‘Work’ of Philosophy

What does the ‘work’ of philosophy look like…in Southern California?

Work of Philosophy in Southern California - Monte Ransome Johnson

‘Work’ of Philosophy in Southern California – Monte Ransome Johnson with SVF

Monte Ransome Johnson (UCSD) and I have been collaborating on an article-length translation, commentary, and critical essay on a fascinating but understudied document in the history of Pythagoreanism: the fragmentary treatise referred to as On Law and Justice (Περὶ νόμου καὶ δικαιοσύνης) and attributed to Archytas of Tarentum.  We now believe that it should be considered a Hellenistic document, probably earlier than Cicero’s On Laws (50s BCE), but later than Chrysippus’ On Law (late 3rd Century BCE), the two works outside the Pseudo-Pythagorica with which it shows the greatest affinity.  The author, who does not appear to be identifiable with the author/s of the other texts attributed to Pseudo-Archytas, was familiar with Aristotle’s works, especially Politics and Nicomachean Ethics, with which he takes issue (in his promotion of a ‘democratic’ mixed constitution).  His strongest affinities appear to be with Stoicism – a point not often made with regard to the text – but he also exhibits quite a number of Platonist tendencies as well, like Philo of Alexandria.

(Yes, that’s Monte hanging outside on the veranda on a perfect sunny day; the author is not pictured, but is also enjoying the weather and a fab cup of coffee.)


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