Plutarch's Practical Ethics: The Social Dynamics of Philosophy

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Overview

The Second Sophistic (c.AD 60-250) was a time of intense competition for honour and status. Like today, this often caused mental as well as physical stress for the elite of the Roman Empire. This book, which transcends the boundaries between literature, social history, and philosophy, studies Plutarch's practical ethics, a group of twenty-odd texts within the Moralia designed to help powerful Greeks and Romans manage their ambitions and society's expectations successfully. Lieve Van Hoof combines a systematic analysis of the general principles underlying Plutarch's practical ethics, including the author's target readership, therapeutical practices, and self-presentation, with five innovative case studies. A picture emerges of philosophy under the Roman Empire not as a set of abstract, theoretical doctrines, but as a kind of symbolic capital engendering power and prestige for author and reader alike.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199583263
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 8/13/2010
  • Pages: 360
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Lieve Van Hoof is Postdoctoral Research Fellow of the Research Foundation, Flanders.

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Table of Contents

Editions, Translations, and Abbreviations

Introduction 1

PART I THE SOCIAL DYNAMICS OF PHILOSOPHY

1 Philosophy and Society 19

2 Strategies for Promoting Philosophy 41

3 Plutarch as a Philosopher in Society 66

PART II PLUTARCH'S PRACTICAL ETHICS

4 On Felling Good 83

5 On Exile 116

6 On Talkativeness 151

7 On Curiosity 176

8 Precepts of Health Care 211

Conclusion 255

References 266

Index of Greek Words 303

General Index 305

Index Locorum 314

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