Ancient Philosophy: A Contemporary Introduction (2nd by Christopher Shields

By Christopher Shields

During this re-titled and considerably revised replace of his Classical Philosophy (2003), Christopher Shields expands his insurance to incorporate the Hellenistic period, and now deals an advent to greater than 1,000 years of historical philosophy. From Thales and different Pre-Socratics via Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, and directly to Epicureanism, Stoicism, and Scepticism, historical Philosophy lines the real connections among those classes and participants with out wasting sight of the novelties and dynamics particular to each.

The assurance of Plato and Aristotle additionally has been increased. It now contains, for instance, up-to-date assurance of Plato's allegories of the cave and the divided line and the metaphor of the sunlight in addition to gains of Plato's epistemology. Shields additionally provides new dialogue on Aristotle's idea of advantage and his method of the Socratic challenge of akrasia, or weak spot of will.

In phrases of its constitution, old Philosophy is gifted in order that every one philosophical place gets: (1) a quick creation, (2) a sympathetic assessment of its imperative motivations and first assisting arguments, and (3) a quick overview, inviting readers to guage its plausibility. the result's a publication that brings the traditional arguments to existence, making the advent really modern. it's going to function either a primary cease and a good visited source for any pupil of the subject.

Ancient Philosophy deals a bright photograph of the information that flourished at philosophy's lengthy start and considers their relevance, either to the old improvement of the Western philosophical culture, and to philosophy today.


'In old Philosophy, Christopher Shields skillfully offers and evaluates rational reconstructions of significant arguments from the traditional philosophers. At a time packed with handbooks, dictionaries, courses, and encyclopedias of historic philosophy, it's clean to sit to a coherent, single-author account of the arguments of the traditional philosophers from the Presocratics during the Hellenistic age. ...One of the virtues of historic Philosophy, which has been pointed out a couple of times above, is the care Shields takes to make the arguments of the traditional philosophers as compelling as he can to the reader.' – Gary Hartenburg, Saint Katherine collage, Canada in Bryn Mawr Classical Review

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Extra info for Ancient Philosophy: A Contemporary Introduction (2nd Edition) (Routledge Contemporary Introductions to Philosophy)

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Again, if – as some even today may be tempted to do – Protagoras responds that moral and scientific matters are wholly disanalogous, he may be on firm ground. Here too, though, his asserting that this is so does not by itself make it so. In order to establish moral relativism – as opposed to merely asserting it – Protagoras and his fellow travelers will need to provide an argument. This argument will clearly have to rely on more than the indisputable but pedestrian fact of moral disagreement. This becomes all the more pressing when we focus on Protagoras’ third and final extension of the atomists’ argument for conventionalism.

According to this claim, it is possible to think of generation only if it is possible to think of nothing. The idea here is this: if we are thinking of real generation, and not just a covert case of alteration, then we are thinking of something coming from nothing. We are thinking, that is, of generation ex nihilo. Now, it may or may not be possible for something to suddenly pop into existence from absolutely nothing, though Parmenides rightly wonders how this could be so. Still, even if it were possible, we could not conceive of its being so, since in that case we would have to think of something coming from nothing.

In so doing, Zeno parts company with the manifest image of the world in a rather spectacular way. In these and other such paradoxes, we are invited to reflect on the tenability of widespread assumptions, often deeply intuitive, about space, time, and motion. If we respond with self-indulgent derision, by demanding that if Zeno is so sure that Achilles cannot overtake the tortoise then he ought to be willing to bet his life savings on the tortoise, we will certainly miss what the paradoxes have to teach us about actual and potential infinities; about the infinite divisibility of space and time; about infinite sets and their relations to the infinite divisions of finite lengths; about convergence; Philosophy before Socrates 21 and about the summing of infinite series.

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