Tad Brennan explains how to live the Stoic life--and why we might want to. Stoicism has been one of the main currents of thought in Western civilization for two thousand years: Brennan offers a fascinating guide through the ethical ideas of the original Stoic philosophers, and shows how valuable these ideas remain today, both intellectually and in practice. He writes in a lively informal style which will bring Stoicism to life for readers who are new to ancient philosophy. The Stoic (...) Life will also be of great interest to philosophers and classicists seeking a full understanding of the intellectual legacy of the Stoics. (shrink)
Epicurus strongly discouraged sex, marriage, and the rearing of children. This paper looks at some of the primary evidence for these claims, clears up a translation of one passage, and emends another passage. (The emendation has been accepted into Dorandi's new edition of Diogenes Laertius).
Plato's account of the tripartite soul is a memorable feature of dialogues like the Republic, Phaedrus and Timaeus: it is one of his most famous and influential yet least understood theories. It presents human nature as both essentially multiple and diverse - and yet somehow also one - divided into a fully human 'rational' part, a lion-like 'spirited part' and an 'appetitive' part likened to a many-headed beast. How these parts interact, how exactly each shapes our agency and how they (...) are affected by phenomena like erôs and education is complicated and controversial. The essays in this book investigate how the theory evolves over the whole of Plato's work, including the Republic, Phaedrus and Timaeus, and how it was developed further by important Platonists such as Galen, Plutarch and Plotinus. They will be of interest to a wide audience in philosophy and classics. (shrink)
This book defends the consistency, plausibility, and interest of the brand of Ancient Skepticism described in the writings of Sextus Empiricus, both through detailed exegesis of the original texts, and through sustained engagement with an array of modern critics.
The Mode of Relativity in Agrippa’s Five Modes does not fit with the other four modes, and disrupts an otherwise elegant system. We argue that it is not the familiar argument from epistemic relativism, but a formal condition on the structure of justifications: the principle that epistemic grounding relations cannot be reflexive. This understanding of Agrippan Relativity leads to a better understanding of the Modes of Hypothesis and Reciprocity, a clearer outline of the structure of Agrippa’s system as a whole, (...) and a new insight into the Two Modes that follow the Five. (shrink)
Abstract At Charmides 163, Critias attempts to extricate himself from refutation by proposing a Prodicean distinction between praxis and poiēsis . I argue that this distinction leads him further into contradictions.
Greek Philosophers of the Hellenistic Age examines an important but frequently neglected group of philosophers writing after Aristotle between the third and first centuries B.C. The work of a distinguished intellectual historian, this book is based on an erudite reading of a vast number of primary sources: the Greek and Latin writings of the philosophers, and the fragments, paraphrases, and testimonies from their lost works. Kristeller explores the thought of Epicurus; Zenon and Cleanthes, the founder of the Stoic school and (...) his successor; Pyrrhon and Arcesilaus, the founder of Skepticism and the philosopher who introduced it into the Platonic Academy; and Chrysippus, the third head of the Stoic school and its most important representative. Other figures include Carneades and Philo of Larissa, the second and third representatives of Skepticism in the Platonic Academy, respectively; Panaetius, the first leader of Middle Stoicism; and Antiochus of Ascalon, the head of the Academy, who led it back from Skepticism and prepared Middle Platonism, which paved the way for Neoplatonism. Originally presented as a series of lectures before the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa, Italy, Greek Philosophers of the Hellenistic Age assesses a group of philosophers who exerted an enormous influence upon pagan and Christian writers of late antiquity - including Cicero and St. Augustine - and on many medieval and early modern philosophers, theologians, and other thinkers. (shrink)
In this article I argue for a change to the text of Stobaeus’ doxography of Stoic ethics. I propose we emend it by reference to a parallel text in the Scholia in Lucianum. In order to make that argument, I offer a new assessment of the value of the scholiast's report of Stoic doxography – a report that, at least in virtue of its length ought to be better known to scholars of Stoicism than it currently is.
Jacob Klein, a former Cornell student, has recently proposed what I believe to be an extremely interesting and profitable interpretation of the role of indifferents in Stoic ethics. Klein’s proposal is in some ways similar to some positions that I have taken in the past, and so I find it very congenial. But it develops these ideas in a much more precise way, and with consequences that are more radical than anything I had seen. I find it very plausible, although (...) it requires me to abandon certa... (shrink)