Download Ancient Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short by Julia Annas PDF

By Julia Annas

The culture of old philosophy is a protracted, wealthy and sundry one, during which the notes of debate and argument always resound. This e-book introduces historical debates, enticing us with the traditional advancements in their issues. relocating clear of the presentation of old philosophy as a succession of serious thinkers, the booklet provides readers a feeling of the freshness and liveliness of historic philosophy, and of its wide array of issues and types.

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Section. The very way we have access to the book suggests the way we should read it. And it is often taken for granted that the book should be taught as a contribution to political thought, with its other aspects as extras. But should we read the work this way? How else might it be read? In the ancient world the Republic was read as one of Plato’s dialogues, but by no means as the most important or as central for his thought. When philosophers began to study Plato’s thought systematically, the dialogue they privileged was the Timaeus, a poetically written cosmology.

Through the Greek State Plato reveals to us his own thoughts about divine perfection, which is the idea of good – like the sun in the visible world; – about human perfection, which is justice – about education beginning in youth and continuing in later years – about poets and sophists and tyrants who are the false teachers and evil rulers of mankind – about ‘the world’ which is the embodiment of them – about a kingdom which exists nowhere upon earth but is laid up in heaven to be the pattern and rule of human life .

Differences of approach This situation opens up differences of approach. With authors whose work has to be studied in fragments and through later sources whose own approach has to be taken into account, historical and interpretative questions have to be faced before we can confidently assume that we actually have the philosophical position in question right. Wading right in 20 3. A papyrus fragment of a work on anger by the Epicurean Philodemus with philosophical questions risks prematurely finding a position which turns out to reflect only our own philosophical concerns.

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