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)
Truth, etc. is a wide-ranging study of ancient logic based upon the John Locke lectures given by the eminent philosopher Jonathan Barnes in Oxford. The book presupposes no knowledge of logic and no skill in ancient languages: all ancient texts are cited in English translation; and logical symbols and logical jargon are avoided so far as possible. Anyone interested in ancient philosophy, or in logic and its history, will find much to learn and enjoy here.
Augustine has an argument which goes like this: (1) Belief is assent; (2) Assent is up to us: therefore (3) Belief is up to us. The conclusion is-or was thought to be-a doctrine essential to Christian eschatology. The two premisses come from pagan philosophy. Sections I-II set out the argument and its background. Section III is theological. Section IV looks at the conclusion, with the help of Aristotle, while section V and VI look at the premisses. The last three sections (...) of the paper consider some Stoic views pertinent to premiss (2), and the reply to those views offered by Alexander of Aphrodisias. (shrink)
Ancient philosophy is in a bad way. Like all other academic disciplines, it is crushed by the embrace of bureaucracy. Like other parts of philosophy, it is infected by faddishness. And in addition it suffers cruelly from the decline in classical philology. There is no cure for this disease.
The Introduction to philosophy written by Porphyry at the end of the second century AD is the most successful work of its kind ever to have been published. It was translated into most respectable languages, and for a millennium and a half every student of philosophy read it as his first text in the subject. Porphyry's aim was modest: he intended to explain the meaning of five terms, 'genus', 'species', 'difference', 'property', and 'accident' - terms which he took to be (...) important to Aristotelian logic and metaphysics, and hence to philosophy in general. Thus in principle the Introduction is simple and elementary. In fact, there are sometimes difficulties and doubts on the surface of the text - and beneath the surface there are frequent depths or profundities. The work raises, directly or indirectly, a number of perennial philosophical questions. In addition, the Introduction became, in Boethius's Latin translation, the point of reference for one of the longest-lasting of philosophical disputes - the dispute over the status of 'universals'. This book contains a new English translation of the Introduction, preceded by a study of the life and works of Porphyry, the purpose and nature of the Introduction, and the history of the text. It is accompanied by a discursive commentary the primary aim of which is to analyse and assess the philosophical theses and arguments which the Introduction puts forward. (But there are also numerous notes of a more philological or historical turn.) The twentieth century turned away from Aristotelian logic, and the Introduction lost its position on the syllabus. Barnes does not argue that it should be put back in its old place; but his commentary - the first to be published in English, and the fullest to be published for a century - suggests that there is blood in the old man yet. -/- CLARENDON LATER ANCIENT PHILOSOPHERS General Editors: Jonathan Barnes and A. A. Long -/- This series, which is modelled on the familiar Clarendon Aristotle and Clarendon Plato series, is designed to encourage philosophers and students of philosophy to explore the fertile terrain of later ancient philosophy. The texts range in date from the first century BC to the fifth century AD, and will cover all the parts and all the schools of philosophy. Each volume contains a substantial introduction, an English translation, and a critical commentary on the philosophical claims and arguments of the text. The translations aim primarily at accuracy and fidelity; but they are also readable and accompanied by notes on textual problems that affect the philosophical interpretation. No knowledge of Greek or Latin is assumed. (shrink)
This anthology looks at the early sages of Western philosophy and science who paved the way for Plato and Aristotle and their successors. Democritus's atomic theory of matter, Zeno's dazzling "proofs" that motion is impossible, Pythagorean insights into mathematics, Heraclitus's haunting and enigmatic epigrams-all form part of a revolution in human thought that relied on reasoning, forged the first scientific vocabulary, and laid the foundations of Western philosophy. Jonathan Barnes has painstakingly brought together the surviving Presocratic fragments in their original (...) contexts, utilizing the latest research and a major new papyrus of Empedocles. Translated and edited by Jonathan Barnes. (shrink)
The influence of Aristotle, the prince of philosophers, on the intellectual history of the West is second to none. In this book, Jonathan Barnes examines Aristotle's scientific researches, his discoveries in logic and his metaphysical theories, his work in psychology and in ethics and politics, and his ideas about art and poetry, placing his teachings in their historical context.
The role of philosophy as a valued and effective part of the culture of civilized Romans has aroused an increasing amount of scholarly interest in recent years. In this volume, which gathers together nine papers delivered at a series of seminars on philosophy and Roman society in the University of Oxford, scholars of classical literature, Roman history, and ancient philosophy investigate the place of Platonism and Aristotelianism in Roman intellectual, cultural, and political life from the second century BC to the (...) third century AD. In addition to chapters on such important figures as Cicero, Varro, Plutarch, Favorinus, Celsus, and Porphyry, the book contains essays on the tradition of Aristotle's library at Rome, the theory of the mixed constitution, and the anonymous commentary on Plato's Theaetetus. -/- It thus forms a complement to Philosophia Togata I which addressed the importance of the doctrines of the Hellenistic schools to Roman society during the first century BC. (shrink)
The mutual interaction of philosophy and Roman political and cultural life has aroused more and more interest in recent years among students of classical literature, Roman history, and ancient philosophy. In this volume, which gathers together some of the papers originally delivered at a series of seminars in the University of Oxford, scholars from all three disciplines explore the role of Platonism and Aristotelianism in Roman intellectual, cultural, and political life from the second century BC to the third century AD.
Aristotle is one of the very greatest thinkers in the Western tradition, but also one of the most difficult. The contributors to this volume do not attempt to disguise the nature of that difficulty, but at the same time they offer a clear exposition of the central philosophical concerns in his work. Approaches and methods vary and the volume editor has not imposed any single interpretation, but has rather allowed legitimate differences of interpretation to stand. An introductory chapter provides an (...) account of Aristotle's life, and then guides the reader through the complex subject of what Aristotle actually wrote as a basis for characterising his philosophical development. Subsequent chapters cover Aristotle's writings on logic, metaphysics, science, psychology, ethics, politics, rhetoric, and poetics. It is a basic assumption of the Companion that its readers will not know Greek. (shrink)