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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 booklet surveys the seminal works and concepts of key figures within the historical Greek philosophical culture from the Presocratics to the Neoplatonists. It highlights their major philosophical issues and the evolution of their proposal from the 6th century BCE to the 6th century CE.
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Additional info for A Critical History of Greek Philosophy
We normally cite reasons on which others acted in order to explain their actions, but we give reasons to others for having acted as we did in order to justify our actions. If we take others to be rational, as we do almost all the time, then the reasons we cite to explain their actions also rationalize or justify them from the rational (not necessarily moral) point of view. And if we succeed in justifying our actions to others, we will also have explained those actions to them. The actions of rational agents are explained by reasons that also justify the actions, and most of us are rational in our actions.
Facts or states of affairs are also parts of those causal chains since they give rise to the beliefs that cause the actions when paired with the relevant desires. That a racquet is on sale causes me to believe there is (via a newspaper advertisement), which causes me to go to the sports store when combined with my desire for a racquet. Which part of the causal chain is cited in an explanation is a pragmatic affair. Always only that part of a causal chain on which interest is focused gets cited in an explanation.
The distinction between subjective and objective reasons will also be useful in further clarifying the nature of rationality in this chapter, while the distinction between reasons there are and reasons one has will be crucial in answering some of the purported counter-examples to internalism to be considered in the fourth chapter. In closing this section, I will brieﬂy discuss a counterexample to Bernard Williams’ analysis of internal reasons, as doing so will clarify the difference between Williams’ analysis and mine.