In this re-titled and substantially revised update of his Classical Philosophy (2003), Christopher Shields expands his coverage to include the Hellenistic era, and now offers an introduction to more than 1,000 years of ancient philosophy. From Thales and other Pre-Socratics through Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, and on to Epicureanism, Stoicism, and Scepticism, Ancient Philosophy traces the important connections between these periods and individuals without losing sight of the novelties and dynamics unique to each.
The coverage of Plato and Aristotle also has been expanded. It now includes, for example, updated coverage of Plato's allegories of the cave and the divided line and the metaphor of the sun as well as features of Plato's epistemology. Shields also adds new discussion on Aristotle's theory of virtue and his approach to the Socratic problem of akrasia, or weakness of will.
In terms of its structure, Ancient Philosophy is presented so that each philosophical position receives: (1) a brief introduction, (2) a sympathetic review of its principal motivations and primary supporting arguments, and (3) a short assessment, inviting readers to evaluate its plausibility. The result is a book that brings the ancient arguments to life, making the introduction truly contemporary. It will serve as both a first stop and a well visited resource for any student of the subject.
Ancient Philosophy offers a vivid picture of the ideas that flourished at philosophy's long birth and considers their relevance, both to the historical development of the Western philosophical tradition, and to philosophy today.