Ancient Ethics and the Natural World

Ancient Ethics and the Natural World

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This book explores a distinctive feature of ancient philosophy: the close relation between ancient ethics and the study of the natural world. Human beings are in some sense part of the natural world, and they live their lives within a larger cosmos, but their actions are governed by norms whose relation to the natural world is up for debate. The essays in this volume, written by leading specialists in ancient philosophy, discuss how these facts about our relation to the world bear both upon ancient accounts of human goodness and also upon ancient accounts of the natural world itself. The volume includes discussion not only of Plato and Aristotle, but also of earlier and later thinkers, with an essay on the Presocratics and two essays that discuss later Epicurean, Stoic, and Neoplatonist philosophers.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 280 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 16mm | 503g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Worked examples or Exercises
  • 1108839789
  • 9781108839785

Table of contents

Introduction Ursula Coope and Barbara Sattler; Part I. Humans in nature: nature and law, humans and natural catastrophes: 1. Legislating in accordance with nature in Plato's Laws Alex Long; 2. Plato's astronomy and moral history in the Timaeus Barbara Sattler: 3. Natural catastrophe in Greek and Roman Philosophy A. A. Long; Part II. Humans as godlike, gods as human-like: Presocratics and Platonists: 4. Anthropomorphism and epistemic anthropo-philautia: the early critiques by Xenophanes and Heraclitus Alexander P. D. Mourelatos; 5. Nature and divinity in the notion of godlikeness Li Fan; Part III.Emotions, reason, and the natural world (Aristotle); 6. Human and animal emotions in Aristotle Jamie Dow; 7. Reasonable and unreasonable affections and human nature Dorothea Frede; Part IV. Action and the natural world (Aristotle): 8. Chains that do not bind: causation and necessity in Aristotle Thomas Tuozzo; 9. Aristotle on nature, deliberation and purposiveness Ursula Coope; Part V. The naturalness of goodness; 10. Eudoxus's hedonism Joachim Aufderheide; 11. Aristotle and Socrates in the eudemian ethics on the naturalness of goodness Christopher Rowe.
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Review quote

This is an excellent collection of new research in several areas of ancient Greek philosophy. Every one of these essays has moments of real brilliance. All are valuable in at least several respects. Brad Inwood, Yale University
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About Barbara M. Sattler

Ursula Coope is Professor of Ancient Philosophy at the University of Oxford. She is author of Time for Aristotle: Physics IV. 20-14 (2005) and Freedom and Responsibility in Neoplatonist Thought (2020), and has published numerous book chapters and journal articles on ancient philosophy. Barbara M. Sattler is Professor of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy at Ruhr-Universitat Bochum. She is author of The Concept of Motion in Ancient Greek Thought (Cambridge, 2020) and editor of One Book, the Whole Universe: Plato's Timaeus Today (with Richard D. Mohr, 2010). Her research has appeared in dozens of edited collections and journals.
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