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Ancient Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short by Julia Annas

By Julia Annas

The culture of old philosophy is an extended, wealthy and sundry one, within which the notes of debate and argument continually resound. This ebook introduces historic debates, attractive us with the traditional advancements in their subject matters. relocating clear of the presentation of old philosophy as a succession of serious thinkers, the e-book offers readers a feeling of the freshness and liveliness of historic philosophy, and of its big range of topics and kinds.

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Extra resources for Ancient Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)

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Therefore the prophets acknowledged that God had imbued nature—and humankind—with independent powers. Monotheism rejected absolutely the worship of the forces of nature as divine, but it adopted, by way of adaptation, portions of the ritual of the nature gods together with pantheistic elements that retained a measure of vitality. Because of that positive relationship to the culture that human beings created (by the command of their God), prophetic monotheism did not deny the validity of the reason of man who was created in the image of his Creator.

From this aspect, it is a philosophy “of” religion not because it comes to serve it out of obedience to its directives, but the opposite: because it comes to serve the culture, which needs religion for its own agenda. Therefore philosophy defines religion as a special object for its analysis, and only in this judaism, philosophy and modernity 33 sense is the inquiry “of” religion, to include it, in its uniqueness, into the systematic thought-process that unites all the autonomous realms of knowledge and creation of humanity.

One may say that the appearance of his book Jerusalem in 1781 signaled the official beginning of modern Jewish philosophy. Except that this conclusion requires qualification. Theoretical expressions that were preparatory—and even prophetic—of Mendelssohn’s new views had already appeared long before in Italy (for instance, the writings of Judah Abravanel ), in Prague (the writings of the Maharal),8 in the congregations of the conversos who reclaimed their Judaism in Amsterdam, and also in Germany.

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