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Western philosophy: Ancient, to c 500

See below for a selection of the latest books from Western philosophy: Ancient, to c 500 category. Presented with a red border are the Western philosophy: Ancient, to c 500 books that have been lovingly read and reviewed by the experts at Lovereading. With expert reading recommendations made by people with a passion for books and some unique features Lovereading will help you find great Western philosophy: Ancient, to c 500 books and those from many more genres to read that will keep you inspired and entertained. And it's all free!

Aristoxenus of Tarentum: The Pythagorean Precepts (How to Live a Pythagorean Life) An Edition of and Commentary on the Fragments with an Introduction

Aristoxenus of Tarentum: The Pythagorean Precepts (How to Live a Pythagorean Life) An Edition of and Commentary on the Fragments with an Introduction

Author: Carl A. (DePauw University, Indiana) Huffman Format: Hardback Release Date: 31/07/2019

The Pythagorean Precepts by Aristotle's pupil, Aristoxenus of Tarentum, present the principles of the Pythagorean way of life that Plato praised in the Republic. They are our best guide to what it meant to be a Pythagorean in the time of Plato and Aristotle. The Precepts have been neglected in modern scholarship and this is the first full edition and translation of and commentary on all the surviving fragments. The introduction provides an accessible overview of the ethical system of the Precepts and their place not only in the Pythagorean tradition but also in the history of Greek ethics as a whole. The Pythagoreans thought that human beings were by nature insolent and excessive and that they could only be saved from themselves if they followed a strictly structured way of life. The Precepts govern every aspect of life: e.g. procreation, abortion, child rearing, friendship, religion, desire and even diet.

Neoplatonism in Late Antiquity

Neoplatonism in Late Antiquity

Author: Dmitri (Professor of Philosophy, New School for Social Research) Nikulin Format: Hardback Release Date: 25/07/2019

This book is a philosophical study of two major thinkers who span the period of late antiquity. While Plotinus stands at the beginning of its philosophical tradition, setting the themes for debate and establishing strategies of argument and interpretation, Proclus falls closer to its end, developing a grand synthesis of late ancient thought. The book discusses many central topics of philosophy and science in Plotinus and Proclus, such as the one and the many, number and being, the individuation and constitution of the soul, imagination and cognition, the constitution of number and geometrical objects, indivisibility and continuity, intelligible and bodily matter, and evil. It shows that late ancient philosophy did not simply embrace and borrow from the major philosophical traditions of earlier antiquity-Platonism, Aristotelianism, Stoicism-by providing marginal comments on widely-known philosophical texts. Rather, Neoplatonism offered a set of highly original and innovative insights into the nature of being and thought, which can be distinguished in much subsequent philosophical thought, up until modernity.

The Stoics on Lekta All there is to Say

The Stoics on Lekta All there is to Say

Author: Ada (Lecturer in Philosophy, New College of the Humanities, London) Bronowski Format: Hardback Release Date: 11/07/2019

After Plato's Forms, and Aristotle's substances, the Stoics posited the fundamental reality of lekta - the meanings of sentences, distinct from the sentences themselves. This is the first time in the tradition of Western philosophy that what is signified is properly distinguished from signs and signifiers. The Stoics on Lekta offers a synoptic treatment of the many implications of this distinction, which grants an existential autonomy to lekta: language can only ever express meanings, but what happens to meanings which are there, ready to be said, but which are never actually expressed? It analyses the deep shift in ontological paradigm required by the presence of lekta in reality, and reveals a truly unique, complex, and consistent cosmic view in which lekta are the keystones of the structure of reality. According to this view, we cannot not speak or think in terms of lekta, and for this reason, they are in fact all there is to say. The Stoics' position ignited many fiery debates in antiquity and continues to do so in the modern era: they were the first to be concerned with questions about language and grammar, and the first to put the relation of language to reality at the heart of the enquiry into human understanding and the place of man in the cosmos. Such questions remain central to life and philosophy to this day, and by explicitly comparing and contrasting the themes and topics discussed to twentieth-century treatments of the status of the proposition, propositional structure, speech act theory, and the relation of attribution of the predicate to a subject-term, this volume seeks to demonstrate the enduring value of a direct Stoic contribution to the contemporary debate.

Summoning Knowledge in Plato's Republic

Summoning Knowledge in Plato's Republic

Author: Nicholas D. (Lewis and Clark College) Smith Format: Hardback Release Date: 04/07/2019

Nicholas D. Smith presents an original interpretation of the Republic, considering it to be a book about knowledge and education. Over the course of Summoning Knowledge in Plato's Republic, he argues for four main theses. Firstly, the Republic is not just a work that has a lot to say about education; it is a book that depicts Socrates as attempting to engage his interlocutors in such a way as to help to educate them and also engages us, the readers, in a way that helps to educate us. Secondly, Plato does not suppose that education, properly understood, should have as its primary aim putting knowledge into souls that do not already have it. Instead, the education Plato discusses, represents occurring between Socrates and his interlocutors, and hopes to achieve in his readers is one that aims to arouse the power of knowledge in us and then to begin to train that power always to engage with what is more real, rather than what is less real. Thirdly, Plato's conception of knowledge is not the one typically presented in contemporary epistemology. It is, rather, the power of conceptualization by the use of exemplars. And finally, Plato engages this power of knowledge in the Republic in a way he represents as only a kind of second-best way to engage knowledge - and not as the best way, which would be dialectic. Instead, Plato uses images that summon the power of knowledge to begin the process by which the power may become fully realized.

Drawing Down the Moon Magic in the Ancient Greco-Roman World

Drawing Down the Moon Magic in the Ancient Greco-Roman World

Author: III Radcliffe G. G. Edmonds III Format: Hardback Release Date: 02/07/2019

An unparalleled exploration of magic in the Greco-Roman world What did magic mean to the people of ancient Greece and Rome? How did Greeks and Romans not only imagine what magic could do, but also use it to try to influence the world around them? In Drawing Down the Moon, Radcliffe Edmonds, one of the foremost experts on magic, religion, and the occult in the ancient world, provides the most comprehensive account of the varieties of phenomena labeled as magic in classical antiquity. Exploring why certain practices, images, and ideas were labeled as oemagic and set apart from oenormal kinds of practices, Edmonds gives insight into the shifting ideas of religion and the divine in the ancient past and in the later Western tradition. Using fresh approaches to the history of religions and the social contexts in which magic was exercised, Edmonds delves into the archaeological record and classical literary traditions to examine images of witches, ghosts, and demons as well as the fantastic powers of metamorphosis, erotic attraction, and reversals of nature, such as the famous trick of drawing down the moon. From prayer and divination to astrology and alchemy, Edmonds journeys through all manner of ancient magical rituals and paraphernalia ancient tablets, spell books, bindings and curses, love charms and healing potions, and amulets and talismans. He considers the ways in which the Greco-Roman discourse of magic was formed amid the cultures of the ancient Mediterranean, including Egypt and the Near East. An investigation of the mystical and marvelous, Drawing Down the Moon offers an unparalleled record of the origins, nature, and functions of ancient magic.

The Concept of Presocratic Philosophy Its Origin, Development, and Significance

The Concept of Presocratic Philosophy Its Origin, Development, and Significance

Author: Andre Laks Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/07/2019

When we talk about Presocratic philosophy, we are speaking about the origins of Greek philosophy and Western rationality itself. But what exactly does it mean to talk about Presocratic philosophy in the first place? How did early Greek thinkers come to be considered collectively as Presocratic philosophers? In this brief book, Andr Laks provides a history of the influential idea of Presocratic philosophy, tracing its historical and philosophical significance and consequences, from its ancient antecedents to its full crystallization in the modern period and its continuing effects today. Laks examines ancient Greek and Roman views about the birth of philosophy before turning to the eighteenth-century emergence of the term Presocratics and the debates about it that spanned the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He analyzes the intellectual circumstances that led to the idea of Presocratic philosophy--and what was and is at stake in the construction of the notion. The book closes by comparing two models of the history of philosophy--the phenomenological, represented by Hans-Georg Gadamer, and the rationalist, represented by Ernst Cassirer--and their implications for Presocratic philosophy, as well as other categories of philosophical history. Other figures discussed include Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Diogenes Laertius, Schleiermacher, Hegel, Nietzsche, Max Weber, and J.-P. Vernant. Challenging standard histories of Presocratic philosophy, the book calls for a reconsideration of the conventional story of early Greek philosophy and Western rationality.

Ancient Legal and Political Philosophy

Ancient Legal and Political Philosophy

Author: Antony Hatzistavrou Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/07/2019

This thematic philosophical introduction to the central topics of ancient legal and political philosophy places particular emphasis on their relevance to contemporary philosophical debates. The book provides a philosophical reconstruction, analysis and critical assessment of the main theories and arguments of legal and political philosophers of the classical period. Their influences on and differences from contemporary thinking in legal and political philosophy are also explored. These connections illustrate how we can fruitfully engage with the arguments and theories of ancient legal and political philosophy today.

Ancient Legal and Political Philosophy

Ancient Legal and Political Philosophy

Author: Antony Hatzistavrou Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/07/2019

This thematic philosophical introduction to the central topics of ancient legal and political philosophy places particular emphasis on their relevance to contemporary philosophical debates. The book provides a philosophical reconstruction, analysis and critical assessment of the main theories and arguments of legal and political philosophers of the classical period. Their influences on and differences from contemporary thinking in legal and political philosophy are also explored. These connections illustrate how we can fruitfully engage with the arguments and theories of ancient legal and political philosophy today.

Play and Aesthetics in Ancient Greece

Play and Aesthetics in Ancient Greece

Author: Stephen E. (Brown University, Rhode Island) Kidd Format: Hardback Release Date: 30/06/2019

What is art's relationship to play? Those interested in this question tend to look to modern philosophy for answers, but, as this book shows, the question was already debated in antiquity by luminaries like Plato and Aristotle. Over the course of eight chapters, this book contextualizes those debates, and demonstrates their significance for theoretical problems today. Topics include the ancient child psychology at the root of the ancient Greek word for 'play' (paidia), the numerous toys that have survived from antiquity, and the meaning of play's conceptual opposite, the 'serious' (spoudaios). What emerges is a concept of play markedly different from the one we have inherited from modernity. Play is not a certain set of activities which unleashes a certain feeling of pleasure; it is rather a certain feeling of pleasure that unleashes the activities we think of as 'play'. As such, it offers a new set of theoretical challenges.

Reason, Rhetoric and the Philosophical Life in Plato's Phaedrus

Reason, Rhetoric and the Philosophical Life in Plato's Phaedrus

Author: Tiago Lier Format: Hardback Release Date: 15/06/2019

Plato is a well-known critic of rhetoric, but in the Phaedrus, he defends the art of rhetoric, arguing that it can be perfected with the aid of philosophy. In Reason, Rhetoric, and the Philosophical Life in Plato's Phaedrus, Tiago Lier provides a new and comprehensive interpretation of this important dialogue. He argues that Plato's defense of rhetoric is based on philosophy's ethical nature, and that philosophy is a way of life rather than a body of knowledge. For Plato, an essential element of both rhetoric and the philosophical life is that every use of speech, whether to persuade or to learn, depends upon the psychology of the speaker and the audience. Lier shows how Socrates develops a dynamic account of this psychology over the course of the dialogue in order to help Phaedrus understand how he is personally engaged in, and shaped by, every act of communication. Only when we grasp the tension between eros and logos will we discover the limitations of the art of rhetoric and that rhetoric alone cannot show us what we truly desire. Instead, Lier concludes, the greatest power of speech is to reveal to ourselves our own desires and understanding of our place in the world. This continual self-reflection is the philosophical life around which Socrates and Plato fashion their distinctive forms of rhetoric. The insights developed in this book will be of particular relevance to students and scholars of ancient philosophy, classics, and rhetorical theory, but it will also be of interest to those working in political science, literary studies, and communication studies.

Aristotle, Metaphysics Lambda

Aristotle, Metaphysics Lambda

The Clarendon Aristotle Series is designed for both students and professionals. It provides accurate translations of selected Aristotelian texts, accompanied by incisive commentaries that focus on philosophical problems and issues. The volumes in the series have been widely welcomed and favourably reviewed. Important new titles are being added to the series, and a number of well-established volumes are being reissued with revisions and/or supplementary material. Lindsay Judson provides a rigorous translation of the twelfth book (Lambda) of Aristotle's Metaphysics and a detailed philosophical commentary. Lambda is an outline for a much more extended work in metaphysics - or more accurately, since Aristotle does not use the term 'metaphysics', in what he calls 'first philosophy', the inquiry into 'the principles and causes of all things'. Aristotle discusses the principles of natural and changeable substances, which include form, matter, privation and efficient cause; he argues that principles of this sort are, at least by analogy, the principles of non-substantial items as well. In the second half of the book he turns to unchanging, immaterial substances, first arguing that there must be at least one such substance, which he calls 'God', to act as the 'prime unmoved mover', the source of all change in the natural world. He then explores the nature of God and its activity of thinking (it is the fullest exposition there is of Aristotle's extraordinary and very difficult conception of his supreme god, its goodness, and its activity), and in the course of arguing for a plurality of immaterial unmoved movers he provides important evidence for the leading astronomical theory of his day (by Eudoxus) and for his own highly impressive cosmology. The commentary on each chapter or pair of chapters is preceded by a Prologue, which sets the scene for Aristotle's often very compressed discussion, and explores the general issues raised by that discussion. The Introduction discusses the place of Lambda in the Metaphysics, and offers a solution to the problem of the unity of Aristotle's project in the book.

Aristotle, Metaphysics Lambda

Aristotle, Metaphysics Lambda

The Clarendon Aristotle Series is designed for both students and professionals. It provides accurate translations of selected Aristotelian texts, accompanied by incisive commentaries that focus on philosophical problems and issues. The volumes in the series have been widely welcomed and favourably reviewed. Important new titles are being added to the series, and a number of well-established volumes are being reissued with revisions and/or supplementary material. Lindsay Judson provides a rigorous translation of the twelfth book (Lambda) of Aristotle's Metaphysics and a detailed philosophical commentary. Lambda is an outline for a much more extended work in metaphysics - or more accurately, since Aristotle does not use the term 'metaphysics', in what he calls 'first philosophy', the inquiry into 'the principles and causes of all things'. Aristotle discusses the principles of natural and changeable substances, which include form, matter, privation and efficient cause; he argues that principles of this sort are, at least by analogy, the principles of non-substantial items as well. In the second half of the book he turns to unchanging, immaterial substances, first arguing that there must be at least one such substance, which he calls 'God', to act as the 'prime unmoved mover', the source of all change in the natural world. He then explores the nature of God and its activity of thinking (it is the fullest exposition there is of Aristotle's extraordinary and very difficult conception of his supreme god, its goodness, and its activity), and in the course of arguing for a plurality of immaterial unmoved movers he provides important evidence for the leading astronomical theory of his day (by Eudoxus) and for his own highly impressive cosmology. The commentary on each chapter or pair of chapters is preceded by a Prologue, which sets the scene for Aristotle's often very compressed discussion, and explores the general issues raised by that discussion. The Introduction discusses the place of Lambda in the Metaphysics, and offers a solution to the problem of the unity of Aristotle's project in the book.