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Before and After Socrates
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Before and After Socrates

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  47 ratings  ·  8 reviews
...a brilliant commentary on the Greek mind and its attitude to life.
Paperback, 124 pages
Published January 3rd 1932 by Cambridge University Press
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These four essays, originally delivered at Cambridge in 1932, have more value as historeography than history.

Cornford -- whose translation of Plato's Republic rests unread on my desk -- neatly fits Socrates into a narrative that reflects his own Christian idealist philosophy. The result isn't entirely convincing, and his dismissal of both Heraclitus and the other Ionians as well as Aristotle seems ill-thought-out. In brief, Cornford credits the Ionian School with the discovery that knowledge cou
A superb little history of philosophy through Aristotle; both succinct and profound. It is, of course, not comprehensive, but focuses on the development of the religious sensibility oriented around our inner nature in the face of the common-sensical mechanistic view of the universe of pre-Socratic thinkers. This is very relevant to the perennial tension between religion and science. Consider Cornford's comment on the mechanistic view of consciousness:

" . . . if i turn from the mechanical cause [
Dave/Maggie Bean
A lucid, eminently readable series of lectures on the Grand Old Man of Western philosophy.

A friend and I were chatting about Socrates at the bar a few nights ago, and we agreed that he was the greatest philosopher the West ever produced. (It was the only thing upon which we agreed all evening, incidentally. Put two Micks together in the same room, and you'll have three different opinions.) That's quite an admission, coming as it does from two recovering Randroids. I don't suppose it's overly su
A nice general account of why FMC studies the Ancients, and what he gets out of it. A memoir all who study the Ancients must in some sense complete. Reads as if a time capsule from the early days of 20th Century Ancient scholarship; shows the emergence of the humanities disconnected from the sciences. The interesting bit is his subtle take on the connection between Christian theology and Ancient theology. He comes off a bit fideistic, though this is tempered by rational understanding. The simple ...more
Erik Graff
Jan 25, 2011 Erik Graff rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: students of ancient Greek philosophy
Recommended to Erik by: Peter Maxwell
Shelves: philosophy
I read this book towards the end of Peter Maxwell's Loyola University Chicago course on ancient philosophy, a class cross-listed between his department, philosophy, and that of classical studies. It was a fair introduction to the topic, but nowhere as satisfactory as Gomperz' Greek Thinkers. The text, easily accessible and indexed, is based on four lectures delivered at Cambridge University during August of 1932.
Mar 20, 2008 Thom rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: nobody realy.
One of the few times I like to read to further myself in culture and such I picked this book up. It s an ok read. Nothing great, not bad by anymeans though.
i kind of like Cornford's style of writing. still and informative book on Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle though
Aziz Krich
A decent read into the history of ancient Philosophy. Nothing here that cannot be taken from others though.
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