EARLY GREEK PHILOSOPHY heads new Spring releases from Ukemi Audiobooks
From the first years of Ukemi, we have aimed to cover the major stepping stones of early Western philosophy. There was no single classic introductory volume on the Epicureans so we devised one of our own –Epicurus of Samos – and thus, we hope, can now offer a useful introduction on audio.
Fortunately, when it comes to the Pre-Socratics, we have the survey by one of the greatest authorities of the period, John Burnet, who was professor of Greek at St Andrews University in Scotland. His book, Early Greek Philosophy first appeared in 1892, but was revised a number of times during the first decades of the 20th century, as it continued to provide a lucid and comprehensive overview of the subject. Remarkably, even now, a century on, it remains one of the most respected and reliable texts! We have slightly modernised it for 21st century listeners who do not have a wide command of Greek (!) – Burnet expected SOME Greek from his readers! And in Jonathan Booth’s very accessible reading, it becomes a very welcome open door to the foundation of Greek philosophy.
Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason is one of the most important philosophic texts. There exist already a couple of unabridged recordings on Audible, but such has been the appreciation for Michael Lunt’s readings of other Kant, not to mention other philosophers as varied as Nietzsche and Bergson, that we felt it only right that he should record Kant’s greatest book.
We also like to bring to the fore – and the contemporary listener! – books which have slipped into the corridors over the years, but which have nevertheless played key roles in the development of their subject. One such is The Sphere and Duties of Government by Wilhelm von Humboldt. It was written in 1791 but largely (because the content challenged government censors of the time), it was not published in full until the 1850s after the writer’s death. And it only came out then because his younger (and more famous) brother Alexander von Humboldt knew what an important document it was…setting out as it does the recommended role of government. It presaged and influenced John Stuart Mill’s better known On Liberty.
Looking ahead, I can say we have other major works nearly completion, not least the completion of Aquinas’s immense Summa Theologica – Part III), and a controversial discussion on the role of violence in pubic life. So stay tuned!