People rely on reason to think about and navigate the abstract world of human relations in much the same way they rely on maps to study and traverse the physical world. Starting from that simple observation, renowned geographer Gunnar Olsson offers in Abysmal an astonishingly erudite critique of the way human thought and action have become deeply immersed in the rhetoric of cartography and how this cartographic reasoning allows the powerful to map out other people’s lives.
A spectacular reading of Western philosophy, religion, and mythology that draws on early maps and atlases, Plato, Kant, and Wittgenstein, Thomas Pynchon, Gilgamesh, and Marcel Duchamp, Abysmal is itself a minimalist guide to the terrain of Western culture. Olsson roams widely but always returns to the problems inherent in reason, to question the outdated assumptions and fixed ideas that thinking cartographically entails. A work of ambition, scope, and sharp wit, Abysmal will appeal to an eclectic audience—to geographers and cartographers, but also to anyone interested in the history of ideas, culture, and art.
The notion of practical wisdom is one of Aristotle’s greatest inventions. It has inspired philosophers as diverse as Martin Heidegger, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Elizabeth Anscombe, Michael Thompson, and John McDowell. Now a leading scholar of ancient philosophy offers a challenge to received accounts of practical wisdom by situating it in the larger context of Aristotle’s views on knowledge and reality.That happiness is the end pursued by practical wisdom is commonly agreed. What is disputed is whether happiness is to be found in the practical life of political action, in which we exhibit courage, temperance, and other virtues of character, or in the contemplative life, where theoretical wisdom is the essential virtue. C. D. C. Reeve argues that the dichotomy is bogus, that these lives are in fact parts of a single life, which is the best human one. In support of this view, he develops innovative accounts of many of the central notions in Aristotle’s metaphysics, epistemology, and psychology, including matter and form, scientific knowledge, dialectic, educatedness, perception, understanding, political science, practical truth, deliberation, and deliberate choice. These accounts are based directly on freshly translated passages from many of Aristotle’s writings. Action, Contemplation, and Happiness is an accessible essay not just on practical wisdom but on Aristotle’s philosophy as a whole.
Understanding “what something is” is a project that has long occupied philosophers. Perhaps no thinker in the Western tradition has had more influence on how we approach this question than Aristotle, whose Metaphysics remains the locus classicus of rigorous examinations into the nature of being. Now, in an elegantly argued new study, Aryeh Kosman reinterprets Aristotle’s ontology and compels us to reexamine some of our most basic assumptions about the great philosopher’s thought.For Aristotle, to ask “what something is” is to inquire into a specific mode of its being, something ordinarily regarded as its “substance.” But to understand substance, we need the concept of energeia—a Greek term usually translated as “actuality.” In a move of far-reaching consequence, Kosman explains that the correct translation of energeia is not “actuality” but “activity.” We have subtly misunderstood the Metaphysics on this crucial point, says Kosman. Aristotle conceives of substance as a kind of dynamic activity, not some inert quality. Substance is something actively being what it is.Kosman demonstrates how this insight significantly alters our understanding of a number of important concepts in Aristotelian thought, from accounts of motion, consciousness, and essence to explanations of the nature of animal and divine being. Whether it is approached as an in-depth introduction to Aristotle’s metaphysics or as a highly original reassessment sure to spark debate, there can be no argument that The Activity of Being is a major contribution to our understanding of one of philosophy’s most important thinkers.
From the beginning to the end of his career, the philosopher Theodor W. Adorno sustained an uneasy but enduring bond with existentialism. His attitude overall was that of unsparing criticism, verging on polemic. In Kierkegaard he saw an early paragon for the late flowering of bourgeois solipsism; in Heidegger, an impresario for a “jargon of authenticity” cloaking its idealism in an aura of pseudo-concreteness and neo-romantic kitsch. Even in the straitened rationalism of Husserl’s phenomenology Adorno saw a vain attempt to break free from the prison-house of consciousness.“Gordon, in a detailed, sensitive, fair-minded way, leads the reader through Adorno’s various, usually quite vigorous, rhetorically pointed attacks on both transcendental and existential phenomenology from 1930 on…[A] singularly illuminating study.”—Robert Pippin, Critical Inquiry“Gordon’s book offers a significant contribution to our understanding of Adorno’s thought. He writes with expertise, authority, and compendious scholarship, moving with confidence across the thinkers he examines…After this book, it will not be possible to explain Adorno’s philosophical development without serious consideration of [Gordon’s] reactions to them.”—Richard Westerman, Symposium
Among all the great thinkers of the past two hundred years, Nietzsche continues to occupy a special place--not only for a broad range of academics but also for members of a wider public, who find some of their most pressing existential concerns addressed in his works. Central among these concerns is the question of the meaning of a life characterized by inescapable suffering, at a time when the traditional responses inspired by Christianity are increasingly losing their credibility. While most recent studies of Nietzsche's works have lost sight of this fundamental issue, Bernard Reginster's book The Affirmation of Life brings it sharply into focus.Reginster identifies overcoming nihilism as a central objective of Nietzsche's philosophical project, and shows how this concern systematically animates all of his main ideas. In particular, Reginster's work develops an original and elegant interpretation of the will to power, which convincingly explains how Nietzsche uses this doctrine to mount a critique of the dominant Christian values, to overcome the nihilistic despair they produce, and to determine the conditions of a new affirmation of life. Thus, Reginster attributes to Nietzsche a compelling substantive ethical outlook based on the notions of challenge and creativity--an outlook that involves a radical reevaluation of the role and significance of suffering in human existence.Replete with deeply original insights on many familiar--and frequently misunderstood--Nietzschean concepts, Reginster's book will be essential to anyone approaching this towering figure of Western intellectual history.
For over two centuries, Western scholars have discussed African philosophy and culture, often in disparaging, condescending terms, and always from an alien European perspective. Many Africans now share this perspective, having been trained in the western, empirical tradition. Makinde argues that, particularly in view of the costs and failings of western style culture, Africans must now mold their own modern culture by blending useful western practices with valuable indigenous African elements. Specifically, Makinde demonstrates the potential for the development of African philosophy and even African traditional medicine.
Following the lead of a number of countries with government policies of incorporating indigenous medicine with orthodox Western medicine, Makinde argues that traditional African practices should be taken seriously, both medically and scientifically. Further, he charges African scholars with the responsibility of investigating these and other elements of traditional African culture in order to dispel their mystery and secrecy through modern research and useful publications.
From Kant to Kierkegaard, from Hegel to Heidegger, continental philosophers have indelibly shaped the trajectory of Western thought since the eighteenth century. Although much has been written about these monumental thinkers, students and scholars lack a definitive guide to the entire scope of the continental tradition. The most comprehensive reference work to date, this eight-volume History of Continental Philosophy will both encapsulate the subject and reorient our understanding of it. Beginning with an overview of Kant’s philosophy and its initial reception, the History traces the evolution of continental philosophy through major figures as well as movements such as existentialism, phenomenology, hermeneutics, and poststructuralism. The final volume outlines the current state of the field, bringing the work of both historical and modern thinkers to bear on such contemporary topics as feminism, globalization, and the environment. Throughout, the volumes examine important philosophical figures and developments in their historical, political, and cultural contexts.
The first reference of its kind, A History of Continental Philosophy has been written and edited by internationally recognized experts with a commitment to explaining complex thinkers, texts, and movements in rigorous yet jargon-free essays suitable for both undergraduates and seasoned specialists. These volumes also elucidate ongoing debates about the nature of continental and analytic philosophy, surveying the distinctive, sometimes overlapping characteristics and approaches of each tradition. Featuring helpful overviews of major topics and plotting road maps to their underlying contexts, A History of Continental Philosophy is destined to be the resource of first and last resort for students and scholars alike.
Sextus Empiricus (ca. 160210 CE), exponent of scepticism and critic of the Dogmatists, was a Greek physician and philosopher, pupil and successor of the medical sceptic Herodotus (not the historian) of Tarsus. He probably lived for years in Rome and possibly also in Alexandria and Athens. His three surviving works are 'Outlines of Pyrrhonism' (three books on the practical and ethical scepticism of Pyrrho of Elis, ca. 360275 BCE, as developed later, presenting also a case against the Dogmatists); 'Against the Dogmatists' (five books dealing with the Logicians, the Physicists, and the Ethicists); and 'Against the Professors' (six books: Grammarians, Rhetors, Geometers, Arithmeticians, Astrologers, and Musicians). These two latter works might be called a general criticism of professors of all arts and sciences. Sextus's work is a valuable source for the history of thought especially because of his development and formulation of former sceptic doctrines.The Loeb Classical Library edition of Sextus Empiricus is in four volumes.
Age of Entanglement explores patterns of connection linking German and Indian intellectuals from the nineteenth century to the years after the Second World War. Kris Manjapra traces the intersecting ideas and careers of a diverse collection of individuals from South Asia and Central Europe who shared ideas, formed networks, and studied one another's worlds. Moving beyond well-rehearsed critiques of colonialism toward a new critical approach, this study recasts modern intellectual history in terms of the knotted intellectual itineraries of seeming strangers.Collaborations in the sciences, arts, and humanities produced extraordinary meetings of German and Indian minds. Meghnad Saha met Albert Einstein, Stella Kramrisch brought the Bauhaus to Calcutta, and Girindrasekhar Bose began a correspondence with Sigmund Freud. Rabindranath Tagore traveled to Germany to recruit scholars for a new Indian university, and the actor Himanshu Rai hired director Franz Osten to help establish movie studios in Bombay. These interactions, Manjapra argues, evinced shared responses to the cultural and political hegemony of the British empire. Germans and Indians hoped to find in one another the tools needed to disrupt an Anglocentric world order.As Manjapra demonstrates, transnational intellectual encounters are not inherently progressive. From Orientalism and Aryanism to socialism and scientism, German-Indian entanglements were neither necessarily liberal nor conventionally cosmopolitan, often characterized as much by manipulation as by cooperation. Age of Entanglement underscores the connections between German and Indian intellectual history, revealing the characteristics of a global age when the distance separating Europe and Asia seemed, temporarily, to disappear.
Interest in German Idealism--not just Kant, but Fichte and Hegel as well--has recently developed within analytic philosophy, which traditionally defined itself in opposition to the Idealist tradition. Yet one obstacle remains especially intractable: the Idealists' longstanding claim that philosophy must be systematic. In this work, the first overview of the German Idealism that is both conceptual and methodological, Paul W. Franks offers a philosophical reconstruction that is true to the movement's own times and resources and, at the same time, deeply relevant to contemporary thought.At the center of the book are some neglected but critical questions about German Idealism: Why do Fichte, Schelling, and Hegel think that philosophy's main task is the construction of a system? Why do they think that every part of this system must derive from a single, immanent and absolute principle? Why, in short, must it be all or nothing? Through close examination of the major Idealists as well as the overlooked figures who influenced their reading of Kant, Franks explores the common ground and divergences between the philosophical problems that motivated Kant and those that, in turn, motivated the Idealists. The result is a characterization of German Idealism that reveals its sources as well as its pertinence--and its challenge--to contemporary philosophical naturalism.
This is an auto-narrated audiobook edition of this book.
America’s Philosopher examines how John Locke has been interpreted, reinterpreted, and misinterpreted over three centuries of American history.
The influence of polymath philosopher John Locke (1632–1704) can still be found in a dizzying range of fields, as his writings touch on issues of identity, republicanism, and the nature of knowledge itself. Claire Rydell Arcenas’s new book tells the story of Americans’ longstanding yet ever-mutable obsession with this English thinker’s ideas, a saga whose most recent manifestations have found the so-called Father of Liberalism held up as a right-wing icon.
The first book to detail Locke’s trans-Atlantic influence from the eighteenth century until today, America’s Philosopher shows how and why interpretations of his ideas have captivated Americans in ways few other philosophers—from any nation—ever have. As Arcenas makes clear, each generation has essentially remade Locke in its own image, taking inspiration and transmuting his ideas to suit the needs of the particular historical moment. Drawing from a host of vernacular sources to illuminate Locke’s often contradictory impact on American daily and intellectual life from before the Revolutionary War to the present, Arcenas delivers a pathbreaking work in the history of ideas.
Xenophon (ca. 430 to ca. 354 BCE) was a wealthy Athenian and friend of Socrates. He left Athens in 401 and joined an expedition including ten thousand Greeks led by the Persian governor Cyrus against the Persian king. After the defeat of Cyrus, it fell to Xenophon to lead the Greeks from the gates of Babylon back to the coast through inhospitable lands. Later he wrote the famous vivid account of this 'March Up-Country' (Anabasis); but meanwhile he entered service under the Spartans against the Persian king, married happily, and joined the staff of the Spartan king, Agesilaus. But Athens was at war with Sparta in 394 and so exiled Xenophon. The Spartans gave him an estate near Elis where he lived for years writing and hunting and educating his sons. Reconciled to Sparta, Athens restored Xenophon to honour but he preferred to retire to Corinth.Xenophon's Anabasis is a true story of remarkable adventures. Hellenica, a history of Greek affairs from 411 to 362, begins as a continuation of Thucydides' account. There are four works on Socrates (collected in Volume IV of the Loeb Xenophon edition). In Memorabilia Xenophon adds to Plato's picture of Socrates from a different viewpoint. The Apology is an interesting complement to Plato's account of Socrates' defense at his trial. Xenophon's Symposium portrays a dinner party at which Socrates speaks of love; and Oeconomicus has him giving advice on household management and married life. Cyropaedia, a historical romance on the education of Cyrus (the Elder), reflects Xenophon's ideas about rulers and government; the Loeb edition is in two volumes.We also have his Hiero, a dialogue on government; Agesilaus, in praise of that king; Constitution of Lacedaemon (on the Spartan system); Ways and Means (on the finances of Athens); Manual for a Cavalry Commander; a good manual of Horsemanship; and a lively Hunting with Hounds. The Constitution of the Athenians, though clearly not by Xenophon, is an interesting document on politics at Athens. These eight books are collected in the last of the seven volumes of the Loeb Classical Library edition of Xenophon.
Lucius Annaeus Seneca (4 BCE–65 CE) was a Roman Stoic philosopher, dramatist, statesman, and adviser to the emperor Nero, all during the Silver Age of Latin literature. The Complete Works of Lucius Annaeus Seneca is a fresh and compelling series of new English-language translations of his works in eight accessible volumes. Edited by world-renowned classicists Elizabeth Asmis, Shadi Bartsch, and Martha C. Nussbaum, this engaging collection restores Seneca—whose works have been highly praised by modern authors from Desiderius Erasmus to Ralph Waldo Emerson—to his rightful place among the classical writers most widely studied in the humanities.
Anger, Mercy, Revenge comprises three key writings: the moral essays On Anger and On Clemency—which were penned as advice for the then young emperor, Nero—and the Apocolocyntosis, a brilliant satire lampooning the end of the reign of Claudius. Friend and tutor, as well as philosopher, Seneca welcomed the age of Nero in tones alternately serious, poetic, and comic—making Anger, Mercy, Revenge a work just as complicated, astute, and ambitious as its author.
A groundbreaking volume introduces the unique feminist thought of the longstanding Italian group known as Diotima
Introducing Anglophone readers to a potent strain of Italian feminism known to French, Spanish, and German audiences but as yet unavailable in English, Another Mother argues that the question of the mother is essential to comprehend the matrix of contemporary culture and society and to pursue feminist political projects.
Focusing on Diotima, a community of women philosophers deeply involved in feminist politics since the 1960s, this volume provides a multifaceted panorama of its engagement with currents of thought including structuralism, psychoanalysis, linguistics, and Marxism. Starting from the simple insight that the mother is the one who gives us both life and language, these thinkers develop concepts of the mother and sexual difference in contemporary society that differ in crucial ways from both French and U.S. feminisms.
Arguing that Diotima anticipates many of the themes in contemporary philosophical discourses of biopolitics—exemplified by thinkers such as Giorgio Agamben, Antonio Negri, and Roberto Esposito—Another Mother opens an important space for reflections on the past history of feminism and on feminism’s future.
Contributors: Anne Emmanuelle Berger, Paris 8 U–Vincennes Saint-Denis; Ida Dominijanni; Luisa Muraro; Diana Sartori, U of Verona; Chiara Zamboni, U of Verona.
Anselm of Canterbury (1033–1109 CE), in his work Proslogion, originated the “ontological argument” for God’s existence, famously arguing that “something than which nothing greater can be conceived,” which he identifies with God, must actually exist, for otherwise something greater could indeed be conceived. Some commentators have claimed that although Anselm may not have been conscious of the fact, the Proslogion as well as his Reply to Gaunilo contains passages that constitute a second independent proof: a “modal ontological argument” that concerns the supposed logical necessity of God’s existence. Other commentators disagree, countering that the alleged second argument does not stand on its own but presupposes the conclusion of the first.Anselm’s Other Argument stakes an original claim in this debate, and takes it further. There is a second a priori argument in Anselm (specifically in the Reply), A. D. Smith contends, but it is not the modal argument past scholars have identified. This second argument surfaces in a number of forms, though always turning on certain deep, interrelated metaphysical issues. It is this form of argument that in fact underlies several of the passages which have been misconstrued as statements of the modal argument. In a book that combines historical research with rigorous philosophical analysis, Smith discusses this argument in detail, finally defending a modification of it that is implicit in Anselm. This “other argument” bears a striking resemblance to one that Duns Scotus would later employ.
Not much escapes the intellect and imagination of the Angelic Doctor, St. Thomas Aquinas. Whether it be love, children, education, moral reasoning, happiness or the proper dispositions for human existence, St. Thomas seems an expert in all of it. Crime and criminal conduct are no exceptions to this general tendency with him. Not only does he have much to say about it, what he relates is perpetually fresh and surely the bedrock of what is now taken for granted. In this short treatise, the focus targets St. Thomas’s criminal codification – his law of crimes.
Indeed the magnanimity of his crimes code is a subject matter not yet treated in any detail in the scholarly literature. While parts and pieces are covered in many quarters, the literature has yet to develop a systematic, codified examination of Thomistic criminal law. The essence of the endeavor is threefold: first, how does St. Thomas factor the nature of the human person into the concept of criminal culpability and personal responsibility; second, what types of criminal conduct does St. Thomas specifically delineate and define; and lastly, what is Thomas’s view of mitigation and defense, as well as the corresponding punishment meted out for criminal conduct? This short commentary zeroes in on Thomistic Criminal Law – a project which will illuminate the root, the heritage and the foundation of modern criminal codification.
In contemporary discussions of abortion, both sides argue well-worn positions, particularly concerning the question, When does human life begin? Though often invoked by the Catholic Church for support, Thomas Aquinas in fact held that human life begins after conception, not at the moment of union. But his overall thinking on questions of how humans come into being, and cease to be, is more subtle than either side in this polarized debate imagines. Fabrizio Amerini--an internationally renowned scholar of medieval philosophy--does justice to Aquinas's views on these controversial issues.Some pro-life proponents hold that Aquinas's position is simply due to faulty biological knowledge, and if he knew what we know today about embryology, he would agree that human life begins at conception. Others argue that nothing Aquinas could learn from modern biology would have changed his mind. Amerini follows the twists and turns of Aquinas's thinking to reach a nuanced and detailed solution in the final chapters that will unsettle familiar assumptions and arguments.Systematically examining all the pertinent texts and placing each in historical context, Amerini provides an accurate reconstruction of Aquinas's account of the beginning and end of human life and assesses its bioethical implications for today. This major contribution is available to an English-speaking audience through translation by Mark Henninger, himself a noted scholar of medieval philosophy.
Aristotle's much-translated On Poetics is the earliest and arguably the best treatment that we possess of tragedy as a literary form. Seth Benardete and Michael Davis have translated it anew with a view to rendering Aristotle’s text into English as precisely as possible. A literal translation has long been needed, for in order to excavate the argument of On Poetics one has to attend not simply to what is said on the surface but also to the various puzzles, questions, and peculiarities that emerge only on the level of how Aristotle says what he says and thereby leads one to revise and deepen one’s initial understanding of the intent of the argument. As On Poetics is about how tragedy ought to be composed, it should not be surprising that it turns out to be a rather artful piece of literature in its own right.
Benardete and Davis supplement their edition of On Poetics with extensive notes and appendices. They explain nuances of the original that elude translation, and they provide translations of passages found elsewhere in Aristotle’s works as well as in those of other ancient authors that prove useful in thinking through the argument of On Poetics both in terms of its treatment of tragedy and in terms of its broader concerns. By following the connections Aristotle plots between On Poetics and his other works, readers will be in a position to appreciate the centrality of this little book for his thought on the whole.
In an introduction that sketches the overall interpretation of On Poetics presented in his The Poetry of Philosophy (St. Augustine’s Press, 1999), Davis argues that, while On Poetics is certainly about tragedy, it has a further concern extending beyond poetry to the very structure of the human soul in its relation to what is, and that Aristotle reveals in the form of his argument the true character of human action.
Nicomachean Ethics VI is considered one of classical philosophy's greatest achievements. Aristotle on Practical Wisdom is the first full-scale commentary on this work to be issued in over a century, and is the most comprehensive and philosophically illuminating to date. A meticulous translation coupled with facing-page analysis enables readers to engage directly with the account of phronêsis or practical wisdom that Aristotle is developing, while a full introduction locates that account in the context of his ethical thought and of later ethical thought more generally.The commentary discusses the text line by line, illuminating obscure passages, explaining technical ones, and providing a new overall interpretation of the work and the nature of practical reason. A companion volume, Action, Contemplation, and Happiness, expands on this interpretation to provide a startling new picture of Aristotle's thought as a whole. Although the two books can be approached separately, together they constitute one of the most daring and original contemporary readings of Aristotle's philosophy. Aimed at committed students of these notoriously difficult writings, C. D. C. Reeve’s engaging and lucid books should find a wide audience among philosophers, classicists, and all readers willing to wrestle with a thinker of unparalleled subtlety, depth, and scope.
What is the good life for a human being? Aristotle’s exploration of this question in the Nicomachean Ethics has established it as a founding work of Western philosophy, though its teachings have long puzzled readers and provoked spirited discussion. Adopting a radically new point of view, Ronna Burger deciphers some of the most perplexing conundrums of this influential treatise by approaching it as Aristotle’s dialogue with the Platonic Socrates.
Tracing the argument of the Ethics as it emerges through that approach, Burger’s careful reading shows how Aristotle represents ethical virtue from the perspective of those devoted to it while standing back to examine its assumptions and implications.
“This is the best book I have read on Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics. It is so well crafted that reading it is like reading the Ethics itself, in that it provides an education in ethical matters that does justice to all sides of the issues.”—Mary P. Nichols, Baylor University
Aristotle was the founder not only of logic but also of modal logic. In the Prior Analytics he developed a complex system of modal syllogistic which, while influential, has been disputed since antiquity—and is today widely regarded as incoherent. In this meticulously argued new study, Marko Malink presents a major reinterpretation of Aristotle’s modal syllogistic. Combining analytic rigor with keen sensitivity to historical context, he makes clear that the modal syllogistic forms a consistent, integrated system of logic, one that is closely related to other areas of Aristotle’s philosophy.Aristotle’s modal syllogistic differs significantly from modern modal logic. Malink considers the key to understanding the Aristotelian version to be the notion of predication discussed in the Topics—specifically, its theory of predicables (definition, genus, differentia, proprium, and accident) and the ten categories (substance, quantity, quality, and so on). The predicables introduce a distinction between essential and nonessential predication. In contrast, the categories distinguish between substantial and nonsubstantial predication. Malink builds on these insights in developing a semantics for Aristotle’s modal propositions, one that verifies the ancient philosopher’s claims of the validity and invalidity of modal inferences.Malink recognizes some limitations of this reconstruction, acknowledging that his proof of syllogistic consistency depends on introducing certain complexities that Aristotle could not have predicted. Nonetheless, Aristotle’s Modal Syllogistic brims with bold ideas, richly supported by close readings of the Greek texts, and offers a fresh perspective on the origins of modal logic.
This is a new translation, with introduction, commentary, and an explanatory glossary.
"Sachs's translation and commentary rescue Aristotle's text from the rigid, pedantic, and misleading versions that have until now obscured his thought. Thanks to Sachs's superb guidance, the Physics comes alive as a profound dialectical inquiry whose insights into the enduring questions about nature, cause, change, time, and the 'infinite' are still pertinent today. Using such guided studies in class has been exhilarating both for myself and my students." ––Leon R. Kass, The Committee on Social Thought, University of Chicago
Aristotle’s Physics is the only complete and coherent book we have from the ancient world in which a thinker of the first rank seeks to say something about nature as a whole. For centuries, Aristotle’s inquiry into the causes and conditions of motion and rest dominated science and philosophy. To understand the intellectual assumptions of a powerful world view—and the roots of the Scientific Revolution—reading Aristotle is critical. Yet existing translations of Aristotle’s Physics have made it difficult to understand either Aristotle’s originality or the lasting value of his work.
In this volume in the Masterworks of Discovery series, Joe Sachs provides a new plain-spoken English translation of all of Aristotle’s classic treatise and accompanies it with a long interpretive introduction, a running explication of the text, and a helpful glossary. He succeeds brilliantly in fulfilling the aim of this innovative series: to give the general reader the tools to read and understand a masterwork of scientific discovery.
Aristotle (384–322 BC), the great Greek thinker, researcher, and educator, ranks among the most important and influential figures in the history of philosophy, theology, and science. He joined Plato’s Academy in Athens in 367 and remained there for twenty years. After spending three years at the Asian court of a former pupil, Hermeias, he was appointed by Philip of Macedon in 343/2 to become tutor of his teenaged son, Alexander. After Philip's death in 336, Aristotle became head of his own school, the Lyceum at Athens, whose followers were known as the Peripatetics. Because of anti-Macedonian feeling in Athens after Alexander's death in 323, he withdrew to Chalcis in Euboea, where he died in 322.Aristotle wrote voluminously on a broad range of subjects analytical, practical, and theoretical. Rhetoric, probably composed while he was still a member of Plato’s Academy, is the first systematic approach to persuasive public speaking based in dialectic, on which he had recently written the first manual.This edition of Aristotle’s Rhetoric, which replaces the original Loeb edition by John Henry Freese, supplies a Greek text based on that of Rudolf Kassel, a fresh translation, and ample annotation fully current with modern scholarship.
Aristotle, great Greek philosopher, researcher, reasoner, and writer, born at Stagirus in 384 BCE, was the son of Nicomachus, a physician, and Phaestis. He studied under Plato at Athens and taught there (367–47); subsequently he spent three years at the court of a former pupil, Hermeias, in Asia Minor and at this time married Pythias, one of Hermeias’s relations. After some time at Mitylene, in 343–2 he was appointed by King Philip of Macedon to be tutor of his teen-aged son Alexander. After Philip’s death in 336, Aristotle became head of his own school (of “Peripatetics”), the Lyceum at Athens. Because of anti-Macedonian feeling there after Alexander’s death in 323, he withdrew to Chalcis in Euboea, where he died in 322.Nearly all the works Aristotle prepared for publication are lost; the priceless ones extant are lecture-materials, notes, and memoranda (some are spurious). They can be categorized as follows:I. Practical: Nicomachean Ethics; Great Ethics (Magna Moralia); Eudemian Ethics; Politics; Oeconomica (on the good of the family); Virtues and Vices.II. Logical: Categories; On Interpretation; Analytics (Prior and Posterior); On Sophistical Refutations; Topica.III. Physical: Twenty-six works (some suspect) including astronomy, generation and destruction, the senses, memory, sleep, dreams, life, facts about animals, etc.IV. Metaphysics: on being as being.V. On Art: Art of Rhetoric and Poetics.VI. Other works including the Athenian Constitution; more works also of doubtful authorship.VII. Fragments of various works such as dialogues on philosophy and literature; and of treatises on rhetoric, politics and metaphysics.The Loeb Classical Library® edition of Aristotle is in twenty-three volumes.
A new edition featuring Saint Augustine’s dialogue on immortality from a tenth-century Latin manuscript, accompanied by an Old English vernacular adaptation translated into modern English for the first time in a hundred years.Around the turn of the tenth century, an anonymous scholar crafted an Old English version of Saint Augustine of Hippo’s Soliloquia, a dialogue exploring the nature of truth and the immortality of the soul. The Old English Soliloquies was, perhaps, inspired by King Alfred the Great’s mandate to translate important Latin works. It retains Augustine’s focus on the soul, but it also explores loyalty—to friends, to one’s temporal lord, and to the Lord God—and it presses toward a deeper understanding of the afterlife. Will we endure a state of impersonal and static forgetfulness, or will we retain our memories, our accrued wisdom, and our sense of individuated consciousness?This volume presents the first English translation of the complete Old English Soliloquies to appear in more than a century. It is accompanied by a unique edition of Augustine’s Latin Soliloquia, based on a tenth-century English manuscript similar to the one used by the translator, that provides insight into the adaptation process. Both the Latin and Old English texts are newly edited.
Ausonius (Decimus Magnus), ca. 310–ca. 395 CE, a doctor’s son, was born at Burdigala (Bordeaux). After a good education in grammar and rhetoric and a short period during which he was an advocate, he took to teaching rhetoric in a school which he began in 334. Among his students was Paulinus, who was afterwards Bishop of Nola; and he seems to have become some sort of Christian himself. Thirty years later Ausonius was called by Emperor Valentinian to be tutor to Gratian, who subsequently as emperor conferred on him honours including a consulship in 379. In 383, after Gratian’s murder, Ausonius retired to Bordeaux.Ausonius’s surviving works, some with deep feeling, some composed it seems for fun, some didactic, include much poetry: poems about himself and family, notably “The Daily Round”; epitaphs on heroes in the Trojan War, memorials on Roman emperors, and epigrams on various subjects; poems about famous cities and about friends and colleagues. “The Moselle,” a description of that river, is among the most admired of his poems. There is also an address of thanks to Gratian for the consulship.The Loeb Classical Library edition of Ausonius is in two volumes; the second includes Eucharisticus (Thanksgiving) by Paulinus Pellaeus.
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