Essays in Philosophy: Ancient

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464 pages, 6" x 9", introduction, notes

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Essays in Philosophy: Ancient

Rosen, Stanley

The essays in these two books were selected from Stanley Rosen’s career as a philosopher, scholar, and teacher over the last half of a century. They represent both the vast range of his learning in the most important philosophers of the tradition and the daring and penetration of his exploration of the fundamental philosophical questions. Yet the essays are written with an accessibility that is an expression of Rosen’s thesis that our ordinary experience and speech provides the only stable ground for understanding and evaluating extraordinary thought and experiences.

Rosen proposes that only a qualified Platonism in which the preservation of the link between the good and the rational on the everyday level was preserved on the philosophical level, can do justice to our experience of ourselves. The notions of form and intuition play a central role in his proposal to preserve the spontaneity of the soul and the heterogeneity of its objects.

The essays were originally written for a variety of purposes: there are panoramic reviews of his philosophical intentions, intricate analyses of fundamental problems, challenging interpretations of classical texts, reviews of other authors, and informal commentaries on the state of philosophy in our time. Taken together these essays provide a key to the some of the most decisive questions in philosophy and a valuable explication of some the central themes of Rosen’s work.

The essays were selected from articles, chapters, and unpublished lectures that were composed over the last five decades. They are distributed into two volumes by their focus upon ancient and modern themes, a convenient division that is not meant to imply a doctrinal chasm. On the contrary, it is one of Rosen’s arguments that those who wish to preserve ancient wisdom are best served by the demonstration of the both parties address the same essential human nature, however much the practical and theoretical demands differ from epoch to epoch.

This collection testifies to the remarkable range of Stanley Rosen’s learning and reflection in the history of philosophy, both ancient and modern. The publication of these essays, with all their speculative depth and richness, is truly a great philosophical benefit. It will throw new light on Rosen’s thinking on many topics in metaphysics and political philosophy and on his readings of Plato, Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Kojève, Strauss, and other figures. – Richard Velkley, Tulane University

To say that Stanley Rosen is “one of kind” does not begin to do justice to his originality, or to the unique place in American letters that he has carved out for himself. His writing - erudite, witty and passionate - is also philosophically explosive and always alive with the cadence of energetic speech. This collection of his essays on ancient and modern philosophy is a valuable and often provocative selection of many of his most engaging essays. – Robert Pippin, University of Chicago

Martin Black completed his Ph.D. on Plato’s depiction of the Socratic turn under the supervision of Stanley Rosen at Boston University in 2009. He has published articles on Plato’s Symposium, the crisis of modernity, and self-knowledge, and is preparing a manuscript on the Socratic turn and a translation of several Platonic dialogues. He teaches ancient and medieval philosophy and the ancient Greek language and literature at Suffolk University.

Other works of Stanley Rosen published by St. Augustine’s Press: Plato’s Symposium, Plato’s Sophist, Plato’s Statesman, The Ancients and the Moderns, Nihilism, G.W.F. Hegel, The Limits of Analysis, The Question of Being, and Metaphysics in Ordinary Language.