The trial of Socrates -- Socrates in court -- How the system worked -- The charge of impiety -- The war years -- Alcibiades, Socrates, and the aristocratic milieu -- Pestilence and war -- The rise and fall of Alcibiades -- The end of the war -- Critias and Civil War --- Crisis and conflict -- Symptoms of change -- Reactions to intellectuals -- The condemnation of Socrates -- Socratic politics -- A cock for Asclepius.
Aristotle said that philosophy begins with wonder, and the first Western philosophers developed theories of the world which express simultaneously their sense of wonder and their intuition that the world should be comprehensible. But their enterprise was by no means limited to this proto-scientific task. Through, for instance, Heraclitus' enigmatic sayings, the poetry of Parmenides and Empedocles, and Zeno's paradoxes, the Western world was introduced to metaphysics, rationalist theology, ethics, and logic, by thinkers who often seem to be mystics or (...) shamans as much as philosophers or scientists in the modern mould. And out of the Sophists' reflections on human beings and their place in the world arose and interest in language, and in political, moral, and social philosophy. This volume contains a translation of all the most important fragments of the Presocratics and Sophists, and of the most informative testimonia from ancient sources, supplemented by lucid commentary. (shrink)
The first philosophers paved the way for the work of Plato and Aristotle - and hence for the whole of Western thought. Aristotle said that philosophy begins with wonder, and the first Western philosophers developed theories of the world which express simultaneously their sense of wonder and their intuition that the world should be comprehensible. But their enterprise was by no means limited to this proto-scientific task. Through, for instance, Heraclitus' enigmatic sayings, the poetry of Parmenides and Empedocles, and Zeno's (...) paradoxes, the Western world was introduced to metaphysics, rationalist theology, ethics, and logic, by thinkers who often seem to be mystics or shamans as much as philosophers or scientists in the modern mould. And out of the Sophists' reflections on human beings and their place in the world arose and interest in language, and in political, moral, and social philosophy. This volume contains a translation of all the most important fragments of the Presocratics and Sophists, and of the most informative testimonia from ancient sources, supplemented by lucid commentary. (shrink)
For many centuries, Aristotle's Physics was the essential starting point for anyone who wished to study the natural sciences. This is the first complete translation since 1930 of Aristotle's key work on science. It presents Aristotle's thought accurately, while at the same time simplifying and expanding the often crabbed and elliptical style of the original, so that it is very much easier to read. A lucid introduction and extensive notes explain the general structure of each section of the book, and (...) shed light on particular problems. (shrink)
A best-seller in Europe following its original publication in 1993, this littel book takes on a big subject, offering enduring guidelines from the Greek philosopher Epicurus for achieving lasting happiness. In a letter to his friend Menoecceus, Epicurus gives sound advice on increasing life's pleasures, not through hedonistic pursuits, as commonly assumed, but through intelligence, morality, and decency. Based on a new translation of Epicurus to Menoecceus and complete with the original Greek text, Letter on Happiness expounds upon basic philosophical (...) inquiries concerning pleasure, longevity, death, and desire that are as relevant today as they were in ancient Greece, all in a compact, attractive package that makes a thoughtful gift for any occasion. (shrink)
The struggle which Plato has Socrates recommend to his interlocutors in Gorgias - and to his readers - is the struggle to overcome the temptations of worldly success and to concentrate on genuine morality. Ostensibly an enquiry into the value of rhetoric, the dialogue soon becomes an investigation into the value of these two contrasting ways of life. In a series of dazzling and bold arguments, Plato attempts to establish that only morality can bring a person true happiness, and to (...) demolish alternative viewpoints. It is not surprising that Gorgias is one of Plato's most widely read dialogues. Philosophers read it for its coverage of central moral issues; others enjoy its vividness, clarity and occasional bitter humour. This new translation is accompanied by explanatory notes and an informative introduction. (shrink)
In these four dialogues Plato considers virtue and its definition. Charmides, Laches, and Lysis investigate the specific virtues of self-control, courage, and friendship; the laterMeno discusses the concept of virtue as a whole, and whether it is something that can be taught.
Phaedrus is widely recognized as one of Plato's most profound and beautiful works. It takes the form of a dialogue between Socrates and Phaedrus and its ostensible subject is love, especially homoerotic love. This new translation is accompanied by an introduction and full notes that discuss the structure of the dialogue and elucidate issues that might puzzle the modern reader.
Plato of Athens is the first-ever biography of the world-famous philosopher. Born into a well-to-do family, he grew up in the increasing gloom of wartime Athens at the end of the fifth century BCE. Alongside a normal Athenian education, in his teens he honed his intellect by attending lectures by the many thinkers who passed through Athens, and toyed with the idea of writing poetry. He finally decided to go into politics, but became disillusioned, especially after the Athenians condemned his (...) teacher, Socrates, to death. Instead he turned to writing and teaching. In 383 he founded the Academy, the world's first higher-educational research and teaching establishment, But he also returned after a while to practical politics and spent a considerable amount of time trying to create a constitution for Syracuse in Sicily that would reflect his political ideals. The attempt failed, and Plato's disappointment can be traced in his later political works. (shrink)
The first English-language biography of the well-known traditionalist metaphysican René Guénon, including a separate section assessing the impact of his work in the Western world, and an extensive annotated bibliography.
The complete surviving works of Epictetus, the most influential Stoic philosopher from antiquity. “Some things are up to us and some are not.” Epictetus was born into slavery around the year 50 CE, and, upon being granted his freedom, he set himself up as a philosophy teacher. After being expelled from Rome, he spent the rest of his life living and teaching in Greece. He is now considered the most important exponent of Stoicism, and his surviving work comprises a series (...) of impassioned discourses, delivered live and recorded by his student Arrian, and the Handbook, Arrian’s own take on the heart of Epictetus’s teaching. In Discourses, Epictetus argues that happiness depends on knowing what is in our power to affect and what is not. Our internal states and our responses to events are up to us, but the events themselves are assigned to us by the benevolent deity, and we should treat them—along with our bodies, possessions, and families—as matters of indifference, simply making the best use of them we can. Together, the Discourses and Handbook constitute a practical guide to moral self-improvement, as Epictetus explains the work and exercises aspirants need to do to enrich and deepen their lives. Edited and translated by renowned scholar Robin Waterfield, this book collects the complete works of Epictetus, bringing to modern readers his insights on how to cope with death, exile, the people around us, the whims of the emperor, fear, illness, and much more. (shrink)