Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy: Volume VI: 1988 by Julia Annas

By Julia Annas

Contributions to this quantity contain Mary Margaret MacKenzie on Heraclitus, Aryeh Finkelberg on Parmenides, Christopher Shields on Aristotle, Paul Woodruff on aporetic pyrrhonism, Christopher Gill on Cicero, and Charles H. Kahn at the Gorgias and the Protagoras.

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4, 1259a). 7, 1141b3–8) that Thales was a contemplative. In the Politics (1259a), Aristotle reports the story of Thales and the olive-presses as mere hearsay; as he adds, although the creation of a monopoly “was attributed to Thales because of his wisdom,” in fact it is a universal principle of business. ” Pythagoras instituted a new mode of life by creating a religious society in the city of Croton. The members of this society, which included women as well as men, lived a life of austerity and discipline that featured a vegetarian diet, the practice of self-examination, obedience to precepts known as akousmata, and a strict code of silence about Pythagorean doctrine and practice.

Recently, Ian Rutherford has been engaged in a thoroughgoing analysis of theoria in 40 Theoria as a cultural practice 41 This chapter could stand on its own as a contribution to Greek “cultural studies” (and therefore offers a more detailed analysis than the study of philosophic theoria perhaps requires). Although much of my data will (perforce) come from Athens, I want to consider the Athenian festivals in the larger context of Greek religious festivals.

71 The words philosophia and philosophein, moreover, were very rarely used until the fourth century and, when they were used, did not pick out a special and distinct group of thinkers. 72 In short, none of the wise men in the sixth and fifth centuries called themselves “sophists” or “philosophers” (in the technical sense), nor did others refer to them in this way. If we avoid these anachronistic categorizations, we get a rather different picture of the early Greek thinkers. We find excellent evidence of the absence of disciplinary distinctions in the work of Heraclitus: in exalting his own brand of wisdom, he debunks not only that of Homer, Hesiod, and Archilochus, but also Hecataeus (a proto-historian), Xenophanes, and Pythagoras (DK b40, b42, b57).

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