This text provides an introduction to conceptions of international justice, spanning 2500 years of intellectual history from Thucydides and Plato to Morgenthau and Waltz. It shows how older traditions of political philosophy remain relevant to contemporary debates in international relations.
Oedipus the tyrant and the limits of political rationalism -- Blind faith and enlightened statesmanship in Oedipus at colonus -- The pious heroism of Antigone -- Conclusion: Nietzsche, Plato, and Aristotle on philosophy and tragedy.
This book seeks to restore Homer to his rightful place among the principal figures in the history of political and moral philosophy. Through this fresh and provocative analysis of the Iliad and the Odyssey, Peter J. Ahrensdorf examines Homer's understanding of the best life, the nature of the divine, and the nature of human excellence. According to Ahrensdorf, Homer teaches that human greatness eclipses that of the gods, that the contemplative and compassionate singer ultimately surpasses the heroic warrior in grandeur, (...) and that it is the courageously questioning Achilles, not the loyal Hector or even the wily Odysseus, who comes closest to the humane wisdom of Homer himself. Thanks to Homer, two of the distinctive features of Greek civilization are its extraordinary celebration of human excellence, as can be seen in Greek athletics, sculpture, and nudity, and its singular questioning of the divine, as can be seen in Greek philosophy. (shrink)
In this book, Peter Ahrensdorf explores an overlooked but crucial role that Homer played in the thought of Plato, Machiavelli, and Nietzsche concerning, notably, the relationship between politics, religion, and philosophy; and in their debates about human nature, morality, the proper education for human excellence, and the best way of life. By studying Homer in conjunction with these three political philosophers, Ahrensdorf demonstrates that Homer was himself a philosophical thinker and educator. He presents the full force of Plato's critique of (...) Homer and the paramount significance of Plato's achievement in winning honor for philosophy. Ahrensdorf also makes possible an appreciation of the powerful concerns expressed by Machiavelli and Nietzsche regarding that achievement. By uncovering and bringing to life the rich philosophic conversation among these four foundational thinkers, Ahrensdorf shows that there are many ways of living a philosophic life. His book broadens and deepens our understanding of what a philosopher is. (shrink)
Recovering Reason: Essays in Honor of Thomas L. Pangle is a collection of essays composed by students and friends of Thomas L. Pangle to honor his seminal work and outstanding guidance in the study of political philosophy. These essays examine both Socrates' and modern political philosophers' attempts to answer the question of the right life for human beings, as those attempts are introduced and elaborated in the work of thinkers from Homer and Thucydides to Nietzsche and Charles Taylor.