Download PDF by A. A. Long: Greek Models of Mind and Self

By A. A. Long

ISBN-10: 0674735919

ISBN-13: 9780674735910

This energetic e-book bargains a wide-ranging examine of Greek notions of brain and human selfhood from Homer via Plotinus. A. A. lengthy anchors his dialogue in questions of recurrent and common curiosity. What occurs to us once we die? How is the brain or soul with regards to the physique? Are we chargeable for our personal happiness? do we in achieving autonomy? lengthy asks while and the way those questions emerged in historic Greece, and exhibits that Greek thinkers modeling of the brain gave us metaphors that we nonetheless stay via, reminiscent of the guideline of cause or enslavement to ardour. He additionally interrogates the fewer usual Greek idea of the mind s divinity, and asks what that may suggest for us.

Because Plato s dialogues articulate those issues extra sharply and influentially than works by means of the other Greek philosopher, Plato gets the main sustained therapy during this account. yet even as, lengthy asks even if Plato s rationalization of the brain and human habit is extra convincing for contemporary readers than that inside the older Homeric poems. Turning to later historical philosophy, specially Stoicism, lengthy concludes with an exploration of Epictetus s injunction to reside lifestyles via making right use of 1 s psychological impressions.

An authoritative therapy of Greek modes of self-understanding, Greek types of brain and Self "demonstrates how historic thinkers grappled with what's closest to us and but nonetheless such a lot mysterious our personal essence as singular human selves and the way the examine of Greek notion can magnify and enhance our experience."

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What shifts in human imagination and aspiration were at work in this remarkable transition from a body- centered being in time, with death as the end of actual human 18 P S YC H O S O M AT I C I D E N T I T Y existence, to a spiritual, bodiless immortality as humanity’s ultimate destiny? In this book, I will sketch some possible answers to these questions, but my goal is more analytical than it is historical. Rather than differentiating between Homer’s Bronze Age culture and the late Roman Empire of Plotinus, I chief ly want to explore ideas that figure in a selection of Greek models of the self, starting with Homer and ending with Stoicism.

20 P S YC H O S O M AT I C I D E N T I T Y When Greek philosophers reflected on ethics and theology, they found much to criticize and reject in Homer. But Homeric epic was so powerful and entrenched in Greek culture that no major philosopher could completely escape its influence, even a philosopher as abstract as Plotinus. Homer was an inescapable catalyst for all ancient philosophy, especially the notions of mind, self, and identity that I will discuss in this book. The poems of Homer not only set the stage for my project, they also provide recurrent themes for subsequent authors to develop, react against, or even appropriate, as we have just seen.

How did this happen? What shifts in human imagination and aspiration were at work in this remarkable transition from a body- centered being in time, with death as the end of actual human 18 P S YC H O S O M AT I C I D E N T I T Y existence, to a spiritual, bodiless immortality as humanity’s ultimate destiny? In this book, I will sketch some possible answers to these questions, but my goal is more analytical than it is historical. Rather than differentiating between Homer’s Bronze Age culture and the late Roman Empire of Plotinus, I chief ly want to explore ideas that figure in a selection of Greek models of the self, starting with Homer and ending with Stoicism.

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Greek Models of Mind and Self by A. A. Long


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