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About this product
- DescriptionThis is a major reinterpretation of ancient philosophy that recovers the long Greek and Roman tradition of philosophy as a complete way of life--and t simply an intellectual discipline. Distinguished philosopher John Cooper traces how, for many ancient thinkers, philosophy was t just to be studied or even used to solve particular practical problems. Rather, philosophy--t just ethics but even logic and physical theory--was literally to be lived. Yet there was great disagreement about how to live philosophically: philosophy was t one but many, mutually opposed, ways of life. Examining this tradition from its establishment by Socrates in the fifth century BCE through Plotinus in the third century CE and the eclipse of pagan philosophy by Christianity, Pursuits of Wisdom examines six central philosophies of living--Socratic, Aristotelian, Stoic, Epicurean, Skeptic, and the Platonist life of late antiquity. The book describes the shared assumptions that allowed these thinkers to conceive of their philosophies as ways of life, as well as the distinctive ideas that led them to widely different conclusions about the best human life. Clearing up many common misperceptions and simplifications, Cooper explains in detail the Socratic devotion to philosophical discussion about human nature, human life, and human good; the Aristotelian focus on the true place of humans within the total system of the natural world; the Stoic commitment to dutifully accepting Zeus's plans; the Epicurean pursuit of pleasure through tranquil activities that exercise perception, thought, and feeling; the Skeptical eschewal of all critical reasoning in forming their beliefs; and, finally, the late Platonist emphasis on spiritual concerns and the eternal realm of Being. Pursuits of Wisdom is essential reading for anyone interested in understanding what the great philosophers of antiquity thought was the true purpose of philosophy--and of life.
- Author BiographyJohn M. Cooper is the Henry Putnam University Professor of Philosophy at Princeton University. He is the general editor of the authoritative English-language edition of Plato's complete writings, and the author of Reason and Emotion and Knowledge, Nature, and the Good (both Princeton), among other books.
- PrizesCommended for PROSE Awards: Philosophy 2012.
- Author(s)John M. Cooper
- PublisherPrinceton University Press
- Date of Publication06/09/2013
- Place of PublicationNew Jersey
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintPrinceton University Press
- Weight628 g
- Width152 mm
- Height229 mm
- Spine27 mm
- Format DetailsTrade paperback (US)
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