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First published in 1936, this first full-length presentation in English of the Logical Positivism of Carnap, Neurath, and others has gone through many printings to become a classic of thought and communication. It not only surveys one of the most important areas of modern thought; it also shows the confusion that arises from imperfect understanding of the uses of language. A first-rate antidote for fuzzy thought and muddled writing, this remarkable book has helped philosophers, writers, speakers, teachers, students, and general readers alike.
Mr. Ayers sets up specific tests by which you can easily evaluate statements of ideas. You will also learn how to distinguish ideas that cannot be verified by experience — those expressing religious, moral, or aesthetic experience, those expounding theological or metaphysical doctrine, and those dealing with a priori truth. The basic thesis of this work is that philosophy should not squander its energies upon the unknowable, but should perform its proper function in criticism and analysis.
Taking place during the weeks leading up to Socrates' trial, the dialogue features Socrates and Euthyphro, a religious expert also mentioned at Cratylus 396a and 396d, attempting to define piety or holiness.
The dialogue is set near the king-archon's court, where the two men encounter each other. They are both there for preliminary hearings before possible trials (2a).
Euthyphro has come to lay manslaughter charges against his father, as his father had allowed one of his workers to die exposed to the elements without proper care and attention (3e–4d). This worker had killed a slave belonging to the family estate on the island of Naxos; while Euthyphro's father waited to hear from the expounders of religious law (exegetes cf. Laws 759d) about how to proceed, the worker died bound and gagged in a ditch. Socrates expresses his astonishment at the confidence of a man able to take his own father to court on such a serious charge, even when Athenian Law allows only relatives of the deceased to sue for murder.
Euthyphro misses the astonishment, and merely confirms his overconfidence in his own judgment of religious/ethical matters. In an example of "Socratic irony," Socrates states that Euthyphro obviously has a clear understanding of what is pious and impious. Since Socrates himself is facing a charge of impiety, he expresses the hope to learn from Euthyphro, all the better to defend himself in his own trial.
Euthyphro claims that what lies behind the charge brought against Socrates by Meletus and the other accusers is Socrates' claim that he is subjected to a daimon or divine sign which warns him of various courses of action (3b). Even more suspicious from the viewpoint of many Athenians, Socrates expresses skeptical views on the main stories about the Greek gods, which the two men briefly discuss before plunging into the main argument. Socrates expresses reservations about such accounts which show up the gods' cruelty and inconsistency. He mentions the castration of the early sky god, Uranus, by his son Cronus, saying he finds such stories very difficult to accept (6a–6c).
Euthyphro, after claiming to be able to tell even more amazing such stories, spends little time or effort defending the conventional view of the gods. Instead, he is led straight to the real task at hand, as Socrates forces him to confront his ignorance, ever pressing him for a definition of 'piety'. Yet, with every definition Euthyphro proposes, Socrates very quickly finds a fatal flaw (6d ff.).
At the end of the dialogue, Euthyphro is forced to admit that each definition has been a failure, but rather than correct it, he makes the excuse that it is time for him to go, and Socrates ends the dialogue with a classic example of Socratic irony: since Euthyphro has been unable to come up with a definition that will stand on its own two feet, Euthyphro has failed to teach Socrates anything at all about piety, and so he has received no aid for his own defense at his own trial (15c ff.).
Based on both Locke’s original Latin and the seventeenth-century English translation of William Popple, this edition offers a reader-friendly version that remains loyal to the original text. In addition to a forty-page introduction that situates the Letter in its historical and philosophical contexts, this edition includes excerpts from writings on religious toleration by William Penn, Baruch Spinoza, Pierre Bayle, and Samuel von Pufendorf, as well as generous selections from the famous Locke-Proast debates on religious toleration.
Considered to be one of the most important philosophical works of all time, the History of Western Philosophy is a dazzlingly unique exploration of the ideologies of significant philosophers throughout the ages—from Plato and Aristotle through to Spinoza, Kant and the twentieth century. Written by a man who changed the history of philosophy himself, this is an account that has never been rivaled since its first publication over sixty years ago.
Since its first publication in 1945, Lord Russell’s A History of Western Philosophy is still unparalleled in its comprehensiveness, its clarity, its erudition, its grace, and its wit. In seventy-six chapters he traces philosophy from the rise of Greek civilization to the emergence of logical analysis in the twentieth century.
Among the philosophers considered are: Pythagoras, Heraclitus, Parmenides, Empedocles, Anaxagoras, the Atomists, Protagoras, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, the Cynics, the Sceptics, the Epicureans, the Stoics, Plotinus, Ambrose, Jerome, Augustine, Benedict, Gregory the Great, John the Scot, Aquinas, Duns Scotus, William of Occam, Machiavelli, Erasmus, More, Bacon, Hobbes, Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Rousseau, Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, the Utilitarians, Marx, Bergson, James, Dewey, and lastly the philosophers with whom Lord Russell himself is most closely associated—Cantor, Frege, and Whitehead, coauthor with Russell of the monumental Principia Mathematica.
Rousseau takes an innovative approach by introducing a "hypothetical history" that presents a theoretical view of people in a pre-social condition and the ensuing effects of civilization. In his sweeping account of humanity's social and political development, the author develops a theory of human evolution that prefigures Darwinian thought and encompasses aspects of ethics, sociology, and epistemology. He concludes that people are inevitably corrupt as a result of both natural (or physical) inequalities and moral (or political) inequalities.
One of the most influential works of the Enlightenment, the Discourse on the Origin of Inequality offers a thought-provoking account of society's origins and a keen criticism of unequal modern political institutions.
For 70 years, the only unabridged English translation of this work was the Haldane-Kemp collaboration. In 1958, a new translation by E. F. J. Payne appeared that decisively supplanted the older one. Payne's translation is superior because it corrects nearly 1,000 errors and omissions in the Haldane-Kemp translation, and it is based on the definitive 1937 German edition of Schopenhauer's work prepared by Dr. Arthur Hübscher. Payne's edition is the first to translate into English the text's many quotations in half a dozen languages. It is thus the most useful edition for the student or teacher.
features a revised translation (with little editorial intervention),
expanded notes (including a summary of the argument of each chapter), an
expanded Introduction, and a revised glossary.
offers a brilliant introduction by Edwin Curley, modernized spelling
and punctuation of the text, and the inclusion, along with historical
and interpretive notes, of the most significant variants between the
English version of 1651 and the Latin version of 1668. A glossary of
seventeenth-century English terms, and indexes of persons, subjects, and
scriptural passages help make this the most thoughtfully conceived
edition of Leviathan available.
Written in the form of a Socratic dialogue, The Republic is an investigation into the nature of an ideal society. In this far-reaching and profoundly influential treatise, Plato explores the concept of justice, the connection between politics and psychology, the difference between words and what they represent, and the roles of art and education, among many other topics. A towering achievement of philosophical insight, The Republic is as relevant to readers today as it was to the citizens of ancient Athens.
This ebook has been professionally proofread to ensure accuracy and readability on all devices.
"it is with this line that Plato's story of Atlantis ends; and the words of Zeus remain unknown."
-- Francis Bacon, New Atlantis
Of all the writings of Plato the Timaeus is the most obscure and repulsive to the modern reader, and has nevertheless had the greatest influence over the ancient and mediaeval world. The obscurity arises in the infancy of physical science, out of the confusion of theological, mathematical, and physiological notions, out of the desire to conceive the whole of nature without any adequate knowledge of the parts, and from a greater perception of similarities which lie on the surface than of differences which are hidden from view. To bring sense under the control of reason; to find some way through the mist or labyrinth of appearances, either the highway of mathematics, or more devious paths suggested by the analogy of man with the world, and of the world with man; to see that all things have a cause and are tending towards an end—this is the spirit of the ancient physical philosopher.
He has no notion of trying an experiment and is hardly capable of observing the curiosities of nature which are 'tumbling out at his feet,' or of interpreting even the most obvious of them. He is driven back from the nearer to the more distant, from particulars to generalities, from the earth to the stars. He lifts up his eyes to the heavens and seeks to guide by their motions his erring footsteps. But we neither appreciate the conditions of knowledge to which he was subjected, nor have the ideas which fastened upon his imagination the same hold upon us.
For he is hanging between matter and mind; he is under the dominion at the same time both of sense and of abstractions; his impressions are taken almost at random from the outside of nature; he sees the light, but not the objects which are revealed by the light; and he brings into juxtaposition things which to us appear wide as the poles asunder, because he finds nothing between them. He passes abruptly from persons to ideas and numbers, and from ideas and numbers to persons,—from the heavens to man, from astronomy to physiology; he confuses, or rather does not distinguish, subject and object, first and final causes, and is dreaming of geometrical figures lost in a flux of sense.
He contrasts the perfect movements of the heavenly bodies with the imperfect representation of them (Rep.), and he does not always require strict accuracy even in applications of number and figure (Rep.). His mind lingers around the forms of mythology, which he uses as symbols or translates into figures of speech. He has no implements of observation, such as the telescope or microscope; the great science of chemistry is a blank to him. It is only by an effort that the modern thinker can breathe the atmosphere of the ancient philosopher, or understand how, under such unequal conditions, he seems in many instances, by a sort of inspiration, to have anticipated the truth.
The influence with the Timaeus has exercised upon posterity is due partly to a misunderstanding. In the supposed depths of this dialogue the Neo-Platonists found hidden meanings and connections with the Jewish and Christian Scriptures, and out of them they elicited doctrines quite at variance with the spirit of Plato. Believing that he was inspired by the Holy Ghost, or had received his wisdom from Moses, they seemed to find in his writings the Christian Trinity, the Word, the Church, the creation of the world in a Jewish sense, as they really found the personality of God or of mind..
Are high moral standards essential or should we give our preference to the pragmatist who gets things done or negotiates successfully? Should individuals be motivated by a desire for personal power and prestige, or genuine concern for the moral betterment of the citizens?
These questions go to the heart of Athenian democratic principles and are more relevant than ever in today's political climate.
Throughout the work, Aristotle reveals not only a great intellect analyzing the nature of poetry, music, and drama, but also a down-to-earth understanding of the practical problems facing the poet and playwright. Now, in this inexpensive edition of the Poetics, readers can enjoy the seminal insights of one of the greatest minds in human history as he sets about laying the foundations of critical thought about the arts.