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Roman Stoic thinkers in the imperial period adapted Greek doctrine
to create a model of the self that served to connect philosophical
ideals with traditional societal values. Seneca, Musonius Rufus,
Epictetus, Hierocles, and Marcus Aurelius all engaged in rigorous
self-examination that enabled them to integrate philosophy into the
practice of living. Gretchen Reydams-Schils's innovative new book
shows how these thinkers applied their distinct brand of social
ethics to everyday relations and responsibilities.
Richard Janko's acclaimed translation of Aristotle's Poetics is accompanied by the most comprehensive commentary available in English that does not presume knowledge of the original Greek. Two other unique features are Janko's translations with notes of both the Tractatus Coislinianus , which is argued to be a summary of the lost second book of the Poetics, and fragments of Aristotle's dialogue On Poets, including recently discovered texts about catharsis, which appear in English for the first time.
Moral Motivation presents a history of the concept of moral motivation. The book consists of ten chapters by eminent scholars in the history of philosophy, covering Plato, Aristotle, later Peripatetic philosophy, medieval philosophy, Spinoza, Locke, Hume, Kant, Fichte and Hegel, and the consequentialist tradition. In addition, four interdisciplinary "Reflections" discuss how the topic of moral motivation arises in epic poetry, Cicero, early opera, and Theodore Dreiser. Most contemporary philosophical discussions of moral motivation focus on whether and how moral beliefs by themselves motivate an agent (at least to some degree) to act. In much of the history of the concept, especially before Hume, the focus is rather on how to motivate people to act morally as well as on what sort of motivation a person must act from (or what end an agents acts for) in order to be a genuinely ethical person or even to have done a genuinely ethical action. The book shows the complexity of the historical treatment of moral motivation and, moreover, how intertwined moral motivation is with central aspects of ethical theory.
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.
Isolates terms and offers an evolutionary history of the concept instead of a mere definition
Paul and the Greco-Roman Philosophical Tradition provides a fresh examination of the relationship of Greco-Roman philosophy to Pauline Christianity. It offers an in-depth look at different approaches employed by scholars who draw upon philosophical settings in the ancient world to inform their understanding of Paul. The volume houses an international team of scholars from a range of diverse traditions and backgrounds, which opens up a platform for multiple voices from various corridors. Consequently, some of the chapters seek to establish new potential resonances with Paul and the Greco-Roman philosophical tradition, but others question such connections. While a number of them propose radically new relationships between Paul and GrecoRoman philosophy, a few seek to tweak or modulate current discussions. There are arguments in the volume which are more technical and exegetical, and others that remain more synthetic and theological. This diversity, however, is accentuated by a goal shared by each author - to further our understanding of Paul's relationship to and appropriation of Greco-Roman philosophical traditions in his literary and missionary efforts.
A translation of one of the most important texts of Western philosophy. Few ancient works have been as influential as the MEDITATIONS of Marcus Aurelius. A series of spiritual exercises filled with wisdom, practical guidance, and profound understanding of human behaviour, it remains one of the greatest works of spiritual and ethical reflection ever written. Marcus's insights and advice - on everything from living in the world to coping with adversity and interacting with others - have made the MEDITATIONS required reading for statesmen and philosophers alike, while generations of ordinary readers have responded to the straightforward intimacy of his style. In Gregory Hays's new translation - the first in thirty-five years - Marcus's thoughts speak with a new immediacy. In fresh and unencumbered English, Hays vividly conveys the spareness and compression of the original Greek text. Never before have Marcus's insights been so directly and powerfully presented.
The conflict of religions during the Christianization of the Greco-Roman aristocracy in Late Antiquity is typified by Synesius (ca. A.D. 365/70-414?), an old-fashioned pagan Neoplatonist who studied under Hypatia at Alexandria, yet who in A.D. 410 became the Christian bishop of Ptolemais in Libya. Before accepting, however, he openly stated his objections to certain Christian dogmas. Was he a Christian or a "baptized Neoplatonist"? The generation of Synesius saw the rapid decline of paganism. Furthermore, the Constantinople he visited (A.D. 399-402) was a Greek-Christian Rome whose elites were classically educated. He returned home an ally of the city's Orthodox Christians. He tried to reconcile Neoplatonism with Christianity, but a study of his works demonstrates that he was only partially successful. Synesius is important for our understanding of the old aristocracy in Late Antiquity. His becoming a bishop completes the picture in which we finally see the ancient world transforming itself into the medieval world. The life of Synesius, one man of Late Antiquity, may be viewed as both the recapitulation and anticipation of all the major themes of Classical and Late Antiquity. This title is part of UC Press's Voices Revived program, which commemorates University of California Press's mission to seek out and cultivate the brightest minds and give them voice, reach, and impact. Drawing on a backlist dating to 1893, Voices Revived makes high-quality, peer-reviewed scholarship accessible once again using print-on-demand technology. This title was originally published in 1982.
In 399 BC Socrates was prosecuted, convicted, sentenced to death and executed. These events were the culmination of a long philosophical career, a career in which, without writing a word, he established himself as the figure whom all philosophers of the next few generations wished to follow. The Apologies (or Defence Speeches) by Plato and Xenophon are rival accounts of how, at his trial, Socrates defended himself and his philosophy. This edition brings together both Apologies within a single volume. The commentary answers literary, linguistic and philosophical questions in a way that is suitable for readers of all levels, helping teachers and students engage more closely with the Greek texts. The introduction examines Socrates himself, the literature generated by his trial, Athenian legal procedures, his guilt or innocence of the crimes for which he was executed, and the rivalry between Xenophon and Plato.
The Phaedo is acknowledged to be one of Plato's masterpieces,
showing him both as a philosopher and as a dramatist at the height
of his powers. For its moving account of the execution of Socrates,
the Phaedo ranks among the supreme literary achievements of
antiquity. It is also a document crucial to the understanding of
many ideas deeply ingrained in western culture, and provides one of
the best introductions to Plato's thought. This new edition is
eminently suitable for readers new to Plato, offering a readable
translation which is accessible without the aid of a commentary and
assumes no prior knowledge of the ancient Greek world or language.
The author of "Ancient Philosophy, Mystery and Magic" has unearthed a sensational, true story of a mystical and esoteric tradition that lies hidden at the roots of Western culture--and that gave rise to the world we live in.
The great insights of the Sotics are spread over a wide range of ancient sources. This book brings them all together for the first time. It systematically presents what the various Stoic philosophers said on every important topic, accompanied by an eloquent commentary that is clear and concise. The result is a set of philosophy lessons for everyone - the most valuable wisdom of ages past made available for our times, and for all time.
This collection explores how cognition is explicitly or implicitly conceived of as distributed across brain, body and world in Greek and Roman technology, science, medicine, material culture, philosophy and literary studies. A range of models emerge, which vary both in terms of whether cognition is just embodied or involves tools or objects in the world. As many of the texts and practices discussed have influenced Western European society and culture, this collection reveals the historical foundations of our theoretical and practical attempts to comprehend the distributed nature of human cognition.
The posthumous publication of The Argument and the Action of Plato's "Laws" was compiled shortly before the death of Leo Strauss in 1973. Strauss offers an insightful and instructive reading through careful probing of Plato's classic text. "Strauss's The Argument and the Action of Plato's 'Laws' reflects his interest in political thought, his dogged method of following the argument of the Laws step by step, and his vigorous defense of this dialogue's integrity in respect to the ideals of the Republic."--Cross Currents "The unique characteristics of this commentary on the Laws reflect the care and precision which were the marks of Professor Strauss's efforts to understand the complex thoughts of other men."--Allan D. Nelson, Canadian Journal of Political Science "Thorough and provocative, an important addition to Plato scholarship."--Library Journal "The major purpose of the commentary is to provide a reading of the dialogue which displays its structural arrangement and the continuity of the argument."--J. W. Dy, Bibliographical Bulletin of Philosophy "The reader of Strauss's book is indeed guided closely through the whole text."-- M. J. Silverthorne, The Humanities Association Review Leo Strauss (1899-1973) was the Robert Maynard Hutchins Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of political science at the University of Chicago.
The question of life, Michael Naas argues, though rarely foregrounded by Plato, runs through and structures his thought. By characterizing being in terms of life, Plato in many of his later dialogues, including the Statesman, begins to discover-or, better, to invent-a notion of true or real life that would be opposed to all merely biological or animal life, a form of life that would be more valuable than everything we call life and every life that can actually be lived. This emphasis on life in the Platonic dialogues illuminates the structural relationship between many of Plato's most time-honored distinctions, such as being and becoming, soul and body. At the same time, it helps to explain the enormous power and authority that Plato's thought has exercised, for good or ill, over our entire philosophical and religious tradition. Lucid yet sophisticated, Naas's account offers a fundamental rereading of what the concept of life entails, one that inflects a range of contemporary conversations, from biopolitics, to the new materialisms, to the place of the human within the living world.
A comprehensive sourcebook of the Stoic, Epicurean and skeptical schools of philosophy makes the principal texts available to the widest audience since classical antiquity.
In Platonic Legacies John Sallis addresses certain archaic or exorbitant moments in Platonism. His concern is to expose such moments as those expressed in the Platonic phrase "beyond being" and in the enigmatic word chora. Thus he ventures to renew chorology and to bring it to bear, most directly, on Platonic political discourse and Plotinian hyperontology. More broadly, he shows what profound significance these most archaic moments of Platonism, which remained largely unheeded in the history of philosophy, have for contemporary discussions of spacings, of utopian politics, of the nature of nature, and of the relation between philosophy and tragedy. Thus addressing Platonism in its bearing on contemporary philosophy, Platonic Legacies engages, in turn, a series of philosophers ranging from Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Arendt to certain contemporary American Continental philosophers. These engagements focus on the way in which these recent and contemporary philosophers take up the Platonic legacies in their own thought and on the way in which the exposure of an archaic Platonism can redirect or supplement what they have accomplished.
This is a major reinterpretation of ancient philosophy that recovers the long Greek and Roman tradition of philosophy as a complete way of life--and not simply an intellectual discipline. Distinguished philosopher John Cooper traces how, for many ancient thinkers, philosophy was not just to be studied or even used to solve particular practical problems. Rather, philosophy--not just ethics but even logic and physical theory--was literally to be lived. Yet there was great disagreement about how to live philosophically: philosophy was not one but many, mutually opposed, ways of life. Examining this tradition from its establishment by Socrates in the fifth century BCE through Plotinus in the third century CE and the eclipse of pagan philosophy by Christianity, "Pursuits of Wisdom" examines six central philosophies of living--Socratic, Aristotelian, Stoic, Epicurean, Skeptic, and the Platonist life of late antiquity.
The book describes the shared assumptions that allowed these thinkers to conceive of their philosophies as ways of life, as well as the distinctive ideas that led them to widely different conclusions about the best human life. Clearing up many common misperceptions and simplifications, Cooper explains in detail the Socratic devotion to philosophical discussion about human nature, human life, and human good; the Aristotelian focus on the true place of humans within the total system of the natural world; the Stoic commitment to dutifully accepting Zeus's plans; the Epicurean pursuit of pleasure through tranquil activities that exercise perception, thought, and feeling; the Skeptical eschewal of all critical reasoning in forming their beliefs; and, finally, the late Platonist emphasis on spiritual concerns and the eternal realm of Being.
"Pursuits of Wisdom" is essential reading for anyone interested in understanding what the great philosophers of antiquity thought was the true purpose of philosophy--and of life.
Plato's philosophical dialogues can be seen as his creation of a new genre. Plato borrows from, as well as rejects, earlier and contemporary authors, and he is constantly in conversation with established genres, such as tragedy, comedy, lyric poetry, and rhetoric in a variety of ways. This intertextuality reinforces the relevance of material from other types of literary works, as well as a general knowledge of classical culture in Plato's time, and the political and moral environment that Plato addressed, when reading his dramatic dialogues. The authors of Philosophy as Drama show that any interpretation of these works must include the literary and narrative dimensions of each text, as much as serious the attention given to the progression of the argument in each piece. Each dialogue is read on its own merit, and critical comparisons of several dialogues explore the differences and likenesses between them on a dramatic as well as on a logical level. This collection of essays moves debates in Plato scholarship forward when it comes to understanding both particular aspects of Plato's dialogues and the approach itself. Containing 11 chapters of close readings of individual dialogues, with 2 chapters discussing specific themes running through them, such as music and sensuousness, pleasure, perception, and images, this book displays the range and diversity within Plato's corpus.
The Italian humanist Polydore Vergil (1470-1555) was born in Urbino but spent most of his life in early Tudor England. His most popular work, "On Discovery" ("De inventoribus rerum," 1499), was the first comprehensive account of discoveries and inventions written since antiquity. Thirty Latin editions of this work were published in Polydore's lifetime, and by the eighteenth century more than a hundred editions had appeared in eight languages, including Russian. "On Discovery" became a key reference for anyone who wanted to know about "firsts" in theology, philosophy, science, technology, literature, language, law, material culture, and other fields. Polydore took his information from dozens of Greek, Roman, biblical, and Patristic authorities. His main point was to show that many Greek and Roman claims for discovery were false and that ancient Jews or other Asian peoples had priority. This is the first English translation of a critical edition based on the Latin texts published in Polydore Vergil's lifetime.
This book opens by providing the historical context of Plato's engagement with education, including an overview of Plato's life as student and educator. The author organizes his discussion of education in the Platonic Corpus around Plato's images, both the familiar - the cave, the gadfly, the torpedo fish, and the midwife - and the less familiar - the intellectual aviary, the wax tablet, and the kindled fire. These educational images reveal that, for Plato, philosophizing is inextricably linked to learning; that is, philosophy is fundamentally an educational endeavor. The book concludes by exploring Plato's legacy in education, discussing the use of the "Socratic method" in schools and the Academy's foundational place in the history of higher education. The characters in Plato's dialogues often debate - sometimes with great passion - the purpose of education and the nature of learning. The claims about education in the Platonic corpus are so provocative, nuanced, insightful, and controversial that educational philosophers have reckoned with them for millennia.
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