By Julia Annas
The culture of historical philosophy is a protracted, wealthy and sundry one, during which the notes of dialogue and argument regularly resound. This ebook introduces historic debates, attractive us with the traditional advancements in their topics. relocating clear of the presentation of old philosophy as a succession of serious thinkers, the publication supplies readers a feeling of the freshness and liveliness of old philosophy, and of its good selection of issues and kinds.
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Additional info for Ancient Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
Even if, from Jowett onwards, the political content of the work has been grossly inﬂated, the result has been a lively and creative engagement with the text, at the end of which we can look back and see how much or little there is to the development of various lines of thought in the text. We can admire the way that the Republic has entered into, and been used to further, many nineteenth- and twentiethcentury political discussions. It is the best example of the way in which engaging with a work of ancient philosophy can be a two-way street; bringing it into a discussion can enrich that discussion, while also encouraging us to see the work in the light of that discussion.
For most of the twentieth century, and some of the nineteenth, the Republic has been far and away the best-known work of ancient 23 Why do we read Plato’s Republic? answers. Then at other times they do do these things. Which parts of the philosophy. It is probably the only work in ancient philosophy that a large number of people have read. In universities, colleges and schools in many countries it ﬁgures in courses in ancient philosophy, in introductory philosophy, in ‘Western Civilization’, in political philosophy and in humanities.
Hence he can allow neither that Priam after the fall of Troy is happy, nor that he is unhappy; he is torn between the common-sense view that of course he isn’t happy, and the more theoretical idea that he has not lost his happiness, since happiness has to come from what you have made of Ancient Philosophy your life, not from what other people do to you. So Aristotle’s position is not really coherent – an irony, since he is the ancient philosopher most popular with and appealed to by modern authors developing theories of ‘virtue ethics’.