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On being and becoming: ancient Greek ethics and ontology in the twenty-first century

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The development of Ancient Greek philosophy from Thales to Aristotle is traced and key ethical and existential themes relevant to the personal, political, and ecological challenges we face in the modern world are drawn out and discussed. I look at the development of Presocratic thought, Plato’s critique of self and society, and consider Aristotle’s view of nature. Possible misconceptions in modern interpretations of Plato and Aristotle are addressed; as are modern thinkers, influenced by Greek thought, who seek to rework our understanding of culture, technology, and self, as well as our relationship to the ecosystem. Throughout it is argued that a reengagement with the fundamental questions of Being and goodness that so fascinated the Greeks may aid us as we struggle to rethink who we are, where we came from, and where we might be headed as the first decade of the 21st century draws to a close.
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