Philosophers didn't always busy themselves with life's big questions. The earliest ancient philosophers were primarily concerned with the world of nature, including phenomena such as earthquakes and eclipses. But one enigmatic Greek named Socrates began to explore abstract ideas about human existence. What makes us happy? What is the nature of the soul? And what is our purpose in this universe? Professor William Prior elegantly guides readers through philosophy's formative years and key ancient texts. Organised into four themes - nature, reality, the soul and ethics - Ancient Philosophy: A Beginner's Guide is a lively introduction to the great thinkers who still send our minds reeling today.
"This is an excellent introduction... Prior enables the student to appreciate the conversation that is Ancient Greek and Roman philosophy." -- Hugh Benson, Samuel Roberts Noble Presidential Professor of Philosophy, University of Oklahoma This beautifully written little book draws the reader in with perplexity and wonder." -- Nicholas D. Smith, Professor of Humanities Departments of Classics and Philosophy, Lewis Clark College "Lucid and lively - this book is a really excellent and user-friendly starting-point for the exploration of the riches of ancient philosophy." -- George Boys-Stones, Professor of Ancient Philosophy, University of Durham
William J. Prior is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at Santa Clara University in California. His research interests also include ethical theory, Wittgenstein and the history of skepticism. He is the author of Virtue and Knowledge: An Introduction to Ancient Greek Ethics and Unity and Development in Plato's Metaphysics.