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Philosophy in the Hellenistic and Roman Worlds

Peter Adamson
Format
Book
Published
Oxford, United Kingdom : Oxford University Press, 2015.
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Variant Title
Philosophy in the Hellenistic & Roman worlds
Series
History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps
Adamson, Peter 1972- History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps
ISBN
9780198728023, 0198728026
Summary
Peter Adamson offers an accessible, humorous tour through a period of eight hundred years when some of the most influential of all schools of thought were formed: from the third century BC to the sixth century AD. He introduces us to Cynics and Skeptics, Epicureans and Stoics, emperors and slaves, and traces the development of Christian and Jewish philosophy and of ancient science. Chapters are devoted to such major figures as Epicurus, Lucretius, Cicero, Seneca, Plotinus, and Augustine. But in keeping with the motto of the series, the story is told 'without any gaps, ' providing an in-depth look at less familiar topics that remains suitable for the general reader. For instance, there are chapters on the fascinating but relatively obscure Cyrenaic philosophical school, on pagan philosophical figures like Porphyry and Iamblichus, and extensive coverage of the Greek and Latin Christian Fathers who are at best peripheral in most surveys of ancient philosophy. A major theme of the book is in fact the competition between pagan and Christian philosophy in this period, and the Jewish tradition also appears in the shape of Philo of Alexandria. Ancient science is also considered, with chapters on ancient medicine and the interaction between philosophy and astronomy. Considerable attention is paid also to the wider historical context, for instance by looking at the ascetic movement in Christianity and how it drew on ideas from Hellenic philosophy. From the counter-cultural witticisms of Diogenes the Cynic to the subtle skepticism of Sextus Empiricus, from the irreverent atheism of the Epicureans to the ambitious metaphysical speculation of Neoplatonism, from the ethical teachings of Marcus Aurelius to the political philosophy of Augustine, the book gathers together all aspects of later ancient thought in an accessible and entertaining way.
Contents
  • Part I. Hellenistic philosophy. Fighting over Socrates: the Hellenistic schools
  • Beware of the philosopher: the Cynics
  • Instant gratification: the Cyrenaics
  • The constant gardener: the principles of Epicurus
  • Am I bothered?: Epicurean ethics
  • Nothing to fear: Epicureans on death and the gods
  • Reaping the harvest: Lucretius
  • Walking on eggshells: Stoic logic
  • Nobody's perfect: the Stoics on knowledge
  • We didn't start the fire: the Stoics on nature
  • Like a rolling stone: Stoic ethics
  • Anger management: Seneca
  • You can chain my leg: Epictetus
  • The philosopher king: Marcus Aurelius
  • Beyond belief: Pyrrho and skepticism
  • The know-nothing party: the skeptical academy
  • Rhetorical questions: Cicero
  • Healthy skepticism: Sextus Empiricus
  • The joy of sects: ancient medicine and philosophy
  • The best doctor is a philsopher: Galen
  • Part II. Pagan philosophy in the Roman Empire. Caesarian section: philosophy in the Roman Empire
  • Middle men: the Platonic revival
  • To the lighthouse: Philo of Alexandria
  • Delphic utterances: Plutarch
  • Lost and found: Aristotelianism after Aristotle
  • Not written in stone: Alexander of Aphrodisias
  • Silver tongues in golden mouths: rhetoric and ancient philosophy
  • Sky writing: astronomy, astrology, and philosophy
  • A god is my co-pilot: the life and works of Plotinus
  • Simplicity itself: Plotinus on the one and intellect
  • On the horizon: Plotinus on the soul
  • A decorated corpse: Plotinus on matter and evil
  • King of animals: Porphyry
  • Pythagorean theorems: Iamblichus
  • Domestic goddesses and philosopher queens: the household and the state
  • The Platonic successor: Proclus
  • A tale of two cities: the last pagan philosophers
  • For a limited time only: John Philoponus
  • Part III. Christian philosophy in the Roman Empire. Father figures: ancient Christian philosophy
  • Please accept our apologies: the Greek Church Fathers
  • Fall and rise: Origen
  • Three for the price of one: the Cappadocians
  • Naming the nameless: the Pseudo-Dionysius
  • Double or nothing: Maximus the Confessor
  • Practice makes perfect: Christian asceticism
  • Spreading the word: the Latin Church Fathers
  • Life and time: Augustine's Confessions
  • Papa don't teach: Augustine on language
  • Help wanted: Augustine on freedom
  • Heaven and earth: Augustine's City of God
  • Me, myself, and I: Augustine on mind and memory
  • Born again: Latin Platonism
  • Fate, hope, and clarity: Boethius.
Description
xxiv, 428 pages : map ; 24 cm.
Notes
Includes bibliographical references (pages 387-418) and index.
Series Statement
History of philosophy without any gaps ; 2
Adamson, Peter, 1972- History of philosophy without any gaps ; 2
Technical Details
  • Access in Virgo Classic
  • Staff View

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    a| Part I. Hellenistic philosophy. Fighting over Socrates: the Hellenistic schools -- Beware of the philosopher: the Cynics -- Instant gratification: the Cyrenaics -- The constant gardener: the principles of Epicurus -- Am I bothered?: Epicurean ethics -- Nothing to fear: Epicureans on death and the gods -- Reaping the harvest: Lucretius -- Walking on eggshells: Stoic logic -- Nobody's perfect: the Stoics on knowledge -- We didn't start the fire: the Stoics on nature -- Like a rolling stone: Stoic ethics -- Anger management: Seneca -- You can chain my leg: Epictetus -- The philosopher king: Marcus Aurelius -- Beyond belief: Pyrrho and skepticism -- The know-nothing party: the skeptical academy -- Rhetorical questions: Cicero -- Healthy skepticism: Sextus Empiricus -- The joy of sects: ancient medicine and philosophy -- The best doctor is a philsopher: Galen -- Part II. Pagan philosophy in the Roman Empire. Caesarian section: philosophy in the Roman Empire -- Middle men: the Platonic revival -- To the lighthouse: Philo of Alexandria -- Delphic utterances: Plutarch -- Lost and found: Aristotelianism after Aristotle -- Not written in stone: Alexander of Aphrodisias -- Silver tongues in golden mouths: rhetoric and ancient philosophy -- Sky writing: astronomy, astrology, and philosophy -- A god is my co-pilot: the life and works of Plotinus -- Simplicity itself: Plotinus on the one and intellect -- On the horizon: Plotinus on the soul -- A decorated corpse: Plotinus on matter and evil -- King of animals: Porphyry -- Pythagorean theorems: Iamblichus -- Domestic goddesses and philosopher queens: the household and the state -- The Platonic successor: Proclus -- A tale of two cities: the last pagan philosophers -- For a limited time only: John Philoponus -- Part III. Christian philosophy in the Roman Empire. Father figures: ancient Christian philosophy -- Please accept our apologies: the Greek Church Fathers -- Fall and rise: Origen -- Three for the price of one: the Cappadocians -- Naming the nameless: the Pseudo-Dionysius -- Double or nothing: Maximus the Confessor -- Practice makes perfect: Christian asceticism -- Spreading the word: the Latin Church Fathers -- Life and time: Augustine's Confessions -- Papa don't teach: Augustine on language -- Help wanted: Augustine on freedom -- Heaven and earth: Augustine's City of God -- Me, myself, and I: Augustine on mind and memory -- Born again: Latin Platonism -- Fate, hope, and clarity: Boethius.
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    a| Peter Adamson offers an accessible, humorous tour through a period of eight hundred years when some of the most influential of all schools of thought were formed: from the third century BC to the sixth century AD. He introduces us to Cynics and Skeptics, Epicureans and Stoics, emperors and slaves, and traces the development of Christian and Jewish philosophy and of ancient science. Chapters are devoted to such major figures as Epicurus, Lucretius, Cicero, Seneca, Plotinus, and Augustine. But in keeping with the motto of the series, the story is told 'without any gaps, ' providing an in-depth look at less familiar topics that remains suitable for the general reader. For instance, there are chapters on the fascinating but relatively obscure Cyrenaic philosophical school, on pagan philosophical figures like Porphyry and Iamblichus, and extensive coverage of the Greek and Latin Christian Fathers who are at best peripheral in most surveys of ancient philosophy. A major theme of the book is in fact the competition between pagan and Christian philosophy in this period, and the Jewish tradition also appears in the shape of Philo of Alexandria. Ancient science is also considered, with chapters on ancient medicine and the interaction between philosophy and astronomy. Considerable attention is paid also to the wider historical context, for instance by looking at the ascetic movement in Christianity and how it drew on ideas from Hellenic philosophy. From the counter-cultural witticisms of Diogenes the Cynic to the subtle skepticism of Sextus Empiricus, from the irreverent atheism of the Epicureans to the ambitious metaphysical speculation of Neoplatonism, from the ethical teachings of Marcus Aurelius to the political philosophy of Augustine, the book gathers together all aspects of later ancient thought in an accessible and entertaining way.
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