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Calling Philosophers NamesOn the Origin of a Discipline$
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Christopher Moore

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780691195056

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691195056.001.0001

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Ambivalence about Philosophia beyond the Discipline

Ambivalence about Philosophia beyond the Discipline

The Evidence of Heraclides’s Protreptic Story

(p.288) 10 Ambivalence about Philosophia beyond the Discipline
Calling Philosophers Names

Christopher Moore

Princeton University Press

This chapter focuses on a set of fourth-century BCE cultural attitudes about philosophia different and on average later than those on which Chapter 7 focused. This set serves expressly as context and occasion for the versions of the protreptic story about Pythagoras told by Heraclides and by other fourth-century BCE writers. Positive and negative perceptions of philosophia coexisted. The positive feelings are most strikingly manifest in the Dephic maxim philosophos ginou (“be philosophical”), the existence for which comes from a 1966 discovery in Afghanistan. The negative feelings are best appreciated from fragments of the comic dramatist Alexis, from an anti-philosophical “apotreptic” found in a recently published Oxyrhynchus papyrus, and from apotreptics found in familiar philosophical texts. What becomes clear is that two ideas about philosophia operate simultaneously, one quasi- or fully disciplinary, the other mundanely ethical. Equivocation between these two ideas is prominent in certain parts of Aristotle's Protrepticus and in the Platonic Rival Lovers.

Keywords:   philosophia, cultural attitudes, apotreptics, philosophical texts, Aristotle, Plato

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