The name of Aëtius is linked to a compendium of physical opinions discovered and reconstructed by Hermann Diels in his Doxographi Graeci (Berlin 1879). Diels was able to show that a very complex doxographical tradition derives from a single work to be dated to the first century CE, which he attributed to an otherwise unknown person called Aëtius. Diels' reconstruction of this lost work provided the basis for his immensely influential collection of fragments, Die Fragmente der Vorsokratiker (Berlin 1903). Diels' (...) discovery and reconstruction is currently being re-examined by Jaap Mansfeld and David Runia in a multi-volume editorial project entitled Aëtiana. The first volume of Aëtiana appeared in 1997.1 That volume deals with the hypothesis that a number of later authors derived their doxographical information from a common source to be identified with a work composed in about 100 CE by Aëtius. The upshot is that the Aëtius-hypothesis is sound but is also in need of revision and refinement. This second volume carries forward the investigation begun in the first volume. It is divided into two parts. The first part consists of a structural analysis of the compendium, and the second offers a reconstruction of its best preserved section, namely book 2. (shrink)
One important mode of philosophical expression from the end of the Hellenistic period and into Late Antiquity was the philosophical commentary. During this time Plato and Aristotle were regarded as philosophical authorities and their works were subject to intense study. This entry offers a concise account of how the revival of interest in the philosophy of Aristotle that took place towards the end of the Hellenistic period eventually developed into a new literary production: the philosophical commentary. It also follows the (...) commentary tradition into Late Antiquity in order to account for the vitality and richness of this tradition. The reader should keep in mind that the study of Aristotle in the form of the commentary did not mean the cessation of genuine philosophical thought. Quite the contrary: authors customarily used the commentary format not only to expound the works of Aristotle, but also as a vehicle for original philosophical theorizing. One consequence of this approach was that, at least at the beginning, the return to the works of Aristotle did not involve the.. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Introduction; 1. Xenarchus: the man, his work, and his influence in antiquity; 2. Texts, translations, and notes; Conclusion; Appendix. Vestiges of Xenarchus in the Middle Ages.
Each Aristotelian science consists in the causal investigation of a specific department of reality. If successful, such an investigation results in causal knowledge; that is, knowledge of the relevant or appropriate causes. The emphasis on the concept of cause explains why Aristotle developed a theory of causality which is commonly known as the doctrine of the four causes. For Aristotle, a firm grasp of what a cause is, and how many kinds of causes there are, is essential for a successful (...) investigation of the world around us. (shrink)
Andrea Falcon's work is guided by the exegetical ideal of recreating the mind of Aristotle and his distinctive conception of the theoretical enterprise. In this concise exploration of the significance of the celestial world for Aristotle's science of nature, Falcon investigates the source of discontinuity between celestial and sublunary natures and argues that the conviction that the natural world exhibits unity without uniformity is the ultimate reason for Aristotle's claim that the heavens are made of a special body, unique to (...) them. This book presents Aristotle as a totally engaged, systematic investigator whose ultimate concern was to integrate his distinct investigations into a coherent interpretation of the world we live in, all the while mindful of human limitations to what can be known. Falcon reads in Aristotle the ambition of an extraordinarily curious mind and the confidence that that ambition has been largely fulfilled. (shrink)