By Julia Annas
The culture of historic philosophy is a protracted, wealthy and sundry one, during which the notes of dialogue and argument consistently resound. This ebook introduces old debates, enticing us with the traditional advancements in their issues. relocating clear of the presentation of historic philosophy as a succession of serious thinkers, the booklet supplies readers a feeling of the freshness and liveliness of historical philosophy, and of its wide array of issues and kinds.
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Additional info for Ancient Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
Hence he can allow neither that Priam after the fall of Troy is happy, nor that he is unhappy; he is torn between the common-sense view that of course he isn’t happy, and the more theoretical idea that he has not lost his happiness, since happiness has to come from what you have made of Ancient Philosophy your life, not from what other people do to you. So Aristotle’s position is not really coherent – an irony, since he is the ancient philosopher most popular with and appealed to by modern authors developing theories of ‘virtue ethics’.
Nevertheless, it was the circle of John Stuart Mill which revived the idea of Plato as a philosopher for whom arguments are what matter. based on solid scholarship, discussed every dialogue separately with its own theme and purpose, presenting Plato as engaged in an open-ended philosophical search, sometimes dogmatic and sometimes arguing against others without coming to a conclusion himself. Grote disagrees with Plato’s ideas, but sympathetically presents him as following different arguments and directions.
We can see why, given the ancient framework for ethics, hedonism is at a disadvantage. Hedonists seem condemned to giving an implausible account either of happiness, as with Aristippus, or of pleasure, as with Ancient Philosophy Epicurus. Our modern conception of happiness is frequently understood in terms of pleasure and desire-satisfaction (something aided by the wide and confused way we use ‘happy’), and this can make it hard at ﬁrst to see the appeal of ancient theories of happiness. If happiness is just getting what you want, then the ideas in the Choice of Heracles make no sense.
Ancient Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) by Julia Annas