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The tradition of ancient philosophy is a long, rich, and varied one, in which a constant note is that of discussion and argument. This book introduces listeners to some ancient debates to engage with the ancient developments of some themes. Getting away from the presentation of ancient philosophy as a succession of Great Thinkers, the book gives listeners a sense of the freshness and liveliness of ancient philosophy and of its wide variety of themes and styles.
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- Patrick Trompiz
Very good intro to ancient philosophy
It's not surprising Julia Annas' introduction is good if you have read her other work . It makes use of her skills that are rare especially in "analytic" philosophy - she brings literary understanding to philosophical issues and she has a strong sense of history and how ancient philosophy can teach precisely becausenit comes from different times and cultures. It isnt as good an introduction as the very best in this "genre" like Kitto's and it isnt as meaty as Jonathan Barnes' intro to Aristotle or Peter Singer's to Hegel and Marx from the same series. Those books take you one step further to the original texts and academic articles so perhaps are better for students. But still Annas'book is remarkable for how many deep points she manages to make while being so accessible. It has a fresh and original approach to structuring the topics and periods too.