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Ancient Philosophy

(New History of Western Philosophy #1)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  378 ratings  ·  32 reviews
Sir Anthony Kenny here tells the fascinating story of the birth of philosophy and its remarkable flourishing in the ancient Mediterranean world. This is the initial volume of a four-book set in which Kenny will unfold a magisterial new history of Western philosophy, the first major single-author history of philosophy to appear in decades.

Ancient Philosophy spans over a tho
Paperback, 1st edition, 341 pages
Published November 30th 2006 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 2004)
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Feb 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: philosophy
From Thales to the Hellenistic philosophers, with some interesting information about St. Augustine! The book is well-written and well-organized; and the language is readable! I found the book so informative and enjoyable! I do highly recommend it as a first step before indulging in reading the works of those great philosophers
Jacqueline Quackenbush
Ancient Philosophy by Anthony John Patrick Kenny is the first in a four part collection on the progression of Western Philosophy. This entry covers the span of major philosophical inquiry from the Pre-Socratics to the pre-Christian Augustine. It starts off with the first two chapters chronologically covering the general concepts of the major philosophical players. The next seven chapters each cover a specific aspect of philosophy and the arguments that contributed to each field, including: Logi ...more
Feb 23, 2019 rated it it was ok
This is an ambiguous book, since it is written as part chronology and part thematic overview. Anthony Kenny uses the first third of Ancient Philosophy (2004) to explain, chronologically, the developments in thinking from the start of philosophy in Antiquity up to the conversion of Saint Augustine. After setting out the main plot and introducting the different characters - so to speak - he delves into the various major themes that were developed in this period. He explains what Presocratics, Socr ...more
Christopher Blosser
Jan 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
A little over a decade after college and wanting to "brush up" (background reading before plunging into some individual works) I was in search of a good history of philosophy. One can always rely on Fr. Copleston's 11-volume history, but between the demands of job and fatherhood I needed something more manageable -- and after finishing the first volume, I believe I've found it.

The first hundred pages present a chronological history of ancient philosophy -- the pre-Socratics, Socrates, Plato, Ari
Feb 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
I decided to rate each volume independently for practical reasons. This volume has been an illuminating and easy to digest account of ancient philosophy. Sir Anthony Kenny critiques philosophical propositions with sharp wit and diligence.
Felipe Barnabé
Primeiro volume da série sobre história da filosofia ocidental. Inicia nos pré socráticos e segue até Plotino e o início da filosofia cristã. Finalizando com Agostinho, que também está presente no início do segundo volume.
O livro utiliza um formato diferente das histórias da filosofia mais comuns. Kenny trabalha a parte histórica em alguns poucos capítulos no começo do livro, sem entrar em detalhes sobre as discussões filosóficas. Depois trabalha os temas relevantes de forma mais direta em capí
Dec 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I know next to no philosophy, so I am not really qualified to write a review.
It seems to me that it would be better to start with a history, rather than jumping straight into primary sources.
This has a few drawbacks, though : It is probably more boring, and it gives less insight into the philosophical method itself. It is also less lively. Finaly in this book at least, there is quite a lot of interpretation done by the author, which I found to be beneficial for me as a beginner, but more adv
Maan Kawas
Aug 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An excellent read about the history of Ancient Greek philosophy, from Thales to the Hellenistic philosophers, with some interesting information about St. Augustine! The book is well-written and well-organized; and the language is readable! I found the book so informative and enjoyable! I do highly recommend it as a first step before indulging in reading the works of those great philosophers.
Joseph Hellion
Oct 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
If a philosopher's importance is measured by the questions he dares to ask then ancient philosophy is a gold mine of inquiries that reflects its golden shadow on the walls of modernity and in the "souls" that still seek understanding.

Kenny manages to mine this gold by combining the chronological and the thematic approaches : he starts with a chronological overview then he moves to a thematic discussion of subjects deemed of the most importance.

Considering the complexity of the subjects, he does
May 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is the history of philosophy text I recommend. Kenny is generally more readable than Fr. Copleston and more accurate than Bertrand Russell. He interacts with recent scholarship, and his particular expertise (in this volume, on Aristotelian ethics and philosophical theology) is especially helpful.
Apr 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ebook, philosophy
A very well written account of ancient philosophy. It doesn't only give you an account of the philosophers but also an overview of what they wrote about and how these theories related to the writings of other ancient philosophers. I can't wait to read the next volume of this book. ...more
May 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, nonfiction
If you're like me, then you probably have a vague grasp of ancient philosophy. You know of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle. You might even recall some of their biography, or tentative outlines of portions of their philosophy from half-remembered reading assignments. You know of Zeno, but mostly just his paradoxes. A moment's thought and you might recall the name of Cicero, or Lucretius, or Democritus, but you might struggle to articulate something specific to associate with them.

The obvious remedy t
Dopo alcuni libri di storia dell'antica Grecia, sono passata alla filosofia.
Ho trovato due corsi su Coursera:
1- Ancient Philosophy: Plato & His Predecessors
2-Ancient Philosophy: Aristotle and His Successors
Sono organizzati su 9 settimane di studio in tutto, con questionari di comprensione, esercitazioni sui forum e in peer review dei compiti finali.
La particolarità è che partono dai frammenti e documenti dei filosofi antichi (che ho cercato in italiano) sui quali poi sono organizzate le lezioni
Arttu Malek
A prominent piece of knowledge for anyone willing to dive into the history of western philosophy and namely its first fathers - the Greeks and Romans. The book covers philosophers from Thales of Miletus up to Saint Augustine and a wide range of schools that were developed between the lives of those two philosophers.

Ancient Philosophy has two distinct parts - historical and theoretical. The first part of the book takes on the task to convey general succession of philosophers and development of th
Anderson Paz
Oct 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Nesse primeiro volume, Kenny apresenta a filosofia antiga de Pitágoras até Agostinho de Hipona. A obra é fruto de um projeto de Oxford para desenvolver uma história da filosofia ocidental sob a leitura de um autor.
O livro tem nove capítulos dos quais os dois primeiros formam um percurso histórico-cronológico da filosofia antiga, enquanto que dos capítulos três a nove, Kenny divide a filosofia antiga por temas: lógica, epistemologia, física, metafísica, alma e mente, ética e Deus. É uma leitura
Hunter McClure
Oct 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy, antiquity
Rich in content and much preferable in this way to Russell's incredibly awful history, but the writing suffers from unnecessarily formal and somewhat clumsy prose. ...more
Most of the sentences are hard to follow.You need to have a clear mind if you want to understand subjects.
Marts  (Thinker)
Jan 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Philosophy enthusiasts who want a basic introduction to the field
Shelves: philosophy
This first volume in Kenny's philosophy series highlights the works and ideas of philosophers Thales to Augustine... ...more
Joseph Parise
Jan 04, 2021 rated it really liked it
Concise historical introduction to philosophy.
Nathan Suire
Mar 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: philosophy
Clear and thorough guide of ancient philosophy.
Dec 29, 2020 rated it it was ok
Read most of it -- think I stopped in metaphysics.
Will not read the rest, since I fill in the gaps using other books.
Raul Fernández Pérez
Great starting book on ancient philosophy. Provides both a chronological approach and a thematic-oriented approach. It is palpable throughout the book that Anthony Kenny has important theological interests and knowledge. Nonetheless, this helps in the contextualization of the influence that ancient philosophy in Asia Minor had on the greatest (Western) moral and philosophical framework for centuries to come: Christianity. Even so, the rest of the topics addressed (logic, metaphysics) are done so ...more
Nov 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Kenny has masterfully crafted a history of philosophy that balances both history and philosophy without overdoing either. Though he does have a few points of contention, this book should satisfy anyone who wants to be introduced to ancient philosophy.
Jan 03, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: philosophy
Fascinating stuff, though only 3 stars because there was so much, so fast, that it was hard to retain it all.
Jan 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
The mankiw of philosophy
Ariel Starling
Sep 30, 2014 rated it liked it
could have been more in-depth, even for an undergrad/casual audience
See Philosophy and Philology nb for notes (pages 24-39, 47-66)
Jul 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
I had a class in Philosophy and I have to read it for that class. I enjoyed reading it.
Ammara Khan
rated it really liked it
Oct 22, 2018
William Marsolek
rated it it was amazing
Dec 18, 2012
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Sir Anthony Kenny is an English philosopher whose interests lie in the philosophy of mind, ancient and scholastic philosophy, the philosophy of Wittgenstein, and the philosophy of religion.

Other books in the series

New History of Western Philosophy (4 books)
  • Medieval Philosophy (New History of Western Philosophy, vol. 2)
  • The Rise of Modern Philosophy (New History of Western Philosophy, vol. 3)
  • Philosophy in the Modern World (New History of Western Philosophy, vol. 4)

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“In the period between Homer and Socrates most philosophers wrote in verse, and Plato, writing in the great age of Athenian tragedy and comedy, composed dramatic dialogue. Aristotle, an exact contemporary of the greatest Greek orator Demosthenes, preferred to write in prose monologue.” 0 likes
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