Originally published in 1991, this book focuses on the concept of virtue, and in particular on the virtue of wisdom or knowledge, as it is found in the epic poems of Homer, some tragedies of Sophocles, selected writings of Plato, Aristotle, and the Stoic and Epicurean philosophers.
The key questions discussed are the nature of the virtues, their relation to each other, and the relation between the virtues and happiness or well-being. This book provides the background and interpretative framework to make classical works on Ethics, such as Plato’s Republic and Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, accessible to readers with no training in the classics.
Table of Contents
1. Before Philosophy: Some Literary Portraits of Virtue 2. The Sophists and Socrates 3. Plato’s Moral Philosophy: The Republic 4. Aristotle’s Moral Philosophy: Nicomachean Ethics 5. Epicureanism and Stoicism
'A must for undergraduate collections in ethics.' Choice, 1991
'I strongly recommend the book as a sensible nd clear guide for introducing students to Greek ethical thought.' Ethics, 1992
'...a brief, reliable and accessible book which will provide a framework into which more detailed studies can be fitted. Most helpfully, it covers a very large span, from the Homeric poems to the Stoics and Epicureans. It includes some treatment of the tragedians and of Aristophanes, as well as a much more detailed account of the Sophists, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. The result is that the major philosophers appear in their context...' The Heythrop Journal, 1992