Retrieving the Ancients tells the story of the first philosophers in the West. Beginning with Thales, who correctly predicted an eclipse in 585 BC, and culminating in a discussion of the works of Aristotle, who died in 322 BC, Roochnik's work provides a clear and engaging introduction to one of the most fertile periods in the history of human thought. The author presents the history of Greek philosophy as an unfolding conversation, with the key thinkers engaged with and responding to their predecessors. Elegantly and compellingly written, Roochnik demonstrates the abiding relevance of this conversation to the modern reader. In retrieving the ancients, he argues, we help to illuminate ourselves.
?Over and above this, the book succeeds in demonstrating the relevance of some of the most central Greek concerns to both current philosophy and the history of ideas in general.? (Classical Review, 2007)
"This is a jewel of a book... A must for everyone." (Journal of Classics Teaching)
"The best written and most lucidly argued single volume survey of ancient Greek philosophy... a book that manages to be bothe philosophically sophisticated yet accessible to undergraduates" (Journal of Ancient Philosophy)
"David Roochnik offers a well-paced and highly accessible narrative of ancient Greek thought. Retrieving the Ancients
is a much-needed primer for teaching undergraduates the value of early philosophy."
?Daryl McGowan Tress, Fordham University
Two Reasons to Study Ancient Greek Philosophy.
The Organization and Strategy of This Book.
1: The Presocratics.
Before the Beginning: Hesiod.
The Ionian Philosophers of the Sixth Century.
a) The Beginning: Thales of Miletus.
b) The First Debate: Anaximander v. Anaximenes.
c) Sixth-Century Rationalism: Xenophanes and Pythagoras.
d) The Crisis of Sixth-Century Philosophy.
Heraclitus and Parmenides: Extreme Solutions.
a) Heraclitus: Lover of Flux.
b) Parmenides: Champion of Being.
a) Democritus: Atomic Theory.
b) Empedocles: Evolution.
2: The Sophists and Socrates.
A New Beginning: The Sophists.
Plato?s Critique of the Presocratics.
Plato?s Critique of the Sophists.
a) The ?Self-Reference? Argument.
b) The Reductio ad Absurdum.
c) ?What is it??.
d) ?The Old Quarrel:? Philosophy v. Sophistry.
a) The Phaedo.
b) The Meno.
The Divided Line and the Form of the Good.
a) The Divided Line.
b) The Form of the Good.
The Political Implications of the Forms.
Aristotle?s Conception of Nature.
a) ?By Nature?.
b) Form and Matter.
c) The Four Causes.
a) Moral Virtue.
b) Intellectual Virtue.
a) The Political Animal.
b) Best Life; Best City.