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.
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)
A full account of the philosophy of the Greek and Roman worlds from the last days of Aristotle until 100 BC. Hellenistic philosophy, for long relatively neglected and unappreciated, has over the last decade been the object of a considerable amount of scholarly attention. Now available in paperback, this 1999 volume is a general reference work which pulls the subject together and presents an overview. The History is organised by subject, rather than chronologically or by philosophical school, with sections on (...) logic, epistemology, physics and metaphysics, ethics and politics. It has been written by specialists but is intended to be a source of reference for any student of ancient philosophy, for students of classical antiquity and for students of the philosophy of later periods. Greek and Latin are used sparingly and always translated in the main text. (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.
The Cambridge Histories of philosophy, extending from Thales to the seventeenth century, are not a formal series. Nevertheless, they have a distinctive character: authoritative accounts that combine general coverage of a period with the individual contributions of their authors and indicate scholarly controversies. This volume is a worthy continuation of the tradition.
This book, first published in 2000, is a general and comprehensive treatment of the political thought of ancient Greece and Rome. It begins with Homer and ends in late antiquity with Christian and pagan reflections on divine and human order. In between come studies of Plato, Aristotle and a host of other major and minor thinkers - poets, historians, philosophers - whose individuality is brought out by extensive quotation. The international team of distinguished scholars assembled by the editors includes historians (...) of law, politics, culture and religion, and also philosophers. Some chapters focus mostly on the ancient context of the ideas they are examining, while others explore these ideas as systems of thought which resonate with modern or perennial concerns. This clearly written volume will long remain an accessible and authoritative guide to Greek and Roman thinking about government and community. (shrink)
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 look at the bases of (...) the Stoics' and Epicureans' thinking about what the Greeks took to be the central questions of philosophy. Their essays, which originated in a conference held at Bad Homburg in 1983, the third in a series of conferences on Hellenistic philosophy, propose important interpretations of the texts, and pose some fascinating problems about the different roles of argument and reason in ancient and modern moral philosophy. This book will be of interest to moral philosophers and to scholars of Greek philosophy too. (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)
I should say a preliminary word about the method I am adopting in this article, mainly to point out that there is nothing whatever remarkable about it. I take myself to be approaching the Politics in accordance with the interpretative canons standard in mainstream historical and Aristotelian scholarship. Compare the study of Aristotle's metaphysics. Everyone would grant that before we start considering whether hule or indeed any other Aristotelian concept anticipates or maps onto some modern notion of matter in any (...) interesting or important way, it is imperative to acquire a full understanding of the way the idea functions within the whole matrix of concepts, analyses, and theses which make up Aristotle's physics and metaphysics. I am simply pursuing the same method with respect to that matrix of concepts in Aristotle's political philosophy within which Miller hopes to locate an anticipation of the idea of rights. My references to the work of John Pocock in section V have suggested to some readers that I am espousing a form of historical or cultural or Kuhnian relativism which rules Miller's project out of court ab initio. The only form of relativism to which I think this essay commits me is the methodological relativism that I have just described. (shrink)
This article traces the circumstances, which led to Plato becoming a great philosopher. Gradual unraveling of the article brings out more of young Plato and how he became a part of Socrates' circle. Doing philosophy meant trying to understand how to live the life of a just person: getting rid of illusions about what we know or what we think we want, and coming to see what living well really consists of. That is the manifesto Socrates enunciates in his speech (...) to the jurors in the Apology. That is the theme Plato makes him elaborate and defends on a massive scale in the Republic, the longest and most complex of all his works. Fundamental in what he took from Socrates is the idea that philosophy is an inquiry, and inquiry best pursued in conversation with someone else. (shrink)
This book presents an up-to-date overview of the main new directions taken by ancient philosophy in the first century BC, a period in which the dominance exercised in the Hellenistic age by Stoicism, Epicureanism and Academic Scepticism gave way to a more diverse and experimental philosophical scene. Its development has been much less well understood, but here a strong international team of leading scholars of the subject reconstruct key features of the changed environment. They examine afresh the evidence for some (...) of the central Greek thinkers of the period, as well as illuminating Cicero's engagement with Plato both as translator and in his own philosophising. The intensity of renewed study of Aristotle's Categories and Plato's Timaeus is an especially striking outcome of their discussions. The volume will be indispensable for scholars and students interested in the history of Platonism and Aristotelianism. (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)
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)
It is arguable that the student of the deductions which make up the second part of Plato's Parmenides is today better placed than any of his predecessors, save Aristotle, Speusippus, and other immediate associates of Plato, to understand and evaluate those forbidding pages. Ways of looking at and handling the matter of the text are available to him which were not open to those who lived before the rise of critical philological scholarship in Europe in the last century, and of (...) analytical philosophy in the English-speaking world in this. He has to hand, too, some pioneering work on the dialogue of recent date. (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.