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Pleasure in Ancient Greek Philosophy

$103.00 (P)

Part of Key Themes in Ancient Philosophy

  • Date Published: January 2013
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521761307

$ 103.00 (P)

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About the Authors
  • 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. The book 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. In the contemporary period, the topic has, to a greater extent, been pursued within philosophy of mind and psychology. This divergence reflects the dominant philosophical preoccupations of the times. But Wolfsdorf argues that the various treatments are complementary. Indeed, the Greeks' examinations of pleasure were incisive, their debates vigorous and their results have enduring value for contemporary discussion.

    • Provides an accessible treatment of ancient Greek philosophical conceptions of pleasure
    • Broad coverage, from pre-Platonic up to Old Stoic treatments
    • The first book to compare contemporary conceptions of pleasure with the ancient ones and examines the relevance of the latter to the former
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "Platonic scholars will like this book best, but it appeals to a range of scholars - from students wanting a summary of pre-Socratic, Aristotelian, Epicurean, or Stoic views on pleasure, to those interested in a broader context for the treatment of pleasure by 20th-century philosophers … Highly recommended …"
    P. W. Wakefield, Choice

    "… 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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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2013
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521761307
    • length: 312 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 19 mm
    • weight: 0.59kg
    • availability: Available
  • 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.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Ancient Philosophy
    • History and Philosophy of Psychology
    • Philosophical Perspectives
  • Author

    David Wolfsdorf, Temple University, Philadelphia
    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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