By W. T. Stace
The traditional Greek philosophers have performed a pivotal function within the shaping of the western philosophical culture. This booklet surveys the seminal works and ideas of key figures within the historic Greek philosophical culture from the Presocratics to the Neoplatonists. It highlights their major philosophical issues and the evolution of their notion from the 6th century BCE to the 6th century CE.
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Additional info for A Critical History of Greek Philosophy
To discover what a philosopher (and by extension what “philosophy”) is, Poliziano engages in a complex internal dialogue of praise and blame, of naming and of withholding names, that marks the treatise’s structure. 55 Poliziano’s method of arriving there, however, is unique. He does not name Pythagoras, and he clearly intends in this part of the treatise to treat the matter in a satirical vein (8): I’ve certainly heard that there once was a certain man from Samos, a teacher of the youth. He was always clothed in white and had a fine head 54 Poliziano’s rhetorical manoeuvre shares a family resemblance to the trajectory traced in S.
Poliziano begins the Lamia by emphasizing the utility of the “fable,” which he designates with the words fabella and fabula. 47 [“Let’s tell stories for a while, if you please, but let’s make them relevant, as Horace says. For stories, even those that are considered the kinds of things that foolish old women discuss, are not only the first beginnings of philosophy. ”] Poliziano’s Latin here is relevant, echoing as it does one of his favorite authors, Apuleius (c. 123 CE—c. 170), specifically the Florida, ch.
Is it not the case, perhaps, that if a contest were held there, someone who sees the shadows of all things most acutely will triumph over our friend? Is it not the case that our friend will then become an object of ridicule to all, to such a point that, with one voice, all of those who were bound in chains would cry out that their colleague, who had come back to the cave, was blind and that it was dangerous to go outside? And so, if anyone tried to release anyone else ever again and lead him to the light, he (whoever it might be) would resist hand and foot and, if he could, would attack their eyes with his fingernails.
A Critical History of Greek Philosophy by W. T. Stace