Retrieving the Ancients: An Introduction to Greek Philosophy

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9781405108621: Retrieving the Ancients: An Introduction to Greek Philosophy
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Retrieving the Ancients tells the story of the first philosophers in the West.


  • A clear and engaging introduction to ancient Greek philosophy.
  • Tells the story of the first philosophers in the West, from Thales to Aristotle.
  • Has a strong sense of narrative drive.
  • Treats the history of ancient Greek philosophy dialectically, as a conversation in which each thinker responds to and moves beyond his predecessors.
  • Argues that the works of the ancients are as valuable today as ever.

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Book Description:

Retrieving the Ancients tells the story of the first philosophers in the West. Beginning with Thales, who correctly predicted an eclipse in 585 BC, and culminating in a discussion of the works of Aristotle, who died in 322 BC, Roochnik's work provides a clear and engaging introduction to one of the most fertile periods in the history of human thought. The author presents the history of Greek philosophy as an unfolding conversation, with the key thinkers engaged with and responding to their predecessors. Elegantly and compellingly written, Roochnik demonstrates the abiding relevance of this conversation to the modern reader. In retrieving the ancients, he argues, we help to illuminate ourselves.

About the Author:

David Roochnik is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Boston University. His previous publications Of Art and Wisdom: Plato’s Understanding of Techne (1996) and Beautiful City: The Dialectical Character of Plato’s Republic (2003). In addition to his scholarly work in the field of ancient Greek philosophy, he has also published a short story and has recently completed a novel.

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