Pleasure in Ancient Greek Philosophy

Pleasure in Ancient Greek Philosophy

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The Key Themes in Ancient Philosophy series provides concise books, written by major scholars and accessible to non-specialists, on important themes in ancient philosophy that remain of philosophical interest today. In this volume Professor Wolfsdorf undertakes the first exploration of ancient Greek philosophical conceptions of pleasure in relation to contemporary conceptions. He provides broad coverage of the ancient material, from pre-Platonic to Old Stoic treatments; and, in the contemporary period, from World War II to the present. Examination of the nature of pleasure in ancient philosophy largely occurred within ethical contexts but in the contemporary period has, to a greater extent, been pursued within philosophy of mind and psychology. This divergence reflects the dominant philosophical preoccupations of the times. But Professor Wolfsdorf argues that the various treatments are complementary. Indeed, the Greeks' examinations of pleasure were incisive and their debates vigorous, and their results have enduring value for contemporary discussion.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 1139602845
  • 9781139602846

About David Wolfsdorf

David Wolfsdorf is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Temple University, Philadelphia, where he specializes in Greek and Roman philosophy. His previous publications include numerous articles on various ancient philosophical topics as well as Trials of Reason: Plato and the Crafting of Philosophy (2008).
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Table of contents

1. Introduction; 2. Pleasure in early Greek ethics; 3. Pleasure in the early physical tradition; 4. Plato on pleasure and restoration; 5. Plato on true, untrue and false pleasures; 6. Aristotle on pleasure and activation; 7. Epicurus and the Cyrenaics on katastematic and kinetic pleasures; 8. The Old Stoics on pleasure as passion; 9. Contemporary conceptions of pleasure; 10. Ancient and contemporary conceptions of pleasure; Suggestions for further reading.
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Review quote

'... includes many comprehensively researched, well-argued and important contributions to debates about the nature of pleasure as it is conceived by philosophers from antiquity to the present.' Bryn Mawr Classical Review
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