shrink)
Plato is the best known and most widely studied of all the ancient Greek philosophers. Malcolm Schofield, a leading scholar of ancient philosophy, offers a lucid and accessible guide to Plato's political thought, enormously influential and much discussed in the modern world as well as the ancient. Schofield discusses Plato's ideas on education, democracy and its shortcomings, the role of knowledge in government, utopia and the idea of community, money and its grip on the psyche, and ideological uses of religion.
In Aristotle's view, Anaxagoras stood out from the other Presocratics as a sober man among the incoherent. This book explores the fragmentary evidence both for Anaxagoras' concept of mind - to which Aristotle was particularly referring - and for his subtle, complex and elusive theory of matter and change. It is concerned with two aspects of his writing in particular: its comparatively high ratio of dogmatic assertion to argument, and a pervasive ambiguity or indeterminacy in the presentation of Anaxagoras' philosophical (...) theses. The problems posed by Anaxagoras' work are examined not only by means of philosophical comparison with what survives of other Presocratics, but in the light of the development of the prose book as a vehicle for the communication of ideas in early Greece. A book for the scholar of ancient philosophy. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that the stretch of dialogue from 385 b 2–d 1 in the Cratylus does not belong where it is found in the MSS. , but fits rather between 387 c 5 and 387 c 6. I suggest further that at any rate my negative thesis receives some measure of support from the fragments of Proclus' commentary on the dialogue.
This paper is a piece of detective work. Starting from an obvious excrescence in the transmitted text of Simplicius's treatment of the foundations of Presocratic atomism near the beginning of his "Physics" commentary, it excavates a Theophrastean correction to Aristotle's tendency to lump Leucippus and Democritus together: Theophrastus made application of the οὐ μ[unrepresentable symbol]λλον principle in the sphere of ontology an innovation by Democritus. Along the way it shows Simplicius reordering his Theophrastean source in his efforts to find material (...) which will strengthen the contrast between Leucippus's atomism and Eleatic metaphysics. And it argues that in doing so he all but obliterates Theophrastus's attempt to point up the Democritean credentials of the οὐ μ[unrepresentable symbol]λλον principle. (shrink)
The word euboulia, which means excellence in counsel or sound judgement, occurs in only three places in the authentic writings of Plato. The sophist Protagoras makes euboulia the focus of his whole enterprise : What I teach a person is good judgement about his own affairs — how best he may manage his own household; and about the affairs of the city — how he may be most able to handle the business of the city both in action and in (...) speech. Thrasymachus, too, thinks well of euboulia. Invited by Socrates to call injustice kakoetheia ’, i.e. as simple-mindedness), he declines the sophistry and says : ‘No, I call it good judgement’. But Plato finds little occasion to introduce the concept in developing his own ethical and political philosophy. The one place where he mentions euboulia is in his defence of the thesis that his ideal city possesses the four cardinal virtues. He begins with wisdom, and justifies the ascription of wisdom to the city on the ground that it has euboulia — which he goes on to identify with the knowledge required by the guardians: ‘with this a person does not deliberate on behalf of any of the elements in the city, but for the whole city itself — how it may best have dealings with itself and with the other cities’ . It is normally rather dangerous to draw an inference from the absence or rarity of a word to the absence or rarity of the idea expressed by the word. (shrink)