A History of Ancient Philosophy I

From the Origins to Socrates

By Giovanni Reale
Edited and translated by John R. Catan

Subjects: Ancient Greek Philosophy
Series: SUNY series in Philosophy
Paperback : 9780887062902, 452 pages, August 1987
Hardcover : 9780887062926, 452 pages, August 1987

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Beginning with the origins of Western philosophy, the profound creation of the Hellenic genius, Reale presents an appreciation of the Naturalists, the Sophists, Socrates, and the Minor Socratics.

Special attention is paid to the Eleatics because their problems decisively mark Platonic and Aristotelian philosophy.

Interpretation of the Sophists benefits from the recent reevaluation of their thought. Socrates himself would be inconceivable without the Sophists since he is one of them.

Socrates is given major prominence. Plato, Aristotle, and all of Hellenistic philosophy are deeply impregnated with his words and spirit.

The teachings of the Minor Socratics are interpreted as one-sided reductions of the pluralistic values of Socratic thought and as anticipations of some issues that explode later in the Hellenistic Age.

There are two appendices. The first concerns Orphism and contains a series of documents indispensable for the comprehension of some aspects of pre-Socratic and Platonic thought. The second explains the key to understanding the message of the Greeks—the message of "theorein".

Giovanni Reale is full Professor and holder of the Chair in History of Ancient Philosophy at the Catholic University of Milan. His The Systems of the Hellenistic Age: A History of Ancient Philosophy, Volume III and The Concept of First Philosophy and the Unity of the Metaphysics of Aristotle, both edited and translated by John R. Catan, are also published by SUNY Press. John R. Catan is Professor of Philosophy at the State University of New York College at Brockport. He is the editor of Aristotle: The Collected Papers of Joseph Owens and Saint Thomas Aquinas on the Existence of God: The Collected Papers of Joseph Owens, both published by SUNY Press.