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Ancient Philosophy of the Self

Ancient Philosophy of the Self

Paperback(Softcover reprint of hardcover 1st ed. 2008)

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Pauliina Remes and Juha Sihvola In the course of history, philosophers have given an impressive variety of answers to the question, “What is self?” Some of them have even argued that there is no such thing at all. This volume explores the various ways in which selfhood was approached and conceptualised in antiquity. How did the ancients understand what it is that I am, fundamentally, as an acting and affected subject, interpreting the world around me, being distinct from others like and unlike me? The authors hi- light the attempts in ancient philosophical sources to grasp the evasive character of the specifically human presence in the world. They also describe how the ancient philosophers understood human agents as capable of causing changes and being affected in and by the world. Attention will be paid to the various ways in which the ancients conceived of human beings as subjects of reasoning and action, as well as responsible individuals in the moral sphere and in their relations to other people. The themes of persistence, identity, self-examination and self-improvement recur in many of these essays. The articles of the collection combine systematic and historical approaches to ancient sources that range from Socrates to Plotinus and Augustine.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9789048179275
Publisher: Springer Netherlands
Publication date: 11/25/2010
Series: The New Synthese Historical Library , #64
Edition description: Softcover reprint of hardcover 1st ed. 2008
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.02(d)

About the Author

Pauliina Remes is a lecturer in theoretical philosophy, Uppsala University, Sweden (2007-), and a docent in theoretical philosophy, University of Helsinki. She is the author of Plotinus on Self: The Philosophy of the¨'We' (Cambridge University Press, 2007) as well as the co-editor of Heinämaa & Lähteenmäki & Remes: Consciousness: From Perception to Reflection in the History of Philosophy (Springer 2007). Remes had her PhD in King’s College, London, and was a visiting scholar in Wolfson College, Oxford (2003). She has worked as a post-doctoral researcher in Helsinki and been a member of several high-profile research groups and centers of excellence in Scandinavia. Currently, she is a member of the project Understanding Agency (Uppsala University, Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, Sweden), and invited to a status of a visiting scholar by the Center of Advanced Study in Oslo, Norway (2009-2010).

Juha Sihvola is the director of the Helsinki Collegium of Advanced Studies since August 2004 and Professor of History at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, since 2000. He has pursued postdoctoral studies at Brown University (1991-92) and was a Junior Fellow at the Center for Hellenic Studies, Washington D.C. (1994-95). He is adjunct professor of the history of philosophy at the Department of Philosophy at the University of Helsinki. Sihvola has worked on various topics in ancient philosophy and the later classical tradition, especially Aristotle and Hellenistic Philosophy. He has also written books and articles on ethical and political issues. Sihvola is a member of the Research Council for Culture and Society at the Academy of Finland, and a member of the committee for Finnish translation of Aristotle's works.

Table of Contents

Approaches to Self and Person in Antiquity.- Graeco-Roman Varieties of Self.- The Ancient Self: Issues and Approaches.- Assumptions of Normativity: Two Ancient Approaches to Agency.- From Plato to Plotinus.- Socratic Authority.- Protean Socrates: Mythical Figures in the Euthydemus.- Aristotle on the Individuality of Self.- What Kind of Self Can a Greek Sceptic Have?.- Inwardness and Infinity of Selfhood: From Plotinus to Augustine.- Christian and Islamic Themes.- Philosophy of the Self in the Apostle Paul.- Two Kinds of Subjectivity in Augustine’s Confessions: Memory and Identity, and the Integrated Self.- The Self as Enemy, the Self as Divine: A Crossroads in the Development of Islamic Anthropology.- Locating the Self Within the Soul – Thirteenth-Century Discussions.

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