chapter  5
32 Pages

THE HELLENISTIC PHILOSOPHERS: PHILOSOPHY, NATURE AND THERAPY

Philosophy first assumes its well-known contours as a discipline in the Hellenistic period. Or so, at least, it has been argued. Thus Long and Sedley claim that in the Hellenistic period, ‘philosophy became for the first time pared down to something resembling the specialist discipline it is today’ (Long and Sedley, 1987:2). They point to the fact that specialists in what we now see as peripheral disciplines moved, in this period, from Athens to Alexandria, where they were well funded. Plato’s Academy had housed research mathematicians as well as philosophers; Aristotle’s Lyceum had contributed to zoology, political history and literary theory. The Hellenistic schools of philosophy, by contrast, house only philosophers.