06 April 2005

The Future for Ancient Philosophy

Where does philosophy, the oldest academic subject, stand at the beginning of the new millennium? This remarkable volume brings together leading figures from most major branches of the discipline to offer answers.
So reads the dustjacket of The Future for Philosophy, edited by Brian Leiter, which I just received in the mail today. Philosophy for the next millennium? Heady stuff. Yet of course even the entire span of the next millennium would represent only just more than a fourth of the time that 'ancient philosophy' has been around. (Is 'the oldest academic subject' philosophy, or ancient philosophy?)

The anthology begins (some pride may perhaps be taken here) with an essay on ancient philosophy, which has already provoked much discussion, "Ancient Philosophy for the Twenty-First Century", by Julia Annas (you can pull up a PDF version, from OUP's on-line reading room, here). I don't doubt that there is much matter here for good discussions. I'll be posting on that essay over the next couple of weeks.

(Did anyone catch, "most major branches"? Accepting now guesses as to which are omitted.)


Thornton Lockwood said...

Do you know if Annas' piece is available on-line anywhere?

Monte said...

In fact it is on-line, at OUP's reading room:


Thornton Lockwood said...


Many thanks--saves me a trip to the library.

Oddly, though, the pdf version cannot be printed (although certainly it can be read an even saved to your hard drive).

Michael Pakaluk said...

Monte, thanks. I've edited the original post to add a link to the on-line article.

Anonymous said...

Answer to the question of what major branches are omitted:

By Leiter's own admission (in his Introduction): political philosophy; analytic metaphysics; philosophy of biology; phenomenology in all its variants.

Omitted, but not noted by Leiter: philosophy of religion.

Quite astonishing, really. 

Posted by Michael Pakaluk