From the Preface by Nicholas D. Smith.
These essays represent the full range of Dodds' literary and philosophical interests, and his ability to combine profound scholarship with the lucid humanity of a teacher convinced of the value of Greek studies to the modern world.
This is the first book to analyze systematically crucial aspects of ancient Greek philosophy in their original context of mystery, religion, and magic. The author brings to light recently uncovered evidence about ancient Pythagoreanism and its influence on Plato, and reconstructs the fascinating esoteric transmission of Pythagorean ideas from the Greek West down to the alchemists and magicians of Egypt, and from there into the world of Islam.
The ancient Greek philosopher Antiphon was a contemporary of Socrates who lived in the fifth century BCE Athens. Antiphon wrote several major works, which have survived only in very fragmentary form. All that is known about these works as well as about Antiphon is included in this study. The material is translated, and its significance assessed in a detailed commentary that addresses the numerous problems raised by the fragmentary material. Antiphon's contribution to the wider history of ideas is addressed in conclusion.
The influence of Aristotle, the prince of philosophers, on the intellectual history of the West is second to none. In this book, Jonathan Barnes examines Aristotle's scientific researches, his discoveries in logic and his metaphysical theories, his work in psychology and in ethics and politics, and his ideas about art and poetry, placing his teachings in their historical context.About the Series: Combining authority with wit, accessibility, and style, Very Short Introductions offer an introduction to some of life's most interesting topics. Written by experts for the newcomer, they demonstrate the finest contemporary thinking about the central problems and issues in hundreds of key topics, from philosophy to Freud, quantum theory to Islam.
In On the Parts of Animals, Aristotle develops his systematic principles for biological investigation and explanation, and applies those principles to explain why the different animals have the different parts that they do. This new translation and commentary reflects the subtlety and detail of Aristotle's reasoning.
Aristotle and Natural Law lays out a new theoretical approach which distinguishes between the notions of 'interpretation, ' 'appropriation, ' 'negotiation' and 'reconstruction' of the meaning of texts and their component concepts. These categories are then deployed in an examination of the role which the concept of natural law is used by Aristotle in a number of key texts. The book argues that Aristotle appropriated the concept of natural law, first formulated by the defenders of naturalism in the 'nature versus convention debate' in classical Athens. Thereby he contributed to the emergence and historical evolution of the meaning of one of the most important concept in the lexicon of Western political thought. Aristotle and Natural Law argues that Aristotle's ethics is best seen as a certain type of natural law theory which does not allow for the possibility that individuals might appeal to natural law in order to criticize existing laws and institutions. Rather its function is to provide them with a philosophical justification from the standpoint of Aristotle's metaphysic
The book concludes that Aristotle's views yield a compelling argument for the claim that public supervision of education is a necessary condition for a just society. It examines the implications and limitations of that argument, including particularly the form and substance of the educational equality which it demands. Contrasting it with other recent arguments for educational equality, I conclude that it provides the most decisive argument for educational equality available, but also that it does not establish a legitimate basis for a state monopoly on the provision of schooling, and for ensuring its availability to everyone. Some privatization schemes, but not others, would be compatible with this result.