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"This book is a wonderful introduction to one of history's greatest figures: Marcus Aurelius. His life and this book are a clear guide for those facing adversity, seeking tranquility and pursuing excellence." --Ryan Holiday, bestselling author of The Obstacle is the Way and The Daily Stoic The life-changing principles of Stoicism taught through the story of its most famous proponent. Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius was the final famous Stoic philosopher of the ancient world. The Meditations, his personal journal, survives to this day as one of the most loved self-help and spiritual classics of all time. In How to Think Like a Roman Emperor, cognitive psychotherapist Donald Robertson weaves the life and philosophy of Marcus Aurelius together seamlessly to provide a compelling modern-day guide to the Stoic wisdom followed by countless individuals throughout the centuries as a path to achieving greater fulfillment and emotional resilience. How to Think Like a Roman Emperor takes readers on a transformative journey along with Marcus, following his progress from a young noble at the court of Hadrian--taken under the wing of some of the finest philosophers of his day--through to his reign as emperor of Rome at the height of its power. Robertson shows how Marcus used philosophical doctrines and therapeutic practices to build emotional resilience and endure tremendous adversity, and guides readers through applying the same methods to their own lives. Combining remarkable stories from Marcus's life with insights from modern psychology and the enduring wisdom of his philosophy, How to Think Like a Roman Emperor puts a human face on Stoicism and offers a timeless and essential guide to handling the ethical and psychological challenges we face today.
There is a growing recognition that philosophy isn't unique to the West, that it didn't begin only with the classical Greeks, and that Greek philosophy was influenced by Near Eastern traditions. Yet even today there is a widespread assumption that what came before the Greeks was "before philosophy." In Philosophy before the Greeks, Marc Van De Mieroop, an acclaimed historian of the ancient Near East, presents a groundbreaking argument that, for three millennia before the Greeks, one Near Eastern people had a rich and sophisticated tradition of philosophy fully worthy of the name. In the first century BC, the Greek historian Diodorus of Sicily praised the Babylonians for their devotion to philosophy. Showing the justice of Diodorus's comment, this is the first book to argue that there were Babylonian philosophers and that they studied knowledge systematically using a coherent system of logic rooted in the practices of cuneiform script. Van De Mieroop uncovers Babylonian approaches to knowledge in three areas: the study of language, which in its analysis of the written word formed the basis of all logic; the art of divination, which interpreted communications between gods and humans; and the rules of law, which confirmed that royal justice was founded on truth. The result is an innovative intellectual history of the ancient Near Eastern world during the many centuries in which Babylonian philosophers inspired scholars throughout the region--until the first millennium BC, when the breakdown of this cosmopolitan system enabled others, including the Greeks, to develop alternative methods of philosophical reasoning.
How did the ancient Greeks and Romans conceptualise order? This book answers that question by analysing the formative concept of kosmos ('order', 'arrangement', 'ornament') in ancient literature, philosophy, science, art, and religion. This concept encouraged the Greeks and Romans to develop theories to explain core aspects of human life, including nature, beauty, society, politics, the individual, and what lies beyond human experience. Hence, Greek kosmos, and its Latin correlate mundus, are subjects of profound reflection by a wide range of important ancient figures, including philosophers (Parmenides, Empedocles, the Pythagoreans, Democritus, Plato, Aristotle, the Stoics, Lucretius, Cicero, Seneca, Plotinus), poets and playwrights (Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes, Plautus, Marcus Argentarius, Nonnus), intellectuals (Gorgias, Protagoras, Varro), and religious exegetes (Philo, the Gospel Writers, Paul). By revealing kosmos in its many ancient manifestations, this book asks us to rethink our own sense of 'order', and to reflect on our place within a broader cosmic history.
Translated by John Llewelyn Davies and David James Vaughan. With an Introduction by Stephen Watt. The ideas of Plato (c429-347BC) have influenced Western philosophers for over two thousand years. Such is his importance that the twentieth-century philosopher A.N. Whitehead described all subsequent developments within the subject as foot-notes to Plato's work. Beyond philosophy, he has exerted a major influence on the development of Western literature, politics and theology. The Republic deals with the great range of Plato's thought, but is particularly concerned with what makes a well-balanced society and individual. It combines argument and myth to advocate a life organized by reason rather than dominated by desires and appetites. Regarded by some as the foundation document of totalitarianism, by others as a call to develop the full potential of humanity, the Republic remains a challenging and intensely exciting work.
Forty years in the making, this long-awaited reinterpretation of Hegel's The Phenomenology of Spirit is a landmark contribution to philosophy by one of the world's best-known and most influential philosophers. In this much-anticipated work, Robert Brandom presents a completely new retelling of the romantic rationalist adventure of ideas that is Hegel's classic The Phenomenology of Spirit. Connecting analytic, continental, and historical traditions, Brandom shows how dominant modes of thought in contemporary philosophy are challenged by Hegel. A Spirit of Trust is about the massive historical shift in the life of humankind that constitutes the advent of modernity. In his Critiques, Kant talks about the distinction between what things are in themselves and how they appear to us; Hegel sees Kant's distinction as making explicit what separates the ancient and modern worlds. In the ancient world, normative statuses-judgments of what ought to be-were taken to state objective facts. In the modern world, these judgments are taken to be determined by attitudes-subjective stances. Hegel supports a view combining both of those approaches, which Brandom calls "objective idealism": there is an objective reality, but we cannot make sense of it without first making sense of how we think about it. According to Hegel's approach, we become agents only when taken as such by other agents. This means that normative statuses such as commitment, responsibility, and authority are instituted by social practices of reciprocal recognition. Brandom argues that when our self-conscious recognitive attitudes take the radical form of magnanimity and trust that Hegel describes, we can overcome a troubled modernity and enter a new age of spirit.
The most influential ethical treatise ever written, Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics offers accounts of human happiness and welfare; the nature of a good person; the psychology of action and character; the virtues of character and intellect; praise, blame, and moral responsibility; practical reason; weakness of will; self-interest and the interests of others; the role of friendship in the good life; and the relation between pleasure and goodness. This edition offers more aids to the reader than are found in any other modern English translation. It includes an Introduction; headings to help the reader follow the argument; explanatory notes on difficult or important passages; and a full glossary explaining Aristotle's technical terms. For this edition, the translation has been revised, and the notes and glossary expanded.
`Wonderful and timely ... Hugely recommended' STEPHEN FRY What do you and an ancient philosopher have in common? It turns out much more than you might think... Aristotle was an extraordinary thinker yet he was preoccupied by an ordinary question: how to be happy. In this handbook to his timeless teachings, Professor Edith Hall shows how ancient thinking is precisely what we need today, even if you don't know your Odyssey from your Iliad. In ten practical lessons you can learn how to make good decisions, how to ace an interview, how to choose a partner and how to face death. This is advice that won't go out of fashion. `A beguiling cross between Mary Beard and Mary Poppins' Observer
‘Nothing can harm a good man either in life or after death’
The trial and condemnation of Socrates on charges of heresy and corrupting young minds is a defining moment in the history of Classical Athens. In tracing these events through four dialogues, Plato also developed his own philosophy, based on Socrates’ manifesto for a life guided by self-responsibility. Euthyphro finds Socrates outside the court-house, debating the nature of piety, while The Apology is his robust rebuttal of the charges of impiety and a defence of the philosopher’s life. In the Crito, while awaiting execution in prison, Socrates counters the arguments of friends urging him to escape. Finally, in the Phaedo, he is shown calmly confident in the face of death, skilfully arguing the case for the immortality of the soul.
Hugh Tredennick’s landmark 1954 translation has been revised by Harold Tarrant, reflecting changes in Platonic studies, with an introduction and expanded introductions to each of the four dialogues.
We might think we are through with the past, but the past isn't through with us. Tragedy permits us to come face to face with the things we don't want to know about ourselves, but which still make us who we are. It articulates the conflicts and contradictions that we need to address in order to better understand the world we live in.
A work honed from a decade's teaching at the New School, where 'Critchley on Tragedy' is one of the most popular courses, Tragedy, the Greeks and Us is a compelling examination of the history of tragedy. Simon Critchley demolishes our common misconceptions about the poets, dramatists and philosophers of Ancient Greece - then presents these writers to us in an unfamiliar and original light.
The field of ancient Greek ethics is increasingly emerging as a major branch of philosophical enquiry, and students and scholars of ancient philosophy will find this Companion to be a rich and invaluable guide to the themes and movements which characterised the discipline from the Pre-Socratics to the Neo-Platonists. Several chapters are dedicated to the central figures of Plato and Aristotle, and others explore the ethical thought of the Stoics, the Epicureans, the Skeptics, and Plotinus. Further chapters examine important themes that cut across these schools, including virtue and happiness, friendship, elitism, impartiality, and the relationship between ancient eudaimonism and modern morality. Written by leading scholars and drawing on cutting-edge research to illuminate the questions of ancient ethics, the book will provide students and specialists with an indispensable critical overview of the full range of ancient Greek ethics.
A vigorous polemicist as well as a rational philosopher, Aristotle (384-322 BC) has the task in his ethics of demonstrating how men become good and why happiness can, and should, be our goal. The success of Aristotle's endeavour may be measured by the enormous impact of his ethics on western moral philosophy through the centuries Composed as mere lecture notes, it possesses a boldness and represents an exacting, exciting challenge to the reader. By converting ethics from a theoretical to a practical science, and by introducing psychology into his study of behaviour, Aristotle both widens the field of moral philosophy and simultaneously makes it more accessible to anyone who seeks an understanding of human nature.
Outstanding translations by leading contemporary scholars--many commissioned especially for this volume--are presented here in the first single edition to include the entire surviving corpus of works attributed to Plato in antiquity. In his introductory essay, John Cooper explains the presentation of these works, discusses questions concerning the chronology of their composition, comments on the dialogue form in which Plato wrote, and offers guidance on approaching the reading and study of Plato's works. Also included are concise introductions by Cooper and Hutchinson to each translation, meticulous annotation designed to serve both scholar and general reader, and a comprehensive index. This handsome volume offers fine paper and a high-quality Smyth-sewn cloth binding in a sturdy, elegant edition.
This is the second volume of the first fully-fledged English translation of the works of Archimedes - antiquity's greatest scientist and one of the most important scientific figures in history. It covers On Spirals and is based on a reconsideration of the Greek text and diagrams, now made possible through new discoveries from the Archimedes Palimpsest. On Spirals is one of Archimedes' most dazzling geometrical tours de force, suggesting a manner of 'squaring the circle' and, along the way, introducing the attractive geometrical object of the spiral. The form of argument, no less than the results themselves, is striking, and Reviel Netz contributes extensive and insightful comments that focus on Archimedes' scientific style, making this volume indispensable for scholars of classics and the history of science, and of great interest for the scientists and mathematicians of today.
Hippocrates is a towering figure in Greek medicine. Dubbed the 'father of medicine', he has inspired generations of physicians over millennia in both the East and West. Despite this, little is known about him, and scholars have long debated his relationship to the works attributed to him in the so-called 'Hippocratic Corpus', although it is undisputed that many of the works within it represent milestones in the development of Western medicine. In this Companion, an international team of authors introduces major themes in Hippocratic studies, ranging from textual criticism and the 'Hippocratic question' to problems such as aetiology, physiology and nosology. Emphasis is given to the afterlife of Hippocrates from Late Antiquity to the modern period. Hippocrates had as much relevance in the fifth-century BC Greek world as in the medieval Islamic world, and he remains with us today in both medical and non-medical contexts.
Since its publication in 1974, scholars throughout the humanities have adopted G M A Grube's masterful translation of the Republic as the edition of choice for their study and teaching of Plato's most influential work. In this brilliant revision, C D C Reeve furthers Grube's success both in preserving the subtlety of Plato's philosophical argument and in rendering the dialogue in lively, fluent English, that remains faithful to the original Greek. This revision includes a new introduction, index, and bibliography by Reeve.
This volume is the first in English to provide a full, systematic investigation into Aristotle's criticisms of earlier Greek theories of the soul from the perspective of his theory of scientific explanation. Some interpreters of the De Anima have seen Aristotle's criticisms of Presocratic, Platonic, and other views about the soul as unfair or dialectical, but Jason W. Carter argues that Aristotle's criticisms are in fact a justified attempt to test the adequacy of earlier theories in terms of the theory of scientific knowledge he advances in the Posterior Analytics. Carter proposes a new interpretation of Aristotle's confrontations with earlier psychology, showing how his reception of other Greek philosophers shaped his own hylomorphic psychology and led him to adopt a novel dualist theory of the soul-body relation. His book will be important for students and scholars of Aristotle, ancient Greek psychology, and the history of the mind-body problem.
In this personal and practical guide to moral self-improvement and living a good life, the second-century philosopher Epictetus tackles questions of freedom and imprisonment, stubbornness and fear, family, friendship and love, and leaves an intriguing document of daily life in the classical world. GREAT IDEAS. Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves - and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives - and destroyed them. Now Penguin brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization and helped make us who we are.
A new translation, with an Introduction, by Gregory Hays
George James was a professor at a small black college in Arkansas during the 1950s when he wrote this book. Originally from Guyana, he was an intellectual who studied African and European classics. He soon realized something was wrong with the way the history of philosophy had been documented by Western scholars. Their biggest mistake, according to James, was they had assumed philosophy had started with the Greeks. James had found that philosophy was almost entirely from ancient Egypt and that the records of this had not only been distorted but, in many cases, deliberately falsified. His conclusion was that there was no such thing as Greek philosophy because it was stolen from the Egyptians. As a result, this was one of the first books to be banned from colleges and universities throughout North America. Although opponents have eventually found some flaws, it remains a groundbreaking book to this day. Even the famous Greek historian from the 5th century, Herodotus, admitted that the Greeks had borrowed many important ideas and concepts from the Egyptians. These ideas covered not just philosophy, but also medicine, architecture, politics and more. The purpose of this book is to restore the truth about African contributions to higher thought and culture.
Ranging from lively epistles to serious essays, these 124 letters selected from Epistulae Morales and Lucilium espouse the philosophy of Stoicism. This volume includes Tacitus's account of Seneca's death.
The Roman statesman and philosopher Seneca (4 BCE-65 CE) recorded his moral philosophy and reflections on life as a highly original kind of correspondence. Letters on Ethics includes vivid descriptions of town and country life in Nero's Italy, discussions of poetry and oratory, and philosophical training for Seneca's friend Lucilius. This volume, the first complete English translation in nearly a century, makes the Letters more accessible than ever before. Written as much for a general audience as for Lucilius, these engaging letters offer advice on how to deal with everything from nosy neighbors to sickness, pain, and death. Seneca uses the informal format of the letter to present the central ideas of Stoicism, for centuries the most influential philosophical system in the Mediterranean world. His lively and at times humorous expositions have made the Letters his most popular work and an enduring classic. Including an introduction and explanatory notes by Margaret Graver and A. A. Long, this authoritative edition will captivate a new generation of readers.
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