Platonic Ethics, Old and New

Platonic Ethics, Old and New

by Julia Annas
     
 

ISBN-10: 0801485177

ISBN-13: 9780801485176

Pub. Date: 09/28/2000

Publisher: Cornell University Press

Julia Annas here offers a fundamental reexamination of Plato's ethical thought by investigating the Middle Platonist perspective, which emerged at the end of Plato's own school, the Academy. She highlights the differences between ancient and modern assumptions about Plato's ethics—and stresses the need to be more critical about our own.

One of these modern

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Overview

Julia Annas here offers a fundamental reexamination of Plato's ethical thought by investigating the Middle Platonist perspective, which emerged at the end of Plato's own school, the Academy. She highlights the differences between ancient and modern assumptions about Plato's ethics—and stresses the need to be more critical about our own.

One of these modern assumptions is the notion that the dialogues record the development of Plato's thought. Annas shows how the Middle Platonists, by contrast, viewed the dialogues as multiple presentations of a single Platonic ethical philosophy, differing in form and purpose but ultimately coherent. They also read Plato's ethics as consistently defending the view that virtue is sufficient for happiness, and see it as converging in its main points with the ethics of the Stoics.

Annas goes on to explore the Platonic idea that humankind's final end is "becoming like God"—an idea that is well known among the ancients but virtually ignored in modern interpretations. She also maintains that modern interpretations, beginning in the nineteenth century, have placed undue emphasis on the Republic, and have treated it too much as a political work, whereas the ancients rightly saw it as a continuation of Plato's ethical writings.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780801485176
Publisher:
Cornell University Press
Publication date:
09/28/2000
Series:
Cornell Studies in Classical Philology Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
204
Product dimensions:
6.13(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)
Lexile:
1500L (what's this?)

Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction: Discovering a Tradition1
IMany Voices: Dialogue and Development in Plato9
IITransforming Your Life: Virtue and Happiness31
IIIBecoming Like God: Ethics, Human Nature, and the Divine52
IVThe Inner City: Ethics without Politics in the Republic72
VWhat Use Is the Form of the Good? Ethics and Metaphysics in Plato96
VIHumans and Beasts: Moral Theory and Moral Psychology117
VIIElemental Pleasures: Enjoyment and the Good in Plato137
Conclusion162
AppHedonism in the Protagoras167
Cast of Characters173
Editions Used179
Bibliography181
Index Locorum185
Index of Names and Subjects193

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