Knowledge, Nature, and the Good brings together some of John Cooper's most important works on ancient philosophy. In thirteen chapters that represent an ideal companion to the author's influential Reason and Emotion, Cooper addresses a wide range of topics and periods--from Hippocratic medical theory and Plato's epistemology and moral philosophy, to Aristotle's physics and metaphysics, academic scepticism, and the cosmology, moral psychology, and ethical theory of the ancient Stoics.
Almost half of the pieces appear here for the first time or are presented in newly expanded, extensively revised versions. Many stand at the cutting edge of research into ancient ethics and moral psychology. Other chapters, dating from as far back as 1970, are classics of philosophical scholarship on antiquity that continue to play a prominent role in current teaching and scholarship in the field. All of the chapters are distinctive for the way that, whatever the particular topic being pursued, they attempt to understand the ancient philosophers' views in philosophical terms drawn from the ancient philosophical tradition itself (rather than from contemporary philosophy).
Through engaging creatively and philosophically with the ancient texts, these essays aim to make ancient philosophical perspectives freshly available to contemporary philosophers and philosophy students, in all their fascinating inventiveness, originality, and deep philosophical merit. This book will be treasured by philosophers, classicists, students of philosophy and classics, those in other disciplines with an interest in ancient philosophy, and anyone who seeks to understand philosophy in philosophical terms.
"The marks of a true multi-culturalism hidden in the methods of great classicism are present in John M. Cooper's Knowledge, Nature, and the Good. . . . Works of loving scholarship such as this . . . develop our ability to appreciate the wondrous otherness of Greek culture--of, in fact, any culture."--Arthur J. Spring, Bridges
"The pieces in this collection represent scholarship in the history of ancient Greek philosophy of the first rank. They make seminal contributions to the field and their technical scholarship is impeccable. This book will be sought out widely by scholars and students of ancient philosophy and by philosophers and classicists more generally."--Chris Bobonich, Stanford University, author of Plato's Utopia Recast
Table of Contents:
CHAPTER 1: Method and Science in On Ancient Medicine 3
CHAPTER 2: Plato on Sense-Perception and Knowledge (Theaetetus 184-186) 43
CHAPTER 3: Plato, Isocrates, and Cicero on the Independence of Oratory from Philosophy 65
CHAPTER 4: Arcesilaus: Socratic and Skeptic 81
CHAPTER 5: Aristotle on Natural Teleology 107
CHAPTER 6: Hypothetical Necessity 130
CHAPTER 7: Two Notes on Aristotle on Mixture 148
CHAPTER 8: Metaphysics in Aristotle's Embryology 174
CHAPTER 9: Stoic Autonomy 204
CHAPTER 10: Two Theories of Justice 247
CHAPTER 11: Plato and Aristotle on "Finality" and "(Self-) Sufficiency" 270
CHAPTER 12: Moral Theory and Moral Improvement: Seneca 309
CHAPTER 13: Moral Theory and Moral Improvement: Marcus Aurelius 335
Index of Passages 381
General Index 397
Other Princeton books authored or coauthored by John M. Cooper: