Virtue and Knowledge: An Introduction to Ancient Greek Ethics, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Virtue and Knowledge

An Introduction to Ancient Greek Ethics, 1st Edition

By William J. Prior


250 pages

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Paperback: 9781138697393
pub: 2018-07-24
Hardback: 9781138697379
pub: 2016-08-22
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315522050
pub: 2016-08-19
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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.


'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

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

About the Series

Routledge Library Editions: Ancient Philosophy

The books in this set, originally published between 1939 and 1991:

  • Focus on the concept of virtue, and in particular on the virtue of wisdom or knowledge,
  • Study the pilgrimage of the Ancient World in its search for moral truth.
  • Discuss the political implication of the spread of science in antiquity.

  • Examine the nature of Pre-Socratic thought and the three pluralist responses of Empedocles, Anaxagoras and the early Atomists.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PHILOSOPHY / History & Surveys / Ancient & Classical