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Classical Studies: Ancient Philosophy

Reference Books

The Blackwell Guide to Ancient Philosophy via Blackwell Reference Online.  Christopher Shields, ed.   [Malden, Mass.]  : Blackwell Publishing, 2002. Note : access restricted to subscribers.  : Provides a comprehensive treatment of the principal figures and movements of philosophy from its origins before Socrates, through the towering achievements of Plato and Aristotle, and into its final developments in late antiquity....Authored by a cast of distinguished philosophers, this collection offers in-depth, accessible essays on the Presocratics, the Sophistic Movement, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, the principal Hellenistic schools – Epicureanism, Academic Skepticism, and Stoicism – and, finally, the often neglected Neoplatonists....Featuring a comprehensive bibliography of primary and secondary recommended works for each of its topics, this Guide is an indispensable resource for the study of ancient philosphy.

A Companion to Ancient Philosophy via Blackwell Reference Online.  Mary Louise Gill and Pierre Pellegrin, eds. [Malden, Mass.]  : Blackwell Publishing, 2006. Note : access restricted to subscribers.  Note : access restricted to subscribers.  : Provides a comprehensive and current overview of the history of ancient Greek and Roman philosophy from its origins until late antiquity....This volume of newly contributed papers is distinctive in including contributions from both rising stars and senior scholars, and in integrating what were until recently characterized as two conflicting traditions, analytic and continental. The papers treat central topics in ancient philosophy, such as the problem of sources or the practice of ancient philosophical commentary, and also explore the development of various disciplines, including mathematics, logic grammar, physics, and medicine, in their relation to ancient philosophy. Each paper informs the reader of the current state of debate concerning its topic, and pushes the dialogue further by expressing the views of its author....The volume presents a lively introduction, bibliographies, chronology, maps, and two indexes, making this book an excellent resource for students and scholars alike. Non-specialists will find this Companion accessible and rewarding, while specialists will be insipired to revisit controversial questions anew.

A Companion to Ancient Philosophy  / edited by Mary Louise Gill and Pierre Pellegrin.  [Malden, Mass.] : Blackwell Publishing, [2006]   B111 .C66 2006 Online : A Companion to Ancient Philosophy provides a comprehensive and current overview of the history of ancient Greek and Roman philosophy from its origins until late antiquity. Comprises an extensive collection of original essays, featuring contributions from both rising stars and senior scholars of ancient philosophy Integrates analytic and continental traditions Explores the development of various disciplines, such as mathematics, logic, grammar, physics, and medicine, in relation to ancient philosophy Includes an illuminating introduction, bibliography, chronology, maps and an index

The Cambridge Companion to Early Greek Philosophy / edited by A.A. Long.  Cambridge, U.K. ; New York, NY : Cambridge University Press, 1999.  427pp.  Main Library B188 .C35 1999 : The Western tradition of philosophy began in Greece with a cluster of thinkers often called the Presocratics, whose influence has been incalculable. All these thinkers are discussed in this volume both as individuals and collectively in chapters on rational theology, epistemology, psychology, rhetoric and relativism, justice, and poetics. Assuming no knowledge of Greek or prior knowledge of the subject, this volume provides new readers with the most convenient and accessible guide to early Greek philosophy available. Advanced students and specialists will find a conspectus of recent developments in the interpretation of early Greek thought.

The Cambridge Companion to Greek and Roman Philosophy / edited by David Sedley.  Cambridge, U.K. ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2003.  396pp.  Main Library B111 .C36 2003 : This wide-ranging introduction to the study of philosophy in the ancient world surveys the period's developments and evaluates a comprehensive series of major thinkers, ranging from Pythagoras to Epicurus. Tables, illustrations, and extensive advice on further reading contribute to an ideal book for survey courses on the history of ancient philosophy. It will be an invaluable guide for those interested in the philosophical thought of a rich and formative period.

The Cambridge companion to early Greek philosophy / edited by A.A. Long.   Cambridge, U.K. ; New York, NY : Cambridge University Press, 1999.  427pp.   B188 .C35 1999 : The Western tradition of philosophy began in Greece with a cluster of thinkers often called the Presocratics, whose influence has been incalculable. All these thinkers are discussed in this volume both as individuals and collectively in chapters on rational theology, epistemology, psychology, rhetoric and relativism, justice, and poetics. Assuming no knowledge of Greek or prior knowledge of the subject, this volume provides new readers with the most convenient and accessible guide to early Greek philosophy available. Advanced students and specialists will find a conspectus of recent developments in the interpretation of early Greek thought.

The Cambridge Companion to Epicureanism / edited by James Warren.  Cambridge, UK ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2009.  342pp.   B512 .C35 2009  :  This Companion presents both an introduction to the history of the ancient philosophical school of Epicureanism and also a critical account of the major areas of its philosophical interest. Chapters span the school's history from the early Hellenistic Garden to the Roman Empire and its later reception in the Early Modern period, introducing the reader to the Epicureans' contributions in physics, metaphysics, epistemology, psychology, ethics and politics. The international team of contributors includes scholars who have produced innovative and original research in various areas of Epicurean thought and they have produced essays which are accessible and of interest to philosophers, classicists, and anyone concerned with the diversity and preoccupations of Epicurean philosophy and the state of academic research in this field. The volume emphasises the interrelation of the different areas of the Epicureans' philosophical interests while also drawing attention to points of interpretative difficulty and controversy.

The Cambridge Companion to Ancient Scepticism / edited by Richard Bett.  Cambridge, UK ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2010.  380pp.  Main Library B525 .C36 2010 : This volume offers a comprehensive survey of the main periods, schools, and individual proponents of scepticism in the ancient Greek and Roman world. The contributors examine the major developments chronologically and historically, ranging from the early antecedents of scepticism to the Pyrrhonist tradition. They address the central philosophical and interpretive problems surrounding the sceptics' ideas on subjects including belief, action, and ethics. Finally, they explore the effects which these forms of scepticism had beyond the ancient period, and the ways in which ancient scepticism differs from scepticism as it has been understood since Descartes. The volume will serve as an accessible and wide-ranging introduction to the subject for non-specialists, while also offering considerable depth and detail for more advanced readers.

The Cambridge Companion to the Stoics / edited by Brad Inwood.  Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2003.  438pp.  Main Library B528 .C26 2003 : This volume offers an odyssey through the ideas of the Stoics in three ways: through the historical trajectory of the school itself and its influence; the recovery of the history of Stoic thought; and finally, the ongoing confrontation with Stoicism. The study demonstrates how Stoicism refines philosophical traditions, challenges the imagination, and ultimately defines the kind of life one chooses to lead. Advanced students and specialists will discover a conspectus of developments in this interpretation of the Stoics and new readers will be drawn to its accessibility.

The Cambridge Companion to Aristotle / edited by Jonathan Barnes. Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1995.  404pp. Main Library B485 .C35 1995 : Aristotle is one of the greatest thinkers in the Western tradition, but also one of the most difficult. The contributors to this volume do not attempt to disguise the nature of that difficulty, but at the same time they offer a clear exposition of the central philosophical concerns in his work. Approaches and methods vary and the volume editor has not imposed any single interpretation, but has rather allowed differences of interpretation to stand.

The Cambridge Companion to Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics / edited by Ronald Polansky, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh.  New York, NY : Cambridge University Press, 2014.  474pp.   Main Library B430 .C36 2014 : Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics is the first and arguably most important treatise on ethics in Western philosophy. It remains to this day a compelling reflection on the best sort of human life and continues to inspire contemporary thought and debate. This Cambridge Companion includes twenty essays by leading scholars of Aristotle and ancient philosophy that cover the major issues of this text. The essays in this volume shed light on Aristotle's rigorous and challenging thinking on questions such as: can there be a practical science of ethics? What is happiness? Are we responsible for our character? How does moral virtue relate to good thinking? Can we act against our reasoned choice? What is friendship? Is the contemplative life the highest kind of life? Covering all sections of the Nicomachean Ethics and selected topics in Aristotle's Eudemian Ethics and Protrepticus, this volume offers the reader a solid foundation in Aristotle's ethical philosophy.

A Companion to Aristotle / edited by Georgios Anagnostopoulos.  Chichester, U.K. ; Malden, MA : Wiley-Blackwell, 2009.  648pp.  Main Library B485 .C59 2009 (Also available online): The Blackwell Companion to Aristotle provides in-depth studies of the main themes of Aristotle's thought, from art to zoology.

A Companion to Aristotle / edited by Georgios Anagnostopoulos.  Chichester, U.K. ; Malden, MA : Wiley-Blackwell, 2009.  648pp.   Main Library B485 .C59 2009 (also available online): Provides in-depth studies of the main themes of Aristotle′s thought, from art to zoology, including 40 newly commissioned essays from leading experts.  Covers the full range of Aristotle′s work, from his ′theoretical′ inquiries into metaphysics, physics, psychology, and biology, to the practical and productive "sciences" such as ethics, politics, rhetoric, and art.

A Companion to Augustine / edited by Mark Vessey ; with the assistance of Shelley Reid.  Chichester, West Sussex ; Malden, MA : Wiley-Blackwell, 2012.  595pp.   BR65.A9 C59 2012  Online : Presents a fresh collection of scholarship by leading academics with a new approach to contextualizing Augustine and his works within the multi-disciplinary field of Late Antiquity, showing Augustine as both a product of the cultural forces of his times and a cultural force in his own right. Discusses the life and works of Augustine within their full historical context, rather than privileging the theological context Presents Augustine's life, works and leading ideas in the cultural context of the late Roman world, providing a vibrant and engaging sense of Augustine in action in his own time and place Opens up a new phase of study on Augustine, sensitive to the many and varied perspectives of scholarship on late Roman culture State-of-the-art essays by leading academics in this field

A Companion to Plato via Blackwell Reference Online.  Hugh Benson, ed.  [Malden, Mass.] : Blackwell Publishing, 2006.  Note : access restricted to subscribers.  : Plato and Platonism remain fundamental to the practice of philosophy. This broad-ranging Companion comprises original contributions from some of the best Platonic scholars in the world today and reflects the various ways in which they are dealing with Plato's legacy....The Companion is ordered on three principles. First, the contributions are devoted to topics in Platonic philosophy, ranging from perception and knowledge to politics and cosmology. This allows readers to see how a position advocated in one of Plato's dialogues compares with positions advocated in others. Second, reading Plato in this way raises issues concerning the chronological order of the composition of the dialogues and Plato's philosophical development; various sides of the debate on these subjects are argued. Finally, topics have been selected for their philosophical rather than their historical significance....The volume will be welcomed for the wide range of topics and the multiplicity of perspectives it presents. As an aid to fuller understanding, it also includes overviews of Plato's life, works, and philosophical method.

The Cambridge Companion to Plato / edited by Richard Kraut. Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1992.  560pp.  Main Library B395 .C28 1992 : Plato stands as the fount of our philosophical tradition, being the first Western thinker to produce a body of writing that touches upon a wide range of topics still discussed by philosophers today. In a sense he invented philosophy as a distinct subject, for although many of these topics were discussed by his intellectual predecessors and contemporaries, he was the first to bring them together by giving them a unitary treatment. This volume contains fourteen new essays discussing Plato's views about knowledge, reality, mathematics, politics, ethics, love, poetry, and religion. There are also analyses of the intellectual and social background of his thought, the development of his philosophy throughout his career, the range of alternative approaches to his work, and the stylometry of his writing.

The Cambridge Companion to Plato's Republic / edited by G.R.F. Ferrari. Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2007.  533pp.  Main Library JC71.P6 C36 2007 : This Companion provides a fresh and comprehensive account of this outstanding work, which remains among the most frequently read works of Greek philosophy, indeed of Classical antiquity in general. The sixteen essays, by authors who represent various academic disciplines, bring a spectrum of interpretive approaches to bear in order to aid the understanding of a wide-ranging audience, from first-time readers of the Republic who require guidance, to more experienced readers who wish to explore contemporary currents in the work's interpretation. The three initial chapters address aspects of the work as a whole. They are followed by essays that match closely the sequence in which topics are presented in the ten books of the Republic. Since the Republic returns frequently to the same topics by different routes, so do the authors of this volume, who provide the readers with divergent yet complementary perspectives by which to appreciate the Republic's principal concerns.

A Companion to Plato's Republic / Nicholas P. White.  Indianapolis : Hackett Pub. Co., c1979.  275pp.  Main Library JC71.P6 W45 : In a passage-by-passage analysis of the complete Republic, White shows how the argument of the book is articulated, the interconnections among its elements, and the train of thought that motivates its philosophical reasoning. He summarises each of its ten books and provides explanatory and interpretative notes.

The Continuum Companion to Plato / edited by Gerald A. Press ; associate editors, Francisco Gonzalez, Debra Nails (from MSU) and Harold Tarrant.  New York : Continuum, c2012.  356pp.   Faculty Book Collection (1 West)  B395 .C643 2012 :  Plato, mathematician, philosopher and founder of the Academy in Athens, is, together with his teacher, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, universally considered to have laid the foundations of Western philosophy. His philosophical dialogues remain among the most widely read and influential of all philosophical texts and his enduring influence on virtually every area of philosophical enterprise cannot be exaggerated.   This comprehensive and accessible guide to Plato's life and times includes more than 140 entries, written by a team of leading experts in the field of ancient philosophy, covering every aspect of Plato's thought. The Companion presents details of Plato's life, historical, philosophical and literary context, synopses of all the dialogues attributed to Plato, a comprehensive overview of the various features, themes and topics apparent in the dialogues, and a thorough account of his enduring influence and the various interpretative approaches applied to his thought throughout the history of philosophy. This is an essential reference tool for anyone working in the field of ancient philosophy.

The Cambridge Companion to Plotinus / edited by Lloyd P. Gerson.  Cambridge [England] ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1996.  462pp.  Main Library  B693.Z7 C36 1996 : Plotinus is the greatest philosopher in the 700 year period between Aristotle and Augustine. He thought of himself as a disciple of Plato, but in his efforts to defend Platonism against Aristotelians, Stoics, and others, he actually produced a reinvigorated version of Platonism that later came to be known as "Neoplatonism". In this volume, sixteen leading scholars introduce and explain the many facets of Plotinus' complex system. They place Plotinus in the history of ancient philosophy while showing how he was a founder of medieval philosophy.

A Companion to Socrates via Blackwell Reference Online.  Sara Ahbel-Rappe and Rachana Kamtekar, eds. [Malden, Mass.] : Blackwell Publishing, [2006?]. Note : access restricted to subscribers.  : This online resource explores the profound influence of Socrates on the history of Western philosophy and provides an in-depth discussion of the various approaches to his philosophy. Written by an outstanding international team of scholars, the volume covers the whole range of Socratic studies from the ancient world to the present day. The contributors review Socrates' life and the key philosophical doctrines associated with him, and examine Socrates' place in the larger philosophical traditions of the Hellenistic world, the Roman Empire, the Arabic world, the Renaissance, and contemporary Europe. They consider interdisciplinary subjects such as Socrates, and representations of Socrates in the art.

The Cambridge Companion to Socrates / edited by Donald R. Morrison.  Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2011.  413pp.   Main Library B317 .C35 2011 : The Cambridge Companion to Socrates is a collection of essays providing a comprehensive guide to Socrates, the most famous Greek philosopher. Because Socrates himself wrote nothing, our evidence comes from the writings of his friends (above all Plato), his enemies, and later writers. Socrates is thus a literary figure as well as a historical person. Both aspects of Socrates' legacy are covered in this volume. Socrates' character is full of paradox, and so are his philosophical views. These paradoxes have led to deep differences in scholar's interpretation of Socrates and his thought. Mirroring this wide range of thought about Socrates, this volume's contributors are unusually diverse in their background and perspective. The essays in this volume were authored by classical philologists, philosophers, and historians from Germany, Francophone Canada, Britain, and the United States, and they represent a range of interpretive and philosophical traditions.

Greek Thought : a Guide to Classical Knowledge / edited by Jacques Brunschwig and Geoffrey E.R. Lloyd, with the collaboration of Pierre Pellegrin ; translated under the direction of Catherine Porter. Cambridge, Mass. : Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2000. 1024pp. Main Library DF78 .S2313 2000 : Ancient Greek thought is the essential wellspring from which the intellectual, ethical, and political civilization of the West draws and to which, even today, we repeatedly return. In more than sixty essays by an international team of scholars, this volume explores the full breadth and reach of Greek thought--investigating what the Greeks knew as well as what they thought about what they knew, and what they believed, invented, and understood about the conditions and possibilities of knowing. Calling attention to the characteristic reflexivity of Greek thought, the analysis in this book reminds us of what our own reflections owe to theirs. ...In sections devoted to philosophy, politics, the pursuit of knowledge, major thinkers, and schools of thought, this work shows us the Greeks looking at themselves, establishing the terms for understanding life, language, production, and action. The authors evoke not history, but the stories the Greeks told themselves about history; not their poetry, but their poetics; not their speeches, but their rhetoric. Essays that survey political, scientific, and philosophical ideas, such as those on Utopia and the Critique of Politics, Observation and Research, and Ethics; others on specific fields from Astronomy and History to Mathematics and Medicine; new perspectives on major figures, from Anaxagoras to Zeno of Elea; studies of core traditions from the Milesians to the various versions of Platonism: together these offer a sense of the unquenchable thirst for knowledge that marked Greek civilization--and that Aristotle considered a natural and universal trait of humankind. With thirty-two pages of color illustrations, this work conveys the splendor and vitality of the Greek intellectual adventure.

Selected Web Sites Pertinent to Ancient Philosophy

Ancient Philosophy Society Blog.  Provides a forum for diverse scholarship on ancient Greek and Roman texts and to share information relevant to the society.

Approaching Plato : A Guide to Early and Middle Dialogues.  Mark Anderson and Ginger Osborn of Belmont University have made a collection of outlines and essays covering all of Plato’s early and middle works.

International Plato Society.

The People of Plato : A Prosopography of Plato and Other Socratics.  Courtesy of Debra Nails, MSU Department of Philosophy.

Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy.  An organization founded in 1953 by North American professors and scholars with interest in ancient philosophy. Now, more than 50 years later, it has members in many parts of the world. The Society exists primarily to give those who are working in ancient philosophy an opportunity to exchange their views in a variety of venues. For example, the Society sponsors panels at the three divisions of the American Philosophical Association and at the annual meeting of the American Philological Association. These papers are selected by blind review, and published in Newsletters, currently indexed in the Philosopher’s Index.

New Acquisitions

The Ancient Commentators on Plato and Aristotle / Miira Tuominen.  Berkeley : University of California Press, c2009.  324pp.  Main Library B335 .T86 2009 : The study of the ancient commentators has developed considerably over the past two decades, fueled by recent translations of their often daunting writings. Opening up this period in the history of philosophy to a wide audience for the first time, this book offers the only concise, accessible general introduction currently available to the writings of the late ancient commentators on Aristotle and, to a lesser extent, Plato. Miira Tuominen provides a historical overview followed by a series of thematic chapters on epistemology, science and logic, physics, psychology, metaphysics, and ethics. In particular, she focuses on the writings of Alexander of Aphrodisias, Themistius, Porphyry, Proclus, Philoponus, and Simplicius. Until recently, the late ancient commentators have been understood mainly as sources of information concerning the masters upon whose works they comment. This book offers new insights into their way of doing philosophy in their own right.

Aristotle On the Common Sense / Pavel Gregoric.  Oxford : Clarendon, 2007. 252pp.  Main Library B105.C457 G74 2007 : Apart from using our eyes to see and our ears to hear, we regularly and effortlessly perform a number of complex perceptual operations that cannot be explained in terms of the five senses taken individually. Such operations include, for example, perceiving that the same object is white and sweet, noticing the difference between white and sweet, or knowing that one's senses are active. Observing that lower animals must be able to perform such operations, and being unprepared to ascribe any share in rationality to them, Aristotle explained such operations with reference to a higher-order perceptual capacity which unites and monitors the five senses. This capacity is known as the "common sense" or sensus communis. Unfortunately, Aristotle provides only scattered and opaque references to this capacity. It is hardly surprising, therefore, that the exact nature and functions of this capacity have been a matter of perennial controversy....Pavel Gregoric offers an extensive and compelling treatment of the Aristotelian conception of the common sense, which has become part and parcel of Western psychological theories from antiquity through to the Middle Ages, and well into the early modern period. Aristotle on the Common Sense begins with an introduction to Aristotle's theory of perception and sets up a conceptual framework for the interpretation of textual evidence. In addition to analyzing those passages which make explicit mention of the common sense, and drawing out the implications for Aristotle's terminology, Gregoric provides a detailed examination of each function of this Aristotelian faculty.

Aristotle's Ethics / David Bostock.  Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2000.  255pp.  Main Library B430 .B67 2000 : In this fascinating introduction, David Bostock presents a fresh perspective on one of the great classics of moral philosophy: Aristotle's Nicomachaen Ethics. He argues that it is, and deserves to be, Aristotle's most widely studied work, for much of what it has to say is still important for today's debate on the problems of ethics. Here, Bostock guides the reader through explanations and evaluations of all the main themes of the work, exploring questions of interpretation and the differing views of a range of commentators. He also emphasizes the philosophical merits and faults of the doctrines that emerge, critically discussing them in a simple, straightforward way. Each chapter concludes with suggestions for further reading on the themes discussed within the chapter, and the book finishes with an evaluation of the Ethics as a whole. The ideal companion for study of Aristotle's great insights, this book helps the reader to engage with his ideas and arguments as living philosophy.

Epictetus : a Stoic and Socratic Guide to Life / A.A. Long.  Oxford : Clarendon Press ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2002.  310pp.  Main Library B563 .L66 2002 : The philosophy of Epictetus, a freed slave in the Roman Empire, has been profoundly influential on Western thought: it offers not only stimulating ideas but practical guidance in living one's life. A. A. Long, a leading scholar of later ancient philosophy, gives the definitive presentation of the thought of Epictetus for a broad readership. Long's fresh and vivid translations of a selection of the best of Epictetus' discourses show that his ideas are as valuable and striking today as they were amost two thousand years ago. ...This is a book for anyone interested in what we can learn from ancient philosophy about how to live our lives.

Facing Death : Epicurus and His Critics / James Warren.  Oxford ; New York : Clarendon Press, 2004.  240pp.  Main Library BD444 .W37 2004 :  The ancient philosophical school of Epicureanism tried to argue that death is "nothing to us." Were they right? James Warren examines the arguments they offered and evaluates their success, setting them against modern philosophical accounts of how death can be a harm. He also asks whether a life free from all fear of death is an attractive option and what the consequences would be of a full acceptance of the Epicureans' views.

From Epicurus to Epictetus : Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy / A.A. Long.  Oxford : Clarendon Press ; Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2006.  439pp.  Main Library B505 .L65 2006 : A. A. Long, one of the world's leading writers on ancient philosophy, presents eighteen essays on the philosophers and schools of the Hellenistic and Roman periods—Epicureans, Stoics, and Sceptics. The discussion ranges over four centuries of innovative and challenging thought in ethics and politics, psychology, epistemology, and cosmology.

From Protagoras to Aristotle : Essays in Ancient Moral Philosophy / Heda Segvic ; edited by Myles Burnyeat ; with an introduction by Charles Brittain.  Princeton : Princeton University Press, c2009.  196pp.  Main Library BJ101 .S44 2009 : This is a collection of the late Heda Segvic's papers in ancient moral philosophy. At the time of her death at age forty-five in 2003, Segvic had already established herself as an important figure in ancient philosophy, making bold new arguments about the nature of Socratic intellectualism and the intellectual influences that shaped Aristotle's ideas. Segvic had been working for some time on a monograph on practical knowledge that would interpret Aristotle's ethical theory as a response to Protagoras. The essays collected here are those on which her reputation rests, including some that were intended to form the backbone of her projected monograph. The papers range from a literary study of Homer's influence on Plato's Protagoras to analytic studies of Aristotle's metaphysics and his ideas about deliberation. Most of the papers reflect directly or indirectly Segvic's idea that both Socrates' and Aristotle's universalism and objectivism in ethics could be traced back to their opposition to Protagorean relativism. The book represents the considerable achievements of one of the most talented scholars of ancient philosophy of her generation.

How philosophy became socratic : a study of Plato's Protagoras, Charmides, and Republic / Laurence Lampert.  Chicago ; London : University of Chicago Press, 2010.  On order : Plato’s dialogues show Socrates at different ages, beginning when he was about nineteen and already deeply immersed in philosophy and ending with his execution five decades later. By presenting his model philosopher across a fifty-year span of his life, Plato leads his readers to wonder: does that time period correspond to the development of Socrates’ thought? In this magisterial investigation of the evolution of Socrates’ philosophy, Laurence Lampert answers in the affirmative....The chronological route that Plato maps for us, Lampert argues, reveals the enduring record of philosophy as it took the form that came to dominate the life of the mind in the West. The reader accompanies Socrates as he breaks with the century-old tradition of philosophy, turns to his own path, steadily enters into a deeper understanding of nature and human nature, and discovers the successful way to transmit his wisdom to the wider world. Focusing on the final and most prominent step in that process and offering detailed textual analysis of Plato’s Protagoras, Charmides, and Republic, How Philosophy Became Socratic charts Socrates’ gradual discovery of a proper politics to shelter and advance philosophy.

The Legacy of Socrates : Essays in Moral Philosophy / James Rachels ; edited by Stuart Rachels.  New York : Columbia University Press, c2007.  248pp.  Main Library BJ21 .R28 2007 : James Rachels's philosophical writings address key questions of contemporary life and the classic dilemmas of moral philosophy. A leading figure in the development of applied ethics, James Rachels became an influential and sometimes controversial thinker on issues concerning animal rights, euthanasia, bioethics, and moral objectivity. This final collection of James Rachels's work brings together fourteen essays that best summarize Rachels's philosophical positions. The essays also shed new light on the depth and breadth of Rachels's work and its importance for contemporary philosophy....Written in Rachels's characteristically lucid, literary prose, these essays address the relationship between morality and reason, the duty to relieve both human and animal suffering, the independence of morality from religion, the rejection of relativism and egoism, and the role of ethics in a democratic society. Rachels offers an argument for vegetarianism, examines a controversial case involving a surrogate mother, and speculates on the ethics of political killing. Other essays range from Rachels's interpretation of Nietzsche's philosophy to his appreciation of movies....Rachels was a strong believer in the ability of moral philosophy to improve our lives. This collection, which brings these important works together for the first time, is a testament to both the value of moral philosophy in understanding our world and the richness of Rachels's contributions to this understanding.

Logos and Muthos : Philosophical Essays in Greek Literature / edited by William WiansAlbany, NY : State University of New York Press, 2009.  281pp.  Main Library B178 .L64 2009 : What are the connections between ancient Greek literary and philosophical texts? Are they in fact two rival forms of discourse mutually opposed to one another? Concentrating on literary authors such as Homer, Hesiod, the Archaic poets, and the tragic playwrights, the contributors in this pioneering volume examine the concerns that such literary authors shared with their philosophical contemporaries. Equal attention is given also to the extent to which each group of authors shows an awareness of the demands and limitations of their forms, and how the study of nonphilosophical authors illuminates the goals and characters of ancient philosophizing. These essays reveal a dynamic range of interactions, reactions, tensions, and ambiguities, showing how Greek literary creations impacted and provided the background against which Greek philosophy arose in more intricate and complex ways than previously believed.

Parmenides and Presocratic Philosophy / John Palmer.  Oxford [England] ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2009.  428pp.  Main Library B235.P24 P35 2009 : John Palmer develops and defends a modal interpretation of Parmenides, according to which he was the first philosopher to distinguish in a rigorous manner the fundamental modalities of necessary being, necessary non-being or impossibility, and non-necessary or contingent being. This book accordingly reconsiders his place in the historical development of Presocratic philosophy in light of this new interpretation. Careful treatment of Parmenides' specification of the ways of inquiry that define his metaphysical and epistemological outlook paves the way for detailed analyses of his arguments demonstrating the temporal and spatial attributes of what is and cannot not be. Since the existence of this necessary being does not preclude the existence of other entities that are but need not be, Parmenides' cosmology can straightforwardly be taken as his account of the origin and operation of the world's mutable entities. Later chapters reassess the major Presocratics' relation to Parmenides in light of the modal interpretation, focusing particularly on Zeno, Melissus, Anaxagoras, and Empedocles. In the end, Parmenides' distinction among the principal modes of being, and his arguments regarding what what must be must be like, simply in virtue of its mode of being, entitle him to be seen as the founder of metaphysics or ontology as a domain of inquiry distinct from natural philosophy and theology. An appendix presents a Greek text of the fragments of Parmenides' poem with English translation and textual notes.

Philosophy in the Roman Empire : Ethics, Politics and Society / Michael Trapp. Aldershot, England ; Burlington, VT : Ashgate, c2007.  285pp.  Main Library B505 .T73 2007 : A new generation of scholarship has rejected the older, dismissive attitude toward philosophy in the late first century BCE to early third century CE of the Roman Empire. Trapp (King's College London) offers an up-to-date, concise, nuanced analysis of the philosophical literature of the period. He compares the Platonic, Aristotelian, Stoic, Skeptic, Cynic, and Epicurean schools' doctrinal commitments, carefully noting their commonalities and points of divergence. His wide command of the primary literature is matched only by his fluent grasp of recent scholarship. Trapp views the schools comparatively, examining how they approached key emphases of the period: adherence to philosophy as a way of life; becoming a person of virtue by means of moral training and control of the passions; the relation of self to society; the constitution and rule of good societies; and the social place of philosophy in contrast to usual Roman expectations.

Plato and Hesiod / edited by G.R. Boys-Stones and J.H. Haubold.  Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2010.  362pp.  Main Library PA4011 .P53 2010 : It hardly needs repeating that Plato defined philosophy partly by contrast with the work of the poets. What is extraordinary is how little systematic exploration there has been of his relationship with specific poets other than Homer. This neglect extends even to Hesiod, though Hesiod is of central importance for the didactic tradition quite generally, and is a major source of imagery at crucial moments of Plato's thought. This volume, which presents fifteen articles by specialists on the area, will be the first ever book-length study dedicated to the subject. It covers a wide variety of thematic angles, brings new and sometimes surprising light to a large range of Platonic dialogues, and represents a major contribution to the study of the reception of archaic poetry in Athens.

Plato and The Question of Beauty / Drew A. Hyland.  Bloomington : Indiana University Press, c2008.  150pp.  Main Library B398.A4 H95 2008 : Drew A. Hyland, one of Continental philosophy's keenest interpreters of Plato, takes up the question of beauty in three Platonic dialogues, the Hippias Major, Symposium, and Phaedrus. What Plato meant by beauty is not easily characterized, and Hyland's close readings show that Plato ultimately gives up on the possibility of a definition. Plato's failure, however, tells us something important about beauty -- that it cannot be reduced to logos. Exploring questions surrounding love, memory, and ideal form, Hyland draws out the connections between beauty, the possibility of philosophy, and philosophical living. This new reading of Plato provides a serious investigation into the meaning of beauty and places it at the very heart of philosophy.

Plato's Philosophers : the Coherence of the Dialogues / Catherine H. Zuckert.  Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 2009.  888pp. Main Library B395 .Z77 2009 : Faced with the difficult task of discerning Plato’s true ideas from the contradictory voices he used to express them, scholars have never fully made sense of the many incompatibilities within and between the dialogues. In the magisterial Plato’s Philosophers, Catherine Zuckert explains for the first time how these prose dramas cohere to reveal a comprehensive Platonic understanding of philosophy....To expose this coherence, Zuckert examines the dialogues not in their supposed order of composition but according to the dramatic order in which Plato indicates they took place. This unconventional arrangement lays bare a narrative of the rise, development, and limitations of Socratic philosophy. In the drama’s earliest dialogues, for example, non-Socratic philosophers introduce the political and philosophical problems to which Socrates tries to respond. A second dramatic group shows how Socrates develops his distinctive philosophical style. And, finally, the later dialogues feature interlocutors who reveal his philosophy’s limitations. Despite these limitations, Zuckert concludes, Plato made Socrates the dialogues’ central figure because Socrates raises the fundamental human question: what is the best way to live?...Plato’s dramatization of Socratic imperfections suggests, moreover, that he recognized the apparently unbridgeable gap between our understandings of human life and the nonhuman world. At a time when this gap continues to raise questions—about the division between sciences and the humanities and the potentially dehumanizing effects of scientific progress—Zuckert’s brilliant interpretation of the entire Platonic corpus offers genuinely new insights into worlds past and present.

Plato's Reception of Parmenides / John A. Palmer.  Oxford : Clarendon Press ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1999. 294pp.  Main Library B395 .P66 1999 : John Palmer presents a new and original account of Plato's uses and understanding of his most important Presocratic predecessor, Parmenides. Adopting an innovative approach to the appraisal of intellectual influence, Palmer first explores the Eleatic underpinnings of central elements in Plato's middle-period epistemology and metaphysics and then shows how in the later dialogues Plato confronts various sophistic appropriations of Parmenides.

Rhapsody of Philosophy : Dialogues With Plato in Contemporary Thought / Max Statkiewicz.  University Park, Pa. : Pennsylvania State University Press, c2009.  216pp.  Main Library B395 .S589 2009 : This book proposes to rethink the relationship between philosophy and literature through an engagement with Plato s dialogues. The dialogues have been seen as the source of a long tradition that subordinates poetry to philosophy, but they may also be approached as a medium for understanding how to overcome this opposition. Paradoxically, Plato then becomes an ally in the attempt to overturn Platonism, which Gilles Deleuze famously defined as the task of modern philosophy....Max Statkiewicz identifies a rhapsodic mode initiated by Plato in the dialogues and pursued by many of his modern European commentators, including Nietzsche, Heidegger, Irigaray, Derrida, and Nancy. The book articulates this rhapsodic mode as a way of entering into true dialogue (dia-logos), which splits any univocal meaning and opens up a serious play of signification both within and between texts. This mode, he asserts, employs a reading of Plato that is distinguished from interpretations emphasizing the dialogues as a form of dogmatic treatise, as well as from the dramatic interpretations that have been explored in recent Plato scholarship—both of which take for granted the modern notion of the subject. Statkiewicz emphasizes the importance of the dialogic nature of the rhapsodic mode in the play of philosophy and poetry, of Platonic and modern thought—and, indeed, of seriousness and play....This highly original study of Plato explores the inherent possibilities of Platonic thought to rebound upon itself and engender further dialogues.

Seneca and the Self / edited by Shadi Bartsch and David Wray.  Cambridge, UK ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2009.  304pp.  Main Library B618 .S394 2009 : This new collection of essays by well-known scholars of Seneca focuses on the multifaceted ways in which Seneca, as philosopher, politician, poet and Roman senator, engaged with the question of ethical selfhood. The contributors explore the main cruces of Senecan scholarship, such as whether Seneca's treatment of the self is original in its historical context; whether Seneca's Stoicism can be reconciled with the pull of rhetorical and literary self-expression; and how Seneca claims to teach psychic self-integration. Most importantly, the contributors debate to what degree, if at all, the absence of a technically articulated concept of selfhood should cause us to hesitate in seeking a distinctively Senecan self - one that stands out not only for the 'intensity of its relations to self', as Foucault famously put it, but also for the way in which those relations to self are couched.

Socrates / George Rudebusch.  Chichester, U.K. ; Malden, MA : Wiley-Blackwell, 2009. 221pp.  Main Library B317 .R83 2009 : Can we learn, through the model of Socrates, practical wisdom that we can apply to our lives? What are we to make of the paradoxical and strange figure who claimed that the unexamined life is not worth living, that only knowledge can save our souls, that love is nothing but the desire for wisdom, and that knowledge of human excellence is such that only a god can possess it?...Protesting against traditional interpretations that tame the ancient philosopher by observing him through a lens of conventional wisdom, George Rudebusch’s Socrates presents a compelling case for taking Socrates’ arguments and wild conclusions seriously, not merely as abstract exercises in cross-examining ideas of human excellence, but as a heavenly way for human beings to live....Original in approach, lovingly crafted with humor, thought-experiments, and literary references (from the Iliad to Harry Potter), and with close readings of key Socratic arguments, the book brings the strange figure of Socrates and his divine mission to life, philosophizing at the center of human concerns. Note:  Also available electronically.

Socrates : A Guide for the Perplexed / Sara Ahbel-Rappe.  London ; New York : Continuum, c2009.  187pp.  Main Library B317 .A39 2009 :  An introduction to Socrates, ideal for undergraduate students taking courses in Ancient and Greek Philosophy.

Socrates Against Athens: Philosophy on Trial / James Colaiaco.  Taylor and Francis, 2001.   266pp.  On order : As an essential companion to Plato's Apology and Crito this book provides valuable historical and cultural context for our understanding of the trial of Socrates. The complexity and significance of the trial is illuminated through discussion of such important elements as the nature of Athenian democracy, the polis ideal, Greek shame culture, Athenian religion, civil disobedience, and Socrates' rejection of politics.

Stoic Warriors : The Ancient Philosophy Behind the Military Mind / Nancy Sherman. New York : Oxford University Press, 2005. 242pp.  Main Library B528 .S299 2005 : While few soldiers may have read the works of Epictetus or Marcus Aurelius, it is undoubtedly true that the ancient philosophy known as Stoicism guides the actions of many in the military. Soldiers and seamen learn early in their training "to suck it up," to endure, to put aside their feelings and to get on with the mission....Stoic Warriors is the first book to delve deeply into the ancient legacy of this relationship, exploring what the Stoic philosophy actually is, the role it plays in the character of the military (both ancient and modern), and its powerful value as a philosophy of life. Marshalling anecdotes from military history—ranging from ancient Greek wars to World War II, Vietnam, and Iraq—Nancy Sherman illuminates the military mind and uses it as a window on the virtues of the Stoic philosophy, which are far richer and more interesting than our popularized notions. Sherman—a respected philosopher who taught at the US Naval Academy—explores the deep, lasting value that Stoicism can yield, in issues of military leadership and character; in the Stoic conception of anger and its control (does a warrior need anger to go to battle?); and in Stoic thinking about fear and resilience, grief and mourning, and the value of camaraderie and brotherhood. Sherman concludes by recommending a moderate Stoicism, where the task for the individual, both civilian and military, youth and adult, is to temper control with forgiveness, and warrior drive and achievement with humility and humor....Here then is a perceptive investigation of what makes Stoicism so compelling not only as a guiding principle for the military, but as a philosophy for anyone facing the hardships of life.

Timaeus and Critias / [Harmondsworth, Eng., Baltimore] Penguin Books [1971] 165pp.  Main Library B387.A5 L43 1971 : 'The god wanted everything to be good, marred by as little imperfection as possible.' Timaeus, one of Plato's acknowledged masterpieces, is an attempt to construct the universe and explain its contents by means of as few axioms as possible. The result is a brilliant, bizarre, and surreal cosmos - the product of the rational thinking of a creator god and his astral assistants, and of purely mechanistic causes based on the behaviour of the four elements. At times dazzlingly clear, at times intriguingly opaque, this was state-of-the-art science in the middle of the fourth century BC. The world is presented as a battlefield of forces that are unified only by the will of God, who had to do the best he could with recalcitrant building materials....The unfinished companion piece, Critias, is the foundational text for the story of Atlantis. It tells how a model society became corrupt, and how a lost race of Athenians defeated the aggression of the invading Atlanteans. This new edition combines the clearest translation yet of these crucial ancient texts with an illuminating introduction and diagrams. 

Timaeus and Critias / Plato ; translated by Robin Waterfield ; with an introduction and notes by Andrew Gregory.  Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, c2008.  163pp.  Main Library B387.A5 W37 2008 : 'The god wanted everything to be good, marred by as little imperfection as possible.' Timaeus, one of Plato's acknowledged masterpieces, is an attempt to construct the universe and explain its contents by means of as few axioms as possible. The result is a brilliant, bizarre, and surreal cosmos - the product of the rational thinking of a creator god and his astral assistants, and of purely mechanistic causes based on the behaviour of the four elements. At times dazzlingly clear, at times intriguingly opaque, this was state-of-the-art science in the middle of the fourth century BC. The world is presented as a battlefield of forces that are unified only by the will of God, who had to do the best he could with recalcitrant building materials....The unfinished companion piece, Critias, is the foundational text for the story of Atlantis. It tells how a model society became corrupt, and how a lost race of Athenians defeated the aggression of the invading Atlanteans. This new edition combines the clearest translation yet of these crucial ancient texts with an illuminating introduction and diagrams.

Wretched Aristotle : Using the Past to Rescue the Future / Jude P. Dougherty.  Lanham, MD : Lexington Books, 2009.  236pp.  Main Library B485 .D68 2009 : In Wretched Aristotle: Using the Past to Rescue the Future, Jude P. Dougherty offers an intriguing reexamination of this crisis in contemporary times. Situating his argument in the context of ongoing debate concerning the nature of the public philosophy that underpins ideas of freedom, Dougherty identifies the essential features of Western culture through a series of interrelated essays. Each essay reinforces the idea that modernity cannot be understood apart from its break with classical antiquity.

Michigan State University