Ethics After Aristotle

Ethics After Aristotle

Brad Inwood
Copyright Date: 2014
Published by: Harvard University Press
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  • Book Info
    Ethics After Aristotle
    Book Description:

    The earliest philosophers thought deeply about ethical questions, but Aristotle founded ethics as a well-defined discipline. Brad Inwood focuses on the reception of Aristotelian ethical thought in the Hellenistic and Roman worlds and explores the thinker's influence on the philosophers who followed in his footsteps from 300 BCE to 200 CE.

    eISBN: 978-0-674-36978-8
    Subjects: Philosophy

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Perface
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. 1 Working in the Wake of Genius
    (pp. 1-29)

    Aristotle has always been a hard act to follow. His philosophical and scientific achievements spanned a wide range of disciplines, many of which he could easily claim to have founded. In the fields to which he devoted his principal efforts, his breadth of vision, acuity, and good judgment set a standard which lasted for centuries. And in the fields in which he did little work himself—I am thinking of mathematics and astronomy, musical theory, medicine, mechanics, and geography—Aristotle proved to be strikingly well informed and often provided an articulated framework for investigation and explanation that served as a...

  5. 2 Flirting with Hedonism (It’s Only Natural)
    (pp. 30-50)

    In chapter 1, I suggested that theMagna Moralia(MM) sometimes pushes Aristotelian innovation even further than Theophrastus does. Reading theMMis a constant process of noting the various ways in which the author either responds to problems and uncertainties in Aristotle or adapts in reaction to contemporary developments. The author is unknown, and so I propose to call him “Magnus,” adopting the name from some wag at a highly productive workshop on theMagna Moraliaat Cambridge University in 2010. Referring to the author as “anonymous” or “pseudo-Aristotle” or (even worse) as “the author of theMagna Moralia”...

  6. 3 The Turning Point: From Critolaus to Cicero
    (pp. 51-72)

    In the middle of the second century BCE the head of the Peripatetic school was Critolaus, without doubt the most powerful thinker to head the school in over a century. In Athens, the philosophical debate was rough and tumble. Carneades had breathed new life into the Academy, not only in epistemology (with his sustained critique of Stoic theory and his own developments of skepticism in the Academic tradition founded by Arcesilaus) but also in other branches of philosophy. Gisela Striker once elegantly dissected the debate between Carneades and the Stoic Antipater of Tarsus over the proper formulation of thetelos;¹...

  7. 4 Bridging the Gap: Aristotelian Ethics in the Early Roman Empire
    (pp. 73-104)

    Disagreements about periodization are inevitable, but eventually the Hellenistic era came to close and a new era in philosophy began. I incline to include in the earlier period Cicero and the flowering of philosophical activity in Italy before the upheavals of the 40s and 30s BCE, not drawing a line at 100 BCE as some have recently proposed.¹ Both division points are defensible; whichever is chosen, it is clearly the case that by the 30s BCE, and with the beginnings of a transition to the new intellectual culture of the empire, the Aristotelian tradition in ethics would change too, in...

  8. 5 Alexander and Imperial Aristotelianism
    (pp. 105-126)

    I have argued that innovative approaches to Aristotelian ethics continued to be significant well into the first century of the Roman Empire, and that they weren’t limited to the growth of the commentary tradition. After Xenarchus, in the late first century BCE we met the occasionally somewhat awkward but definitely creative developments in the work of “Harry,” the author of Doxography C. Some Peripatetic put together a treatise on the passions which was deeply influenced by Stoic definitions and adapted them to Aristotelian ends—a work which came to be attributed to Andronicus of Rhodes. And this is also the...

  9. Notes
    (pp. 127-146)
  10. Note on the Ancient Texts
    (pp. 147-148)
  11. Bibliography
    (pp. 149-156)
  12. Source Index
    (pp. 157-160)
  13. Subject Index
    (pp. 161-166)