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By W. T. Stace

The traditional Greek philosophers have performed a pivotal function within the shaping of the western philosophical culture. This ebook surveys the seminal works and concepts of key figures within the historic Greek philosophical culture from the Presocratics to the Neoplatonists. It highlights their major philosophical matters and the evolution of their inspiration from the 6th century BCE to the 6th century CE.

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Extra resources for A Critical History of Greek Philosophy

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Regarding the theoretical importance of the nutritive function, the French philosopher Emmanuel Lévinas wrote: “Of course we don’t live in order to eat, but it is not really true to say that we eat in order to live” (1988, 20). 32—first mode of access This thought reminds us that food is not a fuel or an inert medium, and proposes a philosophy of hunger, or better a philosophy through hunger. Being hungry means desiring at a deep level, where the physical and the metaphysical coincide. Nothomb, from her point of view and with different words, writes: “Superhunger .

As a matter of fact, Amélie rejoices when she discovers the matrix of alcohol: sugar. “Alcohol was the apotheosis of sugar, the proof of its divinity, the supreme moment of its life. Plum brandy was syrup that went to your head: it was the best thing in the world” (29). In certain contexts, the access to food exclusively through pleasure can therefore be entirely legitimate, because it is the expression of needs and drives to be heeded and respected. I have already stressed that naked pleasure is both historical and contextual.

Put in this frame, the question of moderation is not an alibi for neglect; rather, it assumes a different connotation for the cultivation of one’s life. Pleasure, enjoyment, and desire—carefully kept separate in the tradition of contemplative aesthetics—permeate one another seamlessly 30—first mode of access in food, or rather they are different facets of the same thing. In Nothomb’s works, the notion of pleasure crops up everywhere. In her writing, pleasure—very often just gustatory pleasure—plays a fundamental role.

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