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Other titles in the SUNY Series in Ancient Greek Philosophy series:
Logos and Muthos: Philosophical Essays in Greek Literature (SUNY Series in Ancient Greek Philosophy)by William Wians
Synopses & Reviews
Book News Annotation:
This volume challenges the once popular concept that Greek myths as told in Homer and Hesiod were taken for fact until, with time, the logic of the philosophers replaced them. Wians (philosophy, Merrimack College) has chosen essays that look first at Homer and Homeric fiction and then the great Greek tragedies in terms of their awareness of philosophy and universal themes rather than rote story-telling. The essays ask how the philosophers dealt with Homer's depiction of man's imperfect knowledge, of events and of themselves, leading to the problem of how to determine truth. Several essays look at the role of Helen in philosophy and myth, including the faux Helen of Euripides. The essays on Sophocles and Aeschylus consider how the playwrights used the established myths to look more deeply into human actions and free will. All of the essays stress the interplay of myth and reason, not a progression from one to the other. It would be interesting to apply this study to the current spate of myth based films and television programs. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
What are the connections between ancient Greek literary and philosophical texts? Are they in fact two rival forms of discourse mutually opposed to one another? Concentrating on literary authors such as Homer, Hesiod, the Archaic poets, and the tragic playwrights, the contributors in this pioneering volume examine the concerns that such literary authors shared with their philosophical contemporaries. Equal attention is given also to the extent to which each group of authors shows an awareness of the demands and limitations of their forms, and how the study of nonphilosophical authors illuminates the goals and characters of ancient philosophizing. These essays reveal a dynamic range of interactions, reactions, tensions, and ambiguities, showing how Greek literary creations impacted and provided the background against which Greek philosophy arose in more intricate and complex ways than previously believed.
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