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Recommending Books for Purchase (Bulletin 13 - April 2018) - Cambridge University Press - Philosophy: Classical Philosophy
Aristotle's study of the natural world plays a tremendously important part in his philosophical thought. He was very interested in the phenomena of motion, causation, place and time, and teleology, and his theoretical materials in this area are collected in his Physics, a treatise of eight books which has been very influential on later thinkers. This volume of new essays provides cutting-edge research on Aristotle's Physics, taking into account recent changes in the field of Aristotle in terms of its understanding of key concepts and preferred methodology. The contributions reassess the key concepts of the treatise (including nature, chance, teleology, art, and motion), reconstruct Aristotle's methods for the study of nature, and determine the boundaries of his natural philosophy. Due to the foundational nature of Aristotle's Physics itself, the volume will be a must-read for all scholars working on Aristotle.
Aristotle's Politics by Thornton Lockwood (Editor); Thanassis Samaras (Editor)
Arguably the foundational text of Western political theory, Aristotle's Politics has become one of the most widely and carefully studied works in ethical and political philosophy. This volume of essays offers fresh interpretations of Aristotle's key work and opens new paths for students and scholars to explore. The contributors embrace a variety of methodological approaches that range across the disciplines of classics, political science, philosophy, and ancient history. Their essays illuminate perennial questions such as the relationship between individual and community, the nature of democratic deliberation, and how to improve political institutions. Offering groundbreaking studies that both set Aristotle within the context of his own time and draw on contemporary discussion of his writings, this collection will provide researchers with an understanding of many of the major scholarly debates surrounding this key text.
Aristotle on the Nature of Community by Adriel M. Trott
Publication Date: 2013-11-05
This reading of Aristotle's Politics builds on the insight that the history of political philosophy is a series of configurations of nature and reason. Aristotle's conceptualization of nature is unique because it is not opposed to or subordinated to reason. Adriel M. Trott uses Aristotle's definition of nature as an internal source of movement to argue that he viewed community as something that arises from the activity that forms it rather than being a form imposed on individuals. Using these definitions, Trott develops readings of Aristotle's four arguments for the naturalness of the polis, interprets deliberation and the constitution in Politics as the form and final causes of the polis, and reconsiders Aristotle's treatment of slaves and women. Trott then argues that Aristotle is relevant for contemporary efforts to improve and encourage genuine democratic practices.
Causation and Creation in Late Antiquity by Anna Marmodoro (Editor); Brian D. Prince (Editor)
Publication Date: 2015-03-05
Written by a group of leading scholars, this unique collection of essays investigates the views of both pagan and Christian philosophers on causation and the creation of the cosmos. Structured in two parts, the volume first looks at divine agency and how late antique thinkers, including the Stoics, Plotinus, Porphyry, Simplicius, Philoponus and Gregory of Nyssa, tackled questions such as: is the cosmos eternal? Did it come from nothing or from something pre-existing? How was it caused to come into existence? Is it material or immaterial? The second part looks at questions concerning human agency and responsibility, including the problem of evil and the nature of will, considering thinkers such as Plotinus, Porphyry, Proclus and Augustine. Highlighting some of the most important and interesting aspects of these philosophical debates, the volume will be of great interest to upper-level students and scholars of philosophy, classics, theology and ancient history.
A History of Pythagoreanism by Edited by Carl A. Huffman
Publication Date: 2014
Plato's Anti-Hedonism and the Protagoras by J. Clerk Shaw
Publication Date: 2015-05-05
Plato often rejects hedonism, but in the Protagoras, Plato's Socrates seems to endorse hedonism. In this book, J. Clerk Shaw removes this apparent tension by arguing that the Protagoras as a whole actually reflects Plato's anti-hedonism. He shows that Plato places hedonism at the core of a complex of popular mistakes about value and especially about virtue: that injustice can be prudent, that wisdom is weak, that courage is the capacity to persevere through fear, and that virtue cannot be taught. The masses reproduce this system of values through shame and fear of punishment. The Protagoras and other dialogues depict sophists and orators who have internalized popular morality through shame, but who are also ashamed to state their views openly. Shaw's reading not only reconciles the Protagoras with Plato's other dialogues, but harmonizes it with them and even illuminates Plato's wider anti-hedonism.
The Platonic Alcibiades I by François Renaud; Harold Tarrant
Although it was influential for several hundred years after it first appeared, doubts about the authenticity of the Platonic Alcibiades I have unnecessarily impeded its interpretation ever since. It positions itself firmly within the Platonic and Socratic traditions, and should therefore be approached in the same way as most other Platonic dialogues. It paints a vivid portrait of a Socrates in his late thirties tackling the unrealistic ambitions of the youthful Alcibiades, urging him to come to know himself and to care for himself. Franois Renaud and Harold Tarrant re-examine the drama and philosophy of Alcibiades I with an eye on those interpreters who cherished it most. Modern scholars regularly play down one or more of the religious, erotic, philosophic or dramatic aspects of the dialogue, so ancient Platonist interpreters are given special consideration. This rich study will interest a wide range of readers in ancient philosophy.
Plato on the Metaphysical Foundation of Meaning and Truth by Blake E. Hestir
Publication Date: 2016-05-05
What is the nature of truth? Blake Hestir offers an investigation into Plato's developing metaphysical views, and examines Plato's conception of being, meaning, and truth in the Sophist, as well as passages from several other later dialogues including the Cratylus, Parmenides, and Theaetetus, where Plato begins to focus more directly on semantics rather than only on metaphysical and epistemological puzzles. Hestir's interpretation challenges both classical and contemporary interpretations of Plato's metaphysics and conception of truth, and highlights new parallels between Plato and Aristotle, as well as clarifying issues surrounding Plato's approach to semantics and thought. This book will be of interest to scholars and students of ancient Greek philosophy, metaphysics, contemporary truth theory, linguistics, and philosophy of language.
Socrates and Self-Knowledge by Christopher Moore
Publication Date: 2015-10-05
In this book, the first systematic study of Socrates' reflections on self-knowledge, Christopher Moore examines the ancient precept 'Know yourself' and, drawing on Plato, Aristophanes, Xenophon, and others, reconstructs and reassesses the arguments about self-examination, personal ideals, and moral maturity at the heart of the Socratic project. What has been thought to be a purely epistemological or metaphysical inquiry turns out to be deeply ethical, intellectual, and social. Knowing yourself is more than attending to your beliefs, discerning the structure of your soul, or recognizing your ignorance - it is constituting yourself as a self who can be guided by knowledge toward the good life. This is neither a wholly introspective nor a completely isolated pursuit: we know and constitute ourselves best through dialogue with friends and critics. This rich and original study will be of interest to researchers in the philosophy of Socrates, selfhood, and ancient thought.
The Structure of Enquiry in Plato's Early Dialogues by Vasilis Politis
Publication Date: 2015-06-05
This book proposes and defends a radically new account of Plato's method of argument and enquiry in his early dialogues. Vasilis Politis challenges the traditional account according to which these dialogues are basically about the demand for definitions, and questions the equally traditional view that what lies behind Plato's method of argument is a peculiar theory of knowledge. He argues that these dialogues are enquiries set in motion by dilemmas and aporiai, incorporating both a sceptical and an anti-sceptical dimension, and he contends that Plato introduces the demand for definitions, and the search for essences, precisely in order to avoid a sceptical conclusion and hold out the prospect that knowledge can be achieved. His argument will be of great value to all readers interested in Plato's dialogues and in methods of philosophical argument more generally.
Theory and Practice in Aristotle's Natural Science by David Ebrey (Editor)
Publication Date: 2015-06-05
Aristotle argued that in theory one could acquire knowledge of the natural world. But he did not stop there; he put his theories into practice. This volume of new essays shows how Aristotle's natural science and philosophical theories shed light on one another. The contributors engage with both biological and non-biological scientific works and with a wide variety of theoretical works, including Physics, Generation and Corruption, On the Soul, and Posterior Analytics. The essays focus on a number of themes, including the sort of explanation provided by matter; the relationship between matter, teleology, and necessity; cosmic teleology; how an organism's soul and faculties relate to its end; how to define things such as sleep, void, and soul; and the proper way to make scientific judgments. The resulting volume offers a rich and integrated view of Aristotle's science and shows how it fits with his larger philosophical theories.