By Julia Annas

ISBN-10: 0191540196

ISBN-13: 9780191540196

ISBN-10: 0192853570

ISBN-13: 9780192853578

The culture of old philosophy is a protracted, wealthy and sundry one, during which the notes of debate and argument always resound. This ebook introduces historic debates, attractive us with the traditional advancements in their issues. relocating clear of the presentation of old philosophy as a succession of serious thinkers, the ebook provides readers a feeling of the freshness and liveliness of historical philosophy, and of its big range of issues and types. in regards to the sequence: Combining authority with wit, accessibility, and magnificence, Very brief Introductions supply an creation to a few of life's best subject matters. Written via specialists for the newcomer, they reveal the best modern considering the relevant difficulties and concerns in hundreds of thousands of key subject matters, from philosophy to Freud, quantum conception to Islam.

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Extra resources for Ancient Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions - 26)

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One is our interest in seeing and engaging with the work in its own intellectual context. Secondly, our own assumptions as to what is 33 Why do we read Plato’s Republic? reason for lapsing into relativism about interpreting it, but as a sign of the philosophically salient and interesting, what we are likely to find intellectually rewarding. And thirdly, the potential of the work we study to engender creative philosophical thinking on our part. These factors may be of different strengths and come into play in different ways.

The person who understands what the moral action requires, but has to battle down contrary motivation in order to do it, is not yet virtuous, but only self-controlled. Virtue requires that the person’s motivation go along with her understanding. Virtue, then, is a pretty demanding idea, in the ancient way of looking at it. It’s not hard to see why critics of Epicurus’ hedonism charged that he could not account for virtue. If pleasure is what we should be going for as our overall aim, then it is hard to see why we should care about the claims of morality except as means to gaining pleasure or avoiding pain.

Whatever I conclude, I have to be drawn into the theories and their reasonings. If I just feel that one appeals more than the other, but cannot back this up with argument, I have given up on my original drive to understand what is going on, to get beyond feeling puzzled and find some explanation. Ancient philosophy (indeed, philosophy generally) is typically marked by a refusal to leave things opaque and puzzling, to seek to make them clearer and more transparent to reason. Hence reading ancient philosophy tends to engage the reader’s reasoning immediately, to set a dialogue of minds going.

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Ancient Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions - 26) by Julia Annas

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