Strategies of Polemics in Greek and Roman Philosophy, Leiden: Brill 2016, Pp. ix + 248.This volume, based on a conference held in Jerusalem in 2014, contains an editor’s introduction, followed by eleven papers from an international array of scholars. Its topic is an interesting one, rarely covered in such a broad fashion, that makes for a lively and engaging collection. The editors disavow rigidity about what constitutes ‘polemics’; they have been, they tell us, ‘intentionally lax’ in their use of the term, avoiding a ‘single paradigm’, so as to allow ‘a varied and heterogeneous field of phenomena’ to be investigated’ (8).That notwithstanding, André Laks’s paper ‘The Continuation of Philosophy by Other Means?’, which follows the editors’ introduction, serves a somewhat programmatic role in the volume, firstly because it sets out, drawing on the work of Stefan Straub, some candidate criteria for a piece of discourse to count as polemical; and secondly, because it asks the question whether there can be a coherent notion of philosophical polemic, given, one might think, that philosophy and polemics are, properly speaking, inimical to one another. Laks argues that a well-formed notion of philosophical polemic is possible if one distinguishes polemic as attack from
International Journal of the Platonic Tradition – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1
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