Leading figures in ancient philosophy present nineteen original papers on three key themes in the work of Richard Sorabji. The papers dealing with Metaphysics range from Democritus to Numenius on basic questions about the structure and nature of reality: necessitation, properties, and time. The section on Soul includes one paper on the individuation of souls in Plato and five papers on Aristotle's and Aristotelian theories of cognition, with a special emphasis on perception. The section devoted to Ethics concentrates (...) upon Stoicism and the complex views the Stoics held on such topics as motivation, akrasia, oikeitsis, and the emotions. It also includes one paper on the influence of Greek ethics in Modern Philosophy. The volume also contains a fascinating "intellectual autobiography" by Sorabji himself, and a full Bibliography of his works. (shrink)
Ancient philosophers -- The history of philosophy -- Philosophy within quotation marks? -- Anglophone attitudes -- Brentano's Aristotle -- Heidegger in the cave -- 'There was an old person from Tyre' -- The Presocratics in context -- Argument in ancient philosophy -- Philosophy and dialectic -- Aristotle and the methods of ethics -- Metacommentary -- An introduction to Aspasius -- Parmenides and the Eleatic One -- Reason and necessity in Leucippus -- Plato's cyclical argument -- Death and the (...) philosopher -- Aristotelian arithmetic -- The principle of plenitude -- 'Aristotle's opinion concerning destiny and what is up to us' -- 'Belief is up to us' -- The same again : the Stoics and eternal recurrence -- Bits and pieces -- Partial wholes -- 'Drei Sonnen sah ich ...' : Syrianus and astronomy -- Immaterial causes. (shrink)
Method and Metaphysics presents twenty-six essays in ancient philosophy by Jonathan Barnes, one of the most admired and influential scholars of his generation. The essays span four decades of his career, and are drawn from a wide variety of sources: many of them will be relatively unknown even to specialists in ancient philosophy. Several essays are now translated from the original French and made available in English for the first time; others have been substantially revised for republication (...) here. The volume opens with eight essays about the interpretation of ancient philosophical texts, and about the relationship between philosophy and its history. The next five essays examine the methods of ancient philosophers. The third section comprises thirteen essays about metaphysical topics, from the Presocratics to the late Platonists. This collection will be a rich feast for students and scholars of ancient philosophy. (shrink)
If we want to be autonomous, what do we want? The author shows that contemporary value-neutral and metaphysically economical conceptions of autonomy, such as that of Harry Frankfurt, face a serious problem. Drawing on Plato, Augustine, and Kant, this book provides a sketch of how "ancient" and "modern" can be reconciled to solve it. But at what expense? It turns out that the dominant modern ideal of autonomy cannot do without a costly metaphysics if it is to be (...) coherent. (shrink)
The sixteen essays written in honour of Jonathan Barnes for this volume reflect the impressive scope of his contributions to philosophy. Six are on knowledge, five on logic and metaphysics, five on ethics. The volume ranges widely over ancient philosophy, while also finding room for two contemporary papers on truth and vagueness. Aristotle is prominent in eight of the essays; Plato, Sextus Empiricus, the Stoics, the Epicureans, and ancient Greek medical writers are also discussed. The contributors include (...) some of the most distinguished scholars of our time. (shrink)
This paper intends to show that our reception of Plato’s criticism of Anaxagoras’ philosophy of mind is somehow mediated by Thomas Aquinas’ conception of freedom.The Socratic-Platonic Metaphysical theory of mind as something essentially connected to the best is transformed by Aristotle into a theory of the intelligence which, in its acting, necessarily records the possibility of performing the opposites or contraries. Therefore, ‘the (Platonic) best’ is now specifically understood as ‘the best possible’. Within this Metaphysical conception, Aquinas distinguishes two levels (...) (which are also to be found in ‘freedom’). In the first or more superficial one –here called ‘horizontal’–, the mind chooses to perform the best possible or not, that is, it can fulfill the science which is within the mind itself or not. In the second or more radical one –here called ‘vertical’–, the mind has to perform a reflexive act, by means of which it chooses willing or not its necessary possibility of performing the science that the mind possesses. Key words: Mind; Ancient and MedievalPhilosophy;Metaphysics; Aquinas. Superación de la concepción anaxagoriana del Noûs mediante una teoría metafísica de lo mejor posible: de Sócrates a Santo Tomás de Aquino Resumen Este artículo se propone mostrar que nuestra recepción de la crítica de Platón a la filosofía de Anaxágoras se encuentra mediada, de algún modo, por la concepción de la libertad de Tomás de Aquino. La teoría metafísica de la mente de Sócrates y Platón, como aquello conectado esencialmente con lo mejor, es transformada por Aristóteles en una teoría de la inteligencia que, en su desempeño, registra necesariamente la posibilidad de llevar a cabo los opuestos o contrarios. Por lo tanto, “lo mejor (platónico)” se entiende ahora específicamente como “lo mejor posible”. Dentro de esta concepción metafísica, Santo Tomás distingue dos niveles (que se van a encontrar también en la “libertad”). En el primero o más superficial –denominado aquí “horizontal”– la mente escoge hacer lo mejor posible o se abstiene de hacerlo, es decir, puede realizar o no la ciencia que está dentro de la misma mente. En el segundo o más radical –llamado aquí “vertical”- la mente tiene que realizar un acto reflexivo, por medio del cual escoge, voluntariamente o no, su posibilidad necesaria de actuar de acuerdo con la ciencia que posee ella misma. Palabras clave: mente; filosofía antigua y medieval; metafísica; Santo Tomás de Aquino. (shrink)
In this contribution, I explore the treatment that Plato devotes to Protagoras’ relativism in the first section of the Theaetetus (151 E 1–186 E 12) where, among other things, the definition that knowledge is perception is put under scrutiny. What I aim to do is to understand the subtlety of Plato’s argument about Protagorean relativism and, at the same time, to assess its philosophical significance by revealing the inextric¬ability of ontological and epistemological aspects on which it is built (for this (...) latter aspect, I refer to contemporary discussions of relativism, mainly to Margolis’ robust relativism). I then turn to Aristotle’s treatment of Protagoras’ relativism in Metaphysics Γ, sections 5 and 6, in order to show that Plato and Aristotle surprisingly share the same view as regards the philosophical content of Protagoras’ relativism (in doing so, I take position against the standard opinion among scholars that Plato and Aristotle understand Protagoras’ relativism in different, even incompatible, ways). What I ultimately aim to demonstrate is that Protagoras’ relativism, as understood by both Plato and Aristotle, is a coherent, even attractive, philosophical position. (shrink)
This book presents a detailed analysis of three ancient models of spatial magnitude, time, and local motion. The Aristotelian model is presented as an application of the ancient, geometrically orthodox conception of extension to the physical world. The other two models, which represent departures from mathematical orthodoxy, are a "quantum" model of spatial magnitude, and a Stoic model, according to which limit entities such as points, edges, and surfaces do not exist in (physical) reality. The book is unique (...) in its discussion of these ancient models within the context of later philosophical, scientific, and mathematical developments. (shrink)
Immediately upon the death of Plato in 347 BCE, philosophers in the Academy began to circulate stories involving his encounters with wisdom practitioners from Persia. This article examines the history of Greek perceptions of Persian wisdom and argues that the presence of foreign wisdom practitioners in the history of Greek philosophy has been undervalued since Diogenes Laertius.
This book studies Wallace Stevens and pre-Socratic poetic philosophy, showing how concepts that animate Stevens’ poetry parallel concepts found in the works of Parmenides, Heraclitus, Empedocles, and Xenophanes.
The interactivist model has explored a number of consequences of process metaphysics. These include reversals of some fundamental metaphysical assumptions dominant since the ancient Greeks, and multiple further consequences throughout the metaphysics of the world, minds, and persons. This article surveys some of these consequences, ranging from issues regarding entities and supervenience to the emergence of normative phenomena such as representation, rationality, persons, and ethics.
This volume presents fourteen essays by leading figures in the fields of ancient philosophy and contemporary metaphysics, discussing Aristotle's theory of the unity and identity of substances, a topic that remains at the center of metaphysical enquiry. The contributors examine the nature of essences, how they differ from other components of substance, and how they are related to these other components. The central questions discussed are: What does Aristotle mean by "potentiality" and "actuality?" How do these concepts explicate (...) matter and form, and how are they related to the actuality of a substance? What is the role of actuality in accounting for the unity and identity of substance? These questions are crucial to an understanding of the unity of composite substances and their identity over time. The aim of the volume is both exegetical and philosophical: to give answers to central problems in Aristotle's metaphysics, and also to stimulate further investigation of the problems defined and the controversies embodied. (shrink)
A distinguished group of scholars of ancient philosophy here presents a systematic study of the twelfth book of Aristotle's Metaphysics. Book Lambda, which can be regarded as a self-standing treatise on substance, has been attracting particular attention in recent years, and was chosen as the focus of the fourteenth Symposium Aristotelicum, from which this volume is derived.
In this paper I investigate the relation between physics and metaphysics in Plato’s participation theory. I show that the logic shoring up Plato’s metaphysics in paraconsistent, as had been suggested already by Graham Priest. The transformation of the paradoxical One-and-Many of the pre-Socratics into a paraconsistent Great-and-Small bridges the abyss between archaic rationality and the world of classical logic based ultimately on the principle of contradiction. Indeed, language is an organ of perception, not simply a means of communication. (...) J. Jaynes, Origin of Consciousness. (shrink)
There are two tendencies in the arguments of the legitimacy of metaphysics in ancient China: the tendency to argue that there was no metaphysics in ancient China and the tendency to argue that ancient Chinese metaphysics is totally different from that of the West. In this article, the author counters these tendencies and argues that Chinese and western metaphysics both originated from a dynamic cosmology and shared objects of investigation and characteristics of thinking (...) in terms of Becoming. However, in their later development, due to the difference in the problems of their focus, traditions of "moral metaphysics" and "(natural) metaphysics of Being" were formed in China and in the West, respectively. The author also explores the reasons for the rise of modern science in the West and its lack of progress in China. (shrink)
Sir Anthony Kenny here tells the fascinating story of the birth of philosophy and its remarkable flourishing in the ancient Mediterranean world. This is the initial volume of a four-book set in which Kenny will unfold a magisterial new history of Western philosophy, the first major single-author history of philosophy to appear in decades. Ancient Philosophy spans over a thousand years and brings to life the great minds of the past, from Thales, Pythagoras, and Parmenides, to Socrates, Epictetus, (...) Marcus Aurelius, and Augustine. The book's great virtue is that it is written by one of the world's leading authorities on the subject. Instead of an uncritical, straightforward recitation of known facts--Plato and his cave of shadows, Aristotle's ethics, Augustine's City of God--we see the major philosophers through the eyes of a man who has spent a lifetime contemplating their work. Thus we do not simply get an overview of Aristotle, for example, but a penetrating and insightful critique of his thought. Kenny offers an illuminating account of the various schools of thought, from the Pre-Socratics to the Epicureans. He examines the development of logic and reason, ancient ideas about physics ("how things happen"), metaphysics and ethics, and the earliest thinking about the soul and god. Vividly written, but serious and deep enough to offer a genuine understanding of the great philosophers, Kenny's lucid and stimulating history will become the definitive work for anyone interested in the people and ideas that shaped the course of Western thought. (shrink)
The essays in this volume were written to celebrate the sixtieth birthday of G. E. L. Owen, who by his essays and seminars on ancient Greek philosophy has made a contribution to its study that is second to none. The authors, from both sides of the Atlantic, include not only scholars whose main research interests lie in Greek philosophy, but others best known for their work in general philosophy. All are pupils or younger colleagues of Professor Owen who are (...) indebted to his practice of philosophical scholarship as a first-order philosophical activity. At the heart of G. E. L. Owen’s work has been a preoccupation with the role of philosophical reflection on language in the metaphysics and epistemology of Plato, Aristotle and other ancient Greek thinkers. This is accordingly the general topic of the present volume, which includes five papers on Plato’s critical dialogues and seven on Aristotle, prefaced by two on Heraclitus and followed by a study of the debate in Hellenistic philosophy on the sorites. This is a book for specialists in Greek philosophy and philosophers of language which will also be of interest to some linguists. (shrink)
In this thesis, I examine the perceptibility of the Platonic Ideas in the thought of Arthur Schopenhauer. The work is divided into four chapters, each focusing and building upon a specific aspect related to this question. The first chapter ("Plato and the Primacy of Intellect") deals with Schopenhauers interpretation specific to Platonic thought. I there address the question of why it is that Schopenhauer should consider Plato to have interpreted the Ideas as 'perceptible', particularly in view of evidence which seems (...) to testify to the contrary. Does Schopenhauer misinterpret Plato, or are there sufficient grounds for considering his interpretation consistent? This is important in light of Schopenhauers reinterpretation of the Platonic Idea on the basis of the primacy of the will in contradistinction to Plato's own emphasis upon the intelligible. In effect, for Schopenhauer, Plato confuses the nature of imperceptible concepts with the more perceptually grounded Ideas. In the second chapter ("On the Direct Path to Knowledge"), I explore Schopenhauer's methodological approach on the basis of the will. I there discuss the difference between Schopenhauer and Kant with respect to Transcendental Idealism, particularly in terms of their separate analysis and derivation of the thing-in-itself. From there, I turn to a consideration of Schopenhauer's discussion of the nature of formal and empirical intuitions, of abstraction and the nature of universal concepts, and finally of the intuitively grounded nature of mathematical demonstration which serves as an analogy for the manner in which Schopenhauer deals with knowledge of the Ideas. In the third chapter ("The Perceptibility of the Ideas"), I discuss the manner in which the Ideas become accessible as the manifestation of the Will, arising through the representation of perception. There a number of distinctions are made between Ideas and concepts, as well as the nature of contemplation through Genius. The Ideas are found to be perceptible as aesthetic intuitions which relate not only to the in-itself nature inherent to phenomena, but serve also as the essential basis and foundation for all genuine forms of art. In the fourth and final chapter ("Critical Discussion of Schopenhauers Ideas"), I consider and outline a number of potential problems with respect to Schopenhauers analysis. In particular, Schopenhauer encounters difficulties on the basis of the simultaneous immanence and transcendence of the Ideas; of the knowledge of the Ideas characterized as intuitive while yet having a strangely abstract basis; of the unity of the will in face of the plurality of Ideas and phenomena; and finally of the annihilation of the will which creates essential problems in terms of the desideratum of knowledge itself. I here also attempt to offer various solutions to these problems where relevant. The conclusion which I arrive at in this work is that any radical reorientation of ontology must bear an essential effect upon the character and methodology of knowledge itself. In other words, Schopenhauers interpretation of the perceptibility of the Ideas is a direct consequence of hi s analysis of the will as the metaphysical thing-in-itself. In fact, this essential change colors his entire epistemological approach, from science and mathematics, to logic and the Ideasfrom the ground the up. (shrink)
A distinction between knowledge and belief is set out and justified at the end of Book V of Plato’s Republic. The justification is intended to establish the claim of the philosophers to rule in an ideal state. I set out the argument and explain why considerable disagreement remains about the nature of the distinction and the assumptions on which it rests. I discuss the main options for interpreting the justification, briefly assessing their strengths and weaknesses. I conclude with comments on (...) recent developments, and by drawing attention to a neglected aspect of Plato’s distinction. (shrink)
When I say that my conception of metaphysics is Aristotelian, or neo-Aristotelian, this may have more to do with Aristotle’s philosophical methodology than his metaphysics, but, as I see it, the core of this Aristotelian conception of metaphysics is the idea that metaphysics is the first philosophy . In what follows I will attempt to clarify what this conception of metaphysics amounts to in the context of some recent discussion on the methodology of metaphysics (...) (e.g. Chalmers et al . (2009), Ladyman and Ross (2007)). There is a lot of hostility towards the Aristotelian conception of metaphysics in this literature: for instance, the majority of the contributors to the Metametaphysics volume assume a rather more deflationary, Quinean approach towards metaphysics. In the process of replying to the criticisms towards Aristotelian metaphysics put forward in recent literature I will also identify some methodological points which deserve more attention and ought to be addressed in future research. (shrink)
My research in metaphysical realism and analytic metaphysics consists mainly in attacks on analytic metaphysics. My reason for this is a result of the fact that I am a mereological nihilis t, a blob theorist , an atomist (philosophic atomist), and a specific sort of conceptualist (see below). The variety atomism I argue for is similar to the traditional atomism of some of the ancient Greek and ancient..
Course Description: This course is designed as an introduction to contemporary metaphysics. The issues in metaphysics, such as what kinds of things exist and how they exist, began with ancient Greek philosophers. In this course we will take a look at how contemporary analytic philosophers deal with these same old issues. Course Objectives: 1. Students will demonstrate general understanding of several key..
Since Descartes, the nature of doubt has played a central role in the development of metaphysics both positively and negatively. Despite this fact, there has been very little discussion centering round the specific nature of doubt which led, for example, to the Cartesian discovery of the cogito. Certainly, the role of doubt has been well recognized: through doubt Descartes arrives at his indubitable first principle. But what can it mean to doubt the existence of the sensible world? This would (...) seem to rest upon the assumption that we have clear and distinct knowledge of the precise nature of what it means to exist and indeed of what it means to be. As it stands, Descartes’ initiates his Meditations upon certain definite assumptions that demand more thorough interrogation. In this paper and presentation, I examine the possible assumptions inherent in the Cartesian method of doubt within the first and second meditation and the manner in which this leads to the discovery of the cogito. I consider a number of essential questions in light of this: What presuppositions lie at bottom to Cartesian doubt? What is the precise nature of metaphysical doubt? What can it mean to doubt the existence of the sensible world? (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: 1. Socrates, Plato and the invention of the ancient quarrel; 2. Aristotle, poetry and ethics; 3. Plotinus, Augustine and strange sweetness; 4. Boethius, Dionysius and the forms; 5. Thomas, and some Thomists; 6. Vico's new science; 7. Kant and His Students on the Genius of Nature; 8. Hegel and the owl of Minerva; 9. Kierkegaard: a poet, alas; 10. Dilthey: poetry and the escape from metaphysics; 11. Nietzsche, Heidegger and the saving power of poetry; (...) 12. Mikhail Bakhtin and novelistic consciousness. (shrink)
Introduction -- The univocity of being -- The modern predicament -- The problem of univocity in ancient and medieval philosophy -- From Heidegger to Aristotle -- Medieval philosophy -- Scholasticism -- Heidegger, Scotus, and univocity -- The question of being -- Analogy, the medieval experience of life -- Univocity and phenomenology -- Destruction and tradition -- Metaphysics -- Phenomenological philosophy and aletheia -- Descartes, scholasticism, and time -- The presupposition of the tradition -- Scholasticism, analogy, and the interpretation (...) of Heidegger -- The phenomena of beingness and time -- Beyond being -- The analogical interpretation of Heidegger's text -- Univocity and phenomenological philosophy -- Being and some other key terms -- The phenomenology of being and the question of Dasein -- Transcendental philosophy -- Univocity from 1916 to 1927 -- Cartesian connections and the medieval ontology -- Dasein, univocity, and the question of analogy -- Univocity and fundamental ontology -- Husserl and Heidegger -- Phenomenology, being, and univocity -- Univocity and analogy -- Univocity and Heidegger's later thought -- Mysticism -- The present age -- The later Heidegger -- A-letheia, ereignis, and epochal immanence -- A history of being -- The tradition -- The history of metaphysics -- The medieval and the modern -- A history of the modern : subjectivity -- Univocity and the problem of history -- History and civilization -- Art and history -- Fractured history -- Language and poetry -- The fate of univocity -- The re-enchanted forest -- Being mortal. (shrink)
Aristotle's Definition of a Science of Being qua Being Selected Bibliography on the Meanings of Being in Aristotle The Place of Metaphysics in the Ancient Divisions of Philosophy The Peripatos after Aristotle's and the Origin of the Corpus Aristotelicum Bibliography on the Ancient Catalogues of Aristotle and the Corpus Aristotelicum Ancient Catalogues of Aristotle's Works: English studies Diogenes Laërtius, Lives, V 22-27 Hesychius of Miletus and Ptolemy al-Garib Listes Anciennes des Ouvrages d'Aristote: études en français Diogène (...) Laërce, Vies V, 22-27 Hésychius de Milet et Ptolémée el-Garib The Oblivion of Being After Aristotle: Theophrastus' Metaphysics.. (shrink)
This essay concerns the problem of individuation in metaphysics in relation to the question of individuality in politics. It rejects the assumption in muchof ancient, modern, and contemporary philosophy and theology that unity and diversity are opposed and that this opposition produces conflict and violence. Theproposed alternative is a metaphysics and politics of relationality. This alternative is not so much indebted to Aristotle, but instead goes back to Platonist metaphysics and its transformation by Augustine and Boethius. (...) By privileging substance over all other categories, Aristotle not only relegated the transcendent immaterial actuality from the immanence of the material world but also divorced particular beings from the universal Prime Mover or God. By contrast, for Plato, the transcendent universal Good individuates all immanent particulars relationally at the level of the oikos, the polis, and the cosmos. Crucially, by combining the concept of creation ex nihilo with the metaphysics of participation, Augustine and Boethius reconfi gured Plato’s Good in the direction of the Creator-God and Trinitarian relationality. Thus, each and every being is individuated because it is a particular reflection of the universal Good, a unique and singular expression of God’s self-communicative actualization in the world. (shrink)