Sten Ebbesen has contributed many works in the field of ancient and medieval philosophy over many decades of dedicated research. His style is crisp and lucid and his philosophical penetration and exposition of often difficult concepts and issues is both clear and intellectually impressive. Ashgate is proud to present this three volume set of his collected essays, all of them thoroughly revised and updated. Each volume is thematically arranged. Volume One: Greek-Latin Philosophical Interaction explores issues of relevance to the history of logic and semantics, and in particular connections and/or differences between Greek and Latin theory and scholarly procedures, with special emphasis on late antiquity and the Middle Ages.
From Logos to Trinity
Author: Marian Hillar
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
This book presents a critical evaluation of the doctrine of the Trinity, tracing its development and investigating the intellectual, philosophical and theological background that shaped this influential doctrine of Christianity. Despite the centrality of Trinitarian thought to Christianity and its importance as one of the fundamental tenets that differentiates Christianity from Judaism and Islam, the doctrine is not fully formulated in the canon of Christian scriptural texts. Instead, it evolved through the conflation of selective pieces of scripture with the philosophical and religious ideas of ancient Hellenistic milieu. Marian Hillar analyzes the development of Trinitarian thought during the formative years of Christianity from its roots in ancient Greek philosophical concepts and religious thinking in the Mediterranean region. He identifies several important sources of Trinitarian thought heretofore largely ignored by scholars, including the Greek middle-Platonic philosophical writings of Numenius and Egyptian metaphysical writings and monuments representing divinity as a triune entity.
Author: Otto Bardenhewer
Eclecticism is a concept widely used in the history of ancient philosophy to describe the intellectual stance of diverse thinkers such as Plutarch, Cicero and Seneca. In this book the historical and interpretative problems associated with eclecticism are for the first time approached from the point of view of the only self-described eclectic philosopher from Antiquity, Potamo of Alexandria. The evidence is examined in detail with reference to the philosophical and wider intellectual background of the period. Potamo's views are placed in the context of key debates at the forefront of late Hellenistic philosophical activity to which he contributed, such as the criterion of truth, the first principles in physics, the moral end and the interpretation of Aristotle's esoteric works. The emergence of eclecticism is thus treated in connection with the major shift in philosophical interests and methods that marked the passage from Hellenistic to Imperial philosophy.
The Art of Living
Author: John Sellars
Publisher: A&C Black
Ancient philosophy was conceived as a way of life or an art of living, but if ancient philosophers did think that philosophy should transform an individual's way of life, then what conception of philosophy stands behind this claim? John Sellars explores this question through a detailed account of ancient Stoic ideas about the nature and function of philosophy. He considers the Socratic background to Stoic thinking about philosophy and Sceptical objections raised by Sextus Empiricus, and offers readings of late Stoic texts by Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius. Sellars argues that the conception of philosophy as an 'art of living', inaugurated by Socrates and developed by the Stoics, has persisted since antiquity and remains a living alternative to modern attempts to assimilate philosophy to the natural sciences. It also enables us to rethink the relationship between an individual's philosophy and their biography. The book appears here in paperback for the first time with a new Preface by the author.
Xenophanes of Colophon
Publisher: University of Toronto Press
Xenophanes of Colophon was a philosophical poet who lived in various cities of the ancient Greek world during the late sixth and early fifth centuries BC. In this book, James Lesher presents the Greek texts of all the surviving fragments of Xenophanes' teachings, with an original English translation on facing pages, along with detailed notes and commentaries and a series of essays on the philosophical questions generated by Xenophanes' remarks. Also included are English translations of all the ancient testimonia relating to Xenophanes' life and teachings, and a discussion of how many of the testimonia pose the impediments to achieving a consistent interpretation of his philosophy. The Xenophanes who emerges in this account fully warrants classification as a philosophical thinker: moral critic and reflective student of nature, critic of popular religious belief and practice, and perhaps the first to challenge claims to knowledge about divine matters and the basic forces at work in nature. As with earlier works in the Pheonix series, this volume aims to make an important portion of Presocratic writing accessible to all those interested in ancient philosophy and the first phase of European natural science. This new paperback edition contains an updated bibliography.
Author: Lorenzo Valla, Brian P Copenhaver, Lodi Nauta
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Lorenzo Valla (1407–1457) ranks among the greatest scholars and thinkers of the Renaissance. He secured lasting fame for his brilliant critical skills, most famously in his exposure of the “Donation of Constantine,” the forged document upon which the papacy based claims to political power. Lesser known in the English-speaking world is Valla's work in the philosophy of language—the basis of his reputation as the greatest philosopher of the humanist movement. Dialectical Disputations, translated here for the first time into any modern language, is his principal contribution to the philosophy of language and logic. With this savage attack on the scholastic tradition of Aristotelian logic, Valla aimed to supersede it with a new logic based on the actual historical usage of classical Latin and on a commonsense approach to semantics and argument. Valla provides a logic that could be used by lawyers, preachers, statesmen, and others who needed to succeed in public debate—one that was stylistically correct and rhetorically elegant, and thus could dispense with the technical language of the scholastics, a “tribe of Peripatetics, perverters of natural meanings.” Valla's reformed dialectic became a milestone in the development of humanist logic and contains startling anticipations of modern theories of semantics and language. Volume 1 contains Book I, in which Valla refutes Aristotle's logical works on the categories, transcendentals, and predicables, with excursions into natural and moral philosophy and theology.