Lectures on Greek Philosophy 1928

John Anderson

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Format: paperback
308 pages
ISBN: 9781920899073
Publication: 07 Aug 2008

The Lectures on Greek Philosophy of 1928 are among the earliest lectures we have of John Anderson's, delivered in the year following his arrival in Sydney in 1927. In these teachings he closely and critically followed John Burnet's classic work Early Greek Philosophy.

Anderson's complete course covered the pre-Socratics extensively before progressing to the Socratic Dialogues and Aristotle. The study of Greek Philosophy for Anderson provided an important corrective to the attitudes and forms of inquiry dominating modern philosophy.

The study of Greek philosophy was essential to Anderson because the Greeks ‘are far clearer on many questions than modern philosophers...they avoid many modern errors, and especially... they are not, like the moderns, obsessed with “the problem of knowledge”... they do not set out to discover (that is to say, to know!) how, or how much, we can know, before they are prepared to know anything.’

Modern philosophers need to return to ‘the Greek consideration of things,’ to finally abandon epistemology as ‘an intrusion of mind into logic and of a false logic into psychology’ and accept the direct common sense realism of the Greek philosophers.

John Anderson was the Challis professor of philosophy at the University of Sydney from 1927 to 1958.

Foreword to the John Anderson series
Note on the text

Part 1: pre-Socratics
1. Introductory lectures
Lecture 1: science, philosophy and mythology
Lecture 2: mythological thinking continued
Lecture 3: foundation of science
2. The Milesians
Lecture 3 continued: the Milesians
Lecture 4: common quality as unity within diversity
Lecture 5: Thales on the nature of things
Lecture 6: Anaximander and the unlimited or boundless
Lecture 7: Anaximander continued – influence
Lecture 8: Anaximenes
Lecture 9: Anaximenes continued – notion of substance
Lecture 10: main difficulties in Milesian thinking
3. Xenophanes
Lecture 10 continued: reactions to Milesians
Lecture 11: Xenophanes’ rejection of speculation
Lecture 12: Xenophanes continued
4. Pythagoras
Lecture 13: Pythagoras and the conception of units
Lecture 14: units applied to music and harmony
Lecture 15: the theory of the mean – division of reality
Lecture 16: division of reality continued
5. Heraclitus
Lecture 17: the particular importance of Heraclitus
Lecture 18: all things in process
Lecture 19: things as attunements – exchanges
Lecture 20: fire as process not substance
Lecture 21: systems and cycles
Lecture 22: each thing a cycle
Lecture 23: personal identity
Lecture 24: ethical theory
Lecture 25: modern misunderstandings of Heraclitus
6. Parmenides
Lecture 26: Parmenides – early Pythagoreanism
Lecture 27: the question of pure being
Lecture 28: Parmenides’ criticisms of Heraclitus
Lecture 29: Eleatic paradoxes
Lecture 30: the way of truth – change impossible
Lecture 31: Pythagorean units corrected
Lecture 32: criticisms of Parmenides
Lecture 33: criticisms continued
7. Empedocles and Anaxagoras
Lecture 33 continued: so-called Pluralists
Lecture 34: Pluralists’ reactions to Parmenides
Lecture 35: difficulties in Empedocles and Anaxagoras
8. Melissus and Zeno
Lecture 36: Eleatic responses to Pluralists – Melissus
Lecture 37: Eleatic responses to Pluralists – Zeno
Lecture 38: Zeno continued – the paradoxes
Lecture 39: Zeno continued – the simple dilemma

Part 2: Socrates, Plato and Aristotle
1. Introductory lectures
Lecture 40: Socrates – Pythagoreans and Eleatics
Lecture 41: doctrine of imitation – being and becoming
Lecture 42: knowledge and opinion
Lecture 43: influence of the physicists
Lecture 44: Socrates continued – the dialogues
2. The Euthyphro and Apology
Lecture 45: Euthyphro on piety
Lecture 46: Euthyphro continued
Lecture 47: Euthyphro – stages in the argument
Lecture 48: Euthyphro continued
Lecture 49: the Apology
3. The Phaedo and the Parmenides
Lecture 50: the Phaedo – on soul and body
Lecture 51: proofs of immortality – forms as external
Lecture 52: the treatment of forms as predicates
Lecture 53: Socratic consideration of propositions
Lecture 54: the testing of hypotheses
Lecture 55: Phaedo continued
Lecture 56: Socratic theory of approximations
Lecture 57: Phaedo continued
Lecture 58: Socrates on nature of forms incomplete
Lecture 59: Socrates twin doctrines in conflict
Lecture 60: two conceptions of forms continued
Lecture 61: the Parmenides – division of reality
Lecture 62: universality and particularity
4. The Republic
Lecture 63: introduction to the ethical theories
Lecture 64: virtue and the arts
Lecture 65: the Republic continued
Lecture 66: Thrasymachus on justice
Lecture 67: the art of ruling
Lecture 68: justice and the form of the good
Lecture 69: forms and natural kinds
Lecture 70: the nature of the state
Lecture 71: goodness as fulfilment of function
Lecture 72: parts of the state and parts of the soul
Lecture 73: consequences of the theory of justice
5. Aristotle's Nichomachean Ethics
Lecture 74: the good life as that which is aimed at
Lecture 75: Aristotle on the practical and happiness
Lecture 76: Aristotle’s theory of the mean
Lecture 77: The goodness of character
Lecture 78: Aristotle’s emphasis on activities
Lecture 79: Socratic philosophy and Butler’s Sermons
Lecture 80: comparisons with Butler continued
Lecture 81: Butler concluded

Appendix: books on Greek philosophy in the Anderson family collection

Format: paperback
Size: 210 × 148 × 17 mm
308 pages
5 b&w illustrations
ISBN: 9781920899073
Publication: 07 Aug 2008