Eleni Kechagia

in Plutarch Against Colotes

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780199597239
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731495 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Classical Monographs


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This introductory chapter argues that studying Plutarch's interpretations of the philosophy of his past not only allows us to assess his reliability as a source of information for ancient Greek philosophy, but also provides us with valuable and philosophically engaging contextual readings of ancient philosophical theories. The best way to approach Plutarch as a historian of philosophy is by focussing on the Adversus Colotem, a unique text which offers a systematic critical discussion of a number of philosophical theories from the past in the form of a response to Colotes' general polemic against the great Greek philosophers. Despite being itself a polemic against Epicurean philosophy, the Adversus Colotem is a good specimen of a type of philosophical writing in antiquity that operated as a vehicle for conducting the history of philosophy.

Keywords: Colotes; contextual readings; interpretations; polemic; reliability; source for ancient Greek philosophy; history of philosophy

Chapter.  6126 words. 

Subjects: Classical Philosophy

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