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The Lives And Opinions Of Eminent Philosophers Paperback – July 17, 2011


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The Lives And Opinions Of Eminent Philosophers + The Cynic Philosophers: From Diogenes to Julian (Penguin Classics)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 504 pages
  • Publisher: Nabu Press (July 17, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1173562303
  • ISBN-13: 978-1173562304
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

Customer Reviews

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I certanly recommend it.
Jose O. N. Souza
As with any translation of Diogenes Laertius, it must be read with critical attention, and not taken too seriously as evidence without further examination.
Ian M. Slater
Truth be told, I had never heard of so many names as mentioned in this book and their backgrounds and sayings were quite an intriguing read.
ZSky

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By ZSky on February 14, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I first became aware of Diogenes Laertius' work after reading Comets and the Horns of Moses (The Secret History of the World), and now it's really a fascinating material on the lives of the Greek Philosophers. Truth be told, I had never heard of so many names as mentioned in this book and their backgrounds and sayings were quite an intriguing read. From each gives food for thoughts.

"The Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers" is basically a biography of the Greek philosophers as written probably somewhere in the Third Century Anno Domini. Its structure is broken down to ten "books" with the first seven focused on Ionian Philosophers (including Plato, Socrates, and the Cynics/Stoics) and the remaining directed our attention to Italian Philosophers (i.e., Pythagoreans). Considering the fact that it was written nearly two thousand years ago, it's not a bad style and it's pretty straight-forward. For me, each philosopher's life gives an intellectual fuel to my curious mind...

For those who are interested in the ancient Greek history, or the philosophers in general, or history at large, this book is to be recommended.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Ian M. Slater on September 21, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Diogenes Laertius (or, Laertios in the original Greek, instead of the customary, Latin, spelling) is the name of a compiler of biographies of philosophers; he is thought to have been active in the third century A.D., but possibly a little earlier or later (see the Wikipedia article on him for the range of possible dates, the possible sources of the name, and other details). The "Lives" shine rather narrow beams of light on thinkers who quite commonly took the whole universe as their topic, concentrating on what the compiler either thought his readers would want to know, or on the slender information he actually had. Even granting that he provides an authentic quotation, figuring out what a philosopher may have meant from Diogenes' context can be a challenge.

The author of "Lives of the Eminent Philosophers" is not to be confused with Diogenes the Cynic (a contemporary of Plato and Aristotle), best-known these days either for asking Alexander the Great not to block the sun, or for going about with a burning lamp in daylight, explaining that he was looking for an honest man. Or, for that matter, any other of the fairly numerous bearers of the name.

His ten-book compilation seems to be the survivor of a genre of digests of knowledge which were popular in late classical times, summarizing the heritage of the Greek past for the would-be-learned. The information he offers ranges from the demonstrably inaccurate to the apparently trustworthy; his final book, on Epicurus, is generally regarded as his best, containing as it does substantive quotations from treatises and letters, which pass language and style tests for authenticity.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Paul K on April 22, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
What more one can want? What a pleasant surprise, I can do search and all the text is nicely formatted. Real pleasure and all for a few pence...real bargain!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Theofrastus Nihilus on April 29, 2014
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So classical, so important book, and so cheap!

This classical work gives us very important information about the less-known philosophers, but of course the more known philosopher, like Plato and Aristotle, are also explained in this book. Especially the section "before Socrates" was very enjoyable.

Diogenes was not a philosopher -still no doubt highly educated and civilized man- and his style gives us an important account how the philosophers were represented to the rest of society in the ancient culture.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By JNagarya on August 26, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The first concern is whether a Kindle is formatted in keeping with available standards.

This is formatted well, but the additions of multiple spaces between lines, and blocks of text, when only two are needed, adds an unnecessary degree of tedium in the reading. Instead of a page having a coherent appearance, without excessive blank space, one must go to the next page -- only to find that excessive spaces between lines or blocks of text added an unnecessary page.

Is it really necessary, as example, to separate a few lines of poetry with three or four spaces between the lines, when -- if the original text is double-spaced -- one space between them would do?

A line here, separated by so many spaces that the next line is
.
.
.
here,
or even here,

wastes space and results in disjointed text (if needed, one space would be sufficient). And when that affects titles, or section headers, it becomes an unnecessary additional task figuring out what is going on: is this a header? Or is this the next chapter? (Two spaces before a chapter title or header, and one after, is sufficient.)

With those problems fixed this will be a much improved volume.
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