A History of Ancient Philosophy: From the Beginnings to Augustine

By Karsten Friis Johansen | Go to book overview

PREFACE

The present work spans the history of ancient philosophy from the earliest Greek thinkers to Augustine. It was first published in Danish in 1991, and the English edition does not differ in any essential respect from the original version.

The book addresses itself to readers who are principally interested in surveying the first millennium of Western thought as well as to those chiefly seeking direct access to the primary sources. To meet the requirements of the latter a detailed reference apparatus is integrated in the text.

The aim has been to link the respective parts of the book in such a manner that an overall picture emerges in which there is emphasis on the many interrelationships between different trends. The underlying supposition, that 'ancient thought' constitutes a coherent whole, albeit one with many variations, does of course have its limitations; it represents but one writer's views and presuppositions.

The book was inspired in equal measure by Anglo-Saxon and continental scholarship. In addition, I have had the benefit of discussions with Danish colleagues and friends over many years. I beg them all to accept my sincere thanks.

With admirable patience and engagement Henrik Rosenmeier, the translator, brought his expertise and stylistic sensibility to bear on the work. The book was a difficult one to translate, and without Dr Rosenmeier's great contribution it is unlikely that the plans for translation could have been realized. We worked in close collaboration-one that I take pleasure in remembering. Johnny Christensen, Troels Engberg-Pedersen, and Fritz Saaby Pedersen most kindly read individual sections, mainly with an eye to terminology. Major portions of the book were reviewed by Eric Jacobsen from a stylistic and linguistic viewpoint. The invaluable assistance of all these persons is gratefully acknowledged.

The Danish edition was published by Nyt Nordisk Forlag Arnold Busck, and I am pleased to acknowledge my indebtedness to Søren Hansen for his unflagging support.

Special thanks are extended to Malcolm Schofield of Cambridge University who recommended the book to Routledge for publication of the English edition.

I am also indebted to Routledge for undertaking to publish this book, to Richard Stoneman, and to the two anonymous readers who provided useful comments on several chapters. Of course I alone remain responsible for any errors and shortcomings.

-xi-

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A History of Ancient Philosophy: From the Beginnings to Augustine
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface xi
  • Introduction 1
  • Part I - Presocratic Philosophy 9
  • 1 - Myth, Poetry and Philosophy 11
  • 2 - Ionian Natural Philosophy 20
  • 3 - Heraclitus 29
  • 4 - The Pythagoreans 36
  • 5 - The Eleatics 45
  • 6 - Post-Parmenidean Natural Philosophy 59
  • 7 - Medical Science 79
  • Part II - The Great Century of Athens 83
  • 8 - Pericles' Athens 85
  • 9 - Tragedy and View of History 88
  • 10 - The Sophists 99
  • 11 - Socrates 118
  • Part III - Plato 137
  • 12 - Life, Works and Position 139
  • 13 - What is Virtue? Can Virtue Be Taught? 160
  • 14 - Idea and Man 173
  • 15 - The Good Constitution of State and Man 198
  • 16 - The Late Dialogues: Knowledge and Being 213
  • 17 - The Late Dialogues: Nature, Man and Society 236
  • 18 - Plato and the Early Academy 254
  • Part IV - Aristotle 267
  • 19 - Life, Works and Position 269
  • 20 - Logic and Theory of Science 293
  • 21 - Natural Philosophy and Psychology 316
  • 22 - Metaphysics and Theology 343
  • 23 - Ethics and Politics 366
  • 24 - Rhetoric and Poetics 392
  • 25 - The Early Peripatetics 400
  • Part V - Hellenistic Philosophy 405
  • 26 - Science and Philosophy 407
  • 27 - Epicurus 423
  • 28 - Early Stoicism 442
  • 29 - Scepticism 471
  • 30 - Greece and Rome 484
  • Part VI - Late Antiquity 499
  • 31 - Imperial Rome 501
  • 32 - Plotinus 532
  • 33 - Late Neoplatonism 556
  • 34 - Early Christian Thought 569
  • 35 - Augustine 588
  • Abbreviations General 625
  • Bibliography 639
  • Index 663
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