Plutarch Against Colotes

Plutarch Against Colotes : A Lesson in History of Philosophy

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Plutarch of Chaeroneia's philosophical work remained largely in the shadow of his celebrated Lives, partly because it was often dubbed 'popular philosophy', and partly because it was thought to be lacking in originality. The tides are, fortunately, changing and current scholarship is showing a growing appreciation of Plutarch's philosophical work. This book contributes to the 'rehabilitation' of Plutarch as a philosopher by focusing on an important aspect of his philosophical self: his work as a teacher, interpreter, and, eventually, historian of philosophy. Eleni Kechagia offers a critical analysis of Plutarch's anti-Epicurean treatise Against Colotes - a unique text that is both rich in philosophical material and has been widely used as a source for ancient Greek philosophy, but which has yet to be studied in its own right. Combining a historical approach with structural analysis and close reading of selected sections of the text, this book demonstrates that Plutarch engaged with the philosophy of his past in a creative way. By refuting Colotes' Epicurean arguments against the main Greek philosophers up to the Hellenistic era, Plutarch gives an insightful critical assessment of the philosophy of his past and teaches his readers how to go about living and reading philosophy. The volume concludes that Plutarch emerges as a respected critic whose 'reviews' of the past philosophical theories are an essential companion when trying to piece together the puzzle of ancient Greek philosophy.

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Product details

  • Hardback | 384 pages
  • 138 x 220 x 28mm | 580.6g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Bilingual edition
  • Bilingual
  • 0199597235
  • 9780199597239
  • 1,224,300

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About Eleni Kechagia

Dr Eleni Kechagia studied Classics and Ancient Philosophy at the Universities of Thessaloniki (BA and Masters) and Oxford (DPhil). From 2006 to 2009 she was a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the Faculty of Classics, University of Oxford and a Research Fellow at Keble College, Oxford. She has written articles on Plutarch, Epicureanism, and ancient biography, and has taught Classics and Ancient Philosophy for many Oxford colleges.

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