Introduced by Francis Fergusson, the Poetics, written in the fourth century B.C., is still an essential study of the art of drama, indeed the most fundamental one we have. It has been used by both playwrights and theorists of many periods, and interpreted, in the course of its two thousand years of life, in various ways. The literature which has accumulated around it is, as Mr. Fergusson points out, "full of disputes so erudite that the nonspecialist can only look on in respectful silence." But the Poetics itself is still with us, in all its suggestiveness, for the modern reader to make use of in his turn and for his own purposes.
Francis Fergusson's lucid, informative, and entertaining Introduction will prove invaluable to anyone who wishes to understand and appreciate the Poetics. Using Sophocles' Oedipus Rex, as Aristotle did, to illustrate his analysis, Mr. Fergusson pints out that Aristotle did not lay down strict rules, as is often thought: "The Poetics," he says, "is much more like a cookbook than it is like a textbook of elementary engineering." Read in this way, it is an essential guide not only to Sophoclean tragedy, but to the work of so modern a playwright as Bertolt Brecht, who considered his own "epic drama" the first non-Aristotelian form.
Running through the work is Professor Oakshott's belief in philosophical reflection as an adventure: the adventure of one who seeks to understand in other terms what he already understands, and where the understanding is sought is a disclosure of the conditions of the understanding enjoyed and not a substitute for it. Its most appropriate expression is an essay, which, he writes, "does not dissemble the conditionality of the conclusions it throws up and although it may enlighten it does not instruct."
The trial of Socrates is one of the most famous of history. He was adjudged to be guilty, and sentenced to death. Though he could easily have escaped from Athens with the help of friends eager to help, he explains in The Crito that it would be opposed to everything he stood for to run away, that he would abide by the decision. This dialogue of Plato, who wrote from the position of an observer at the trial, is the most revealing of the innermost mind of one of the greatest thinkers in human history. His technique during the trial, if representative of his teaching, remains with us today as "the socratic method." On the other hand, we may have Plato to thank for that. Since Socrates himself never wrote anything, or nothing has come down in history as his own writing, we must take Plato's word for it. The Crito is another good example of the Socratic dialogue, leading from one point to another in the pursuit of truth. Teachers should be aware that a Supplement Edition is available as well, with a lot of additional material at www.createspace.com/3677227.
Skillful, sophisticated translations of two of Nietzsche's essential works about the conflict between the moral and aesthetic approaches to life, the impact of Christianity on human values, the meaning of science, the contrast between the Apollonian and Dionysian spirits, and other themes central to his thinking.The Birth of Tragedy (1872) was Nietzsche's first book, The Geneology of Morals (1887) one of his last. Though they span the career of this controversial genius, both address the problems such as the conflict between the moral versus aesthetic approaches to life, the effect of Christianity on human values, the meaning of science, and the famous dichotomy between the Apollonian and Dionysian spirits, among many themes which Nietzsche struggled throughout his tortured life.
In unraveling the long-hidden issues of the most famous free speech case of all time, noted author I.F. Stone ranges far and wide over Roman as well as Greek history to present an engaging and rewarding introduction to classical antiquity and its relevance to society today. The New York Times called this national best-seller an "intellectual thriller."
It has been said that all Western philosophy is a series of footnotes to Plato, but this book takes a more accommodating view in selecting the fifty figures who have made the largest contributions to the development of our reflection upon the world.
Senor Ortega y Gasset has contributed a thoughtful and a careful analysis of our present situation. If he is correct, then nationalism and liberalism as we have known them in the past are doomed. A new and perhaps a better order and conditioning of life are on the way. This book attempts to justify historically the coming of great change the same great change that was prophesied by William Morris in England, more than half a century ago. The New York Times"
Called the "fifth-most important sociological book of the 20th century" by the International Sociological Association, this groundbreaking study of knowledge introduces the concept of "social construction" into the social sciences for the first time. In it, Berger and Luckmann reformulate the task of the sociological subdicipline that, since Max Scheler, has been known as the sociology of knowledge.
Schiller's 1795 essay on the educative function of art is one of the most important contributions to the history of ideas in modern times. This English-German parallel text edition includes a long analytical introduction and extensive notes.
The fundamental task of philosophy since the seventeenth century has been to determine whether the essential principles of both knowledge and action can be discovered by human beings unaided by an external agency. No one philosopher contributed more to this enterprise than Kant, whose Critique of Pure Reason (1781) shook the very foundations of the intellectual world. Kant argued that the basic principles of the natural sciences are imposed on reality by human sensibility and understanding, and thus that human beings are also free to impose their own free and rational agency on the world. This volume is the only systematic and comprehensive account of the full range of Kant's writings available, and the first major overview of his work to be published in more than a dozen years. An internationally recognized team of Kant scholars explore Kant's conceptual revolution in epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of science, moral and political philosophy, aesthetics, and the philosophy of religion. The volume also traces the historical origins and consequences of Kant's work.