These dialogues underscore the limitations of democratic relativism and emphasize the nature of philosophy or the free mind. Plato’s Apology of Socrates is both poetry and an act of reformation, justifying the life of philosophy, challenging the authority of the pagan gods and heroes, and introducing Socrates as a heroic and even divine figure. In contrast, Xenophon’s Socrates is not dialectical and otherworldly, but makes a different appeal for philosophy. From Xenophon emerges the heroic tradition of Plutarch with its reflections on the virtues and vices of great historical men.
Focus Philosophical Library translations are close to and are non-interpretative of the original text, with the notes and a glossary intending to provide the reader with some sense of the terms and the concepts as they were understood by Plato and Xenophon’s immediate audience.
By centering on only those aspects of the psychological and physiological effects of yoga, hypnosis, and psychedelic drugs which can be measured and analyzed using this new method, Barber distinguishes this book from others in the field. He asks what overt behaviors and verbal reports are clearly observable when psychedelic drugs are taken, yoga is practiced, or hypnotic-induction procedures are administered. Instead of treating the phenomena traditionally associated with psychedelic drugs, yoga, or hypnosis as undifferentiated conglomerates, an attempt will be made to set apart and treat separately each of the many phenomena associated with each of these areas of inquiry.
This book does not set out to simply demonstrate the importance of psychedelics, yoga, and hypnosis, or to present substantive material pertaining to these topics. It also treats each topic as continuous with other known psychological phenomena and as an important piece to the puzzle of social psychology. It differs from most previous treatises in that it does not assume that psychedelics, yoga, and hypnosis can bring out unused mental or physical capacities in man, heighten awareness or give rise to enhanced creativity, or produce altered states of consciousness, suspension of conventional reality-orientation, changes in body-image, or changes in perception.
The writings of Xenophon are increasingly recognized as important works of political philosophy. In The Education of Cyrus, Xenophon confronts the vexing problem of political instability by exploring the character and behavior of the ruler. Impressive though his successes are, however, Cyrus is also examined in the larger human context, in which love, honor, greed, revenge, folly, piety, and the search for wisdom all have important parts to play.
Wayne Ambler's translation captures the charm and drama of the work while also achieving great accuracy. His introduction, annotations, and glossary help the reader to appreciate both the engaging story itself and the volume's contributions to philosophy.