Ancient Philosophy: Essential Readings with Commentary / Edition 1

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Part of The Blackwell Readings in Philosophy Series, this survey of ancient philosophy explores the scope of ancient philosophy, focusing on the key philosophers and their texts, examining how the foundations of philosophy as we know it were laid.

  • Focuses on the key philosophers and their texts, from Pre-Socratic thinkers through to the Neo-Platonists
  • Brings together the key primary writings of Thales, Xenophanes, Parmenides, Anaxagoras, Gorgias, Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, Lucretius, Seneca, Sextus Empiricus, Plotinus, and many others
  • Is broken down into eight chronological sections for easy comprehension and comparison
  • The readings are accompanied by expert commentary from the editors
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Nicholas Smith is James F. Miller Professor of Humanities in the Department of Philosophy at Lewis & Clark College. He has been involved in the writing of several distinguished essays and over fifteen books, including Plato's Socrates with T. C. Brickhouse, which won the Outstanding Academic Book for 1995 award from Choice.

Fritz Allhoff is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Western Michigan University.

Anand Jayprakash Vaidya is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at San José State University.

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Table of Contents


List of Sources.


Map 1 The Greek World (6th–5th centuries BCE).

Map 2 The Hellenistic Period (323–31 BCE).

Map 3 The Late Roman Empire.

General Introduction.

I: The Presocratics and Sophists:.

1. The Milesians: Thales, Anaximander, and Anaximenes.

2. Xenophanes of Colophon, Heracleitus of Ephesus, and Pythagoras of Samos.

3. The Eleatics: Parmenides, and Zeno of Elea and Melissus of Samos.

4. The Pluralists: Empedocles of Acragas and Anaxagoras of Clazomenae.

5. The Atomists: Leucippus of Elea (or Miletus) and Democritus of Abdera.

6. The Sophists: Protagoras of Abdera, Gorgias of Leontini, and Antiphon.

II: Xenophon:.


7. Memorabilia.

III: Plato:.


8. Euthyphro.

9. Apology.

10. Crito.

11. Meno.

12. Phaedo.

13. Symposium.

14. Republic.

15. Parmenides.

16. Timaeus.

IV: Aristotle:.


17. Categories.

18. On Interpretation.

19. Physics.

20. On the Soul.

21. Metaphysics.

22. Nicomachean Ethics.

23. Politics.

V: Diogenes the Cynic:.


24. Diogenes Laertius, Life of Diogenes.

VI: Epicurus and Epicureanism:.


25. Epicurus, Letter to Herodotus; Letter to Menoeceus; Principle Doctrines.

26. Lucretius, On the Nature of Things.

VII: Stoics and Stoicism:.


27. Diogenes Laertius on Stoicism.

28. Epictetus, Manual.

VIII: Skeptics and Skepticism:.


29. Diogenes Laertius, Life of Pyrrho.

30. Sextus Empiricus, Outlines of Pyrrhonism.

31. Sextus Empiricus, Against the Professors.

IX: Neoplatonism:.


32. Plotinus, Enneads.

33. Proclus, On Evil.


Recommended Further Reading (English-Language Sources).


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