CFP: The Good in Ancient Philosophy: Contemporary Retrievals

Submission deadline: November 30, 2020

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Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia

2021, Volume 77, No. 1

The Good in Ancient Philosophy: Contemporary Retrievals

Cristiane A. de Azevedo

Francisco José Dias de Moraes

Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro

João Carlos Onofre Pinto, SJ

Universidade Católica Portuguesa

Submission deadline: 30 November 2020

In Ancient Philosophy, many ways lead to the idea of the Good. Different conceptions of the idea of the Good are already noticeable in the dispute that opposed Socrates and Plato to the Sophists. The theme was further explored by Aristotle who, building upon Plato’s achievements, offered new insights on the subject. The subsequent Hellenic period, with the rise of the Epicurean, Stoic, Cynic, and Skeptic Schools and their emphasis on ethical reflection, provided new insights on the notion of the Good. This notion, understood as object of desire, would also play a key role in Plotinus’ philosophical retrieval of Plato. 

For ancient philosophers, the inquiry into the Good is eminently practical and inseparable from the question of the best way of living within the reach of human beings. The reflection on the theme of the Good and human flourishment is also found in Classical Literature. Indeed, the relationship between (good) life and destiny, for example, was one of the preferred themes of the great Greek tragedians Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, in the age of Attic tragedy.

The retrieval of the Ancients proves to be particularly challenging and pertinent in the contemporary context. Given the prevalent tendency to equate the notion of the Good with a narrow conception of psychological well-being and economic prosperity, a rereading of the classics may provide fresh resources and insights for a deeper reflection on the themes of the Good and on the meaning of good life. As such, the goal of the present issue of the Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia (RPF) is, precisely, to encourage a reflection on the idea of the Good and human flourishment in dialogue with ancient philosophers.

Within this general scope, we invite original essays to the present RPF issue. Possible research questions are, among others:

1.       The appropriation of ancient conceptions of the Good by modern and contemporary philosophers.

2.       The Good, the Beauty, and the Truth.

3.       Conceptions of happiness and the notion of the Good.

4.       The Good and the values.

5.       Pleasure as the goal of desire.

6.       The Good and the intentionality of action.

7.       Freedom, determinism, and the Good.

8.       The knowledge of the Good.

9.       The Good and the eros in philosophy.

10.   Material goods, the goods of the body, and the goods of the soul.

11.   The Good and spiritual exercises in ancient philosophical schools.

12.   The Good and the contingency of human life.

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