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Pursuits of Wisdom:
Six Ways of Life in Ancient Philosophy from Socrates to Plotinus
John M. Cooper

Book Description | Reviews
Chapter 1 [in PDF format]


Preface ix

Chapter 1 Introduction: On Philosophy as a Way of Life 1
1.Philosophy Ancient, Modern, and Contemporary 1

Chapter 2. What It Means to Live a Philosophy 17
2The Socratic Way of Life 24
1.Ancient Philosophy as Intellectual Pursuit vs. as Way of Life 24
2.Socrates in Plato's Apology 32
3.Socratic Dialectic, Socratic Knowledge, and Human Wisdom 42
4.Socratic Philosophy as a Way of Life 48
5.Socrates and the Subsequent Tradition 60

Chapter 3 Aristotle: Philosophy as Two Ways of Life 70
1.Introduction 70
2.Practical vs. Theoretical Knowledge 74
3.The Highest Good, Happiness, and Virtue 79
4.Two Happy Lives, Two Happinesses: The Contemplative and the Practically Active Lives 91
5.Theoretical vs. Practical Virtue as Highest Good 96
6.The Practical Virtues: General Account 99
7.The Specific Practical Virtues 105
8.Practical Knowledge and Ethical "Theory" 117
9.Political Community and the Highest Good 123
10.Conclusion: Philosophy as Two Ways of Life 137

Chapter 4 Stoicism as a Way of Life 144
1.Introduction: The Three Hellenistic Philosophies 144
2.Stoicism: Tradition and Texts 147
3.Stoic Eudaimonism 150
4.Stoic Moral Psychology and the Human Virtues 158
5.Virtue: Agreement with the World-Mind's Plans 166
6.What Is Good vs. What Is Merely of Some Value 184
7.Consequences of the Stoic Theory of Value 190
8.Stoic vs. Aristotelian Conceptions of Emotions or Passions 203
9.The Stoic Way of Life 214

Chapter 5 The Epicurean and Skeptic Ways of Life 226
1.Introduction 226
2.Epicurus's Theory of the Human Good: "Kinetic" and "Katastematic" Pleasure 229
3.The Epicurean Way of Life: Virtue, Irreligion, Friendship 246
4.The Epicurean Life: Concluding Summary 271
5.Ancient Skepticism: Living without Believing Anything 276
6.The Pyrrhonian Skepticism of Sextus Empiricus 282
7.The Skeptic Way of Life 291

Chapter 6 Platonism as a Way of Life 305
1.Introduction: Pythagoras, Plato, and Ancient Greek Wisdom 305
2.Plotinus's Platonist Metaphysics 317
3.Plotinus's Theory of the Human Person 326
4.Three Levels of Human Virtues: "Civic", "Purifying," and "Intellectual" 341
5.Virtue and Happiness 363
6.Philosophy: The Sole Way Up to Life Itself 381
7.Epilogue: The Demise of Pagan Philosophy, and of Philosophy as a Way of Life 383
Further Readings 389
Endnotes 401
Bibliography 425
Index 431

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File created: 4/21/2017

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