ⓘ Charles Kahn. Charles H. Kahn is a classicist, professor emeritus of philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania. His work is focused on early Greek philosophy ..


ⓘ Charles Kahn

Charles H. Kahn is a classicist, professor emeritus of philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania. His work is focused on early Greek philosophy, up to the times of Plato.


1. Work

Charles H. Kahn presented in 1965 to the Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy at its meeting with the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association a notable work under the title" The Greek Verb To Be’ and the Problem of Being”. It was printed the following year in Foundations of Language. and became the topic of a book published in 1973 and reprinted later. He also wrote historical studies on Anaximander and the Pythagoreans. A collection of his various essays has been published by the Oxford University Press in 2009.


1.1. Work Reflections

Kahns work on Why Existence does not Emerge as a Distinct Concept in Greek Philosophy is remarked 24 years after its appearance by Allan Back in his book on Aristotles Theory of Predication. Kahn sees that Aristotle does not isolate existence as a separate topic or as a "central and implicit theme" of his philosophy. Aristotle, says Kahn, starts "from the reality of the world." For Back, Kahn treats as anachronism any distinction of "the is of predication" from "the is of existence".

Kahns work on Plato and the Socratic Dialogue was remarked in Smiths book on Reading Leo Strauss: Politics, Philosophy, Judaism. Kahns idea of Plato, according to Smith, is subversive if not contradictory to the Straussian model of Plato as fascist.


2. Awards

Kahn has twice been the recipient of an award by the American Council of Learned Societies and twice been the recipient of an award by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Kahn won a Guggenheim Foundation award in 1979/80 and in 2000 he was elected Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

In 2009, Kahn was feted with a festschrift, the collected papers of which were gathered into a celebratory volume of this author of whom it is said that "in these subject areas Presocratics and Plato that the distinction of his scholarship has come to be regarded as virtually unrivaled".

In 2014, Kahn was the inaugural winner of the Werner Jaeger Award, given by the German Gesellschaft fur antike Philosophie.


3. Bibliography

  • Kahn, Charles H. 1960. Anaximander and the Origins of Greek Cosmology. Hackett.
  • 2001 Pythagoras and the Pythagoreans: a brief history, Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Pub.,
  • Kahn, Charles H. 2009. Essays on Being. Oxford University Press.
  • Kahn, Charles H. 1996. Plato and the Socratic Dialogue: The Philosophical Use of a Literary Form. Cambridge University Press.
  • 1973 The verb "be" in ancient Greek, Dodrecht: Reidel; 2003 Rev. 2nd ed., Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Pub. Co.

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