The Protagoras is one of Plato's most entertaining dialogues. It represents Socrates at a gathering of the most celebrated and highest-earning intellectuals of the day, among them the sophist Protagoras. In flamboyant displays of both rhetoric and dialectic, Socrates and Protagoras try to out-argue one another. Their arguments range widely, from political theory to literary criticism, from education to the nature of cowardice; but in view throughout this literary and philosophical masterpiece are the questions of what part knowledge plays in (...) a successful life, and how we may acquire the knowledge that makes for success. This edition contains the first commentary in English on the Greek text for almost a hundred years. The commentary provides the assistance with linguistic, literary and philosophical detail that will enable students and scholars to savour to the full the pleasures of the Protagoras. (shrink)
[Stephen Makin] Aristotle draws two sets of distinctions in Metaphysics 9.2, first between non-rational and rational capacities, and second between one way and two way capacities. He then argues for three claims: [A] if a capacity is rational, then it is a two way capacity [B] if a capacity is non-rational, then it is a one way capacity [C] a two way capacity is not indifferently related to the opposed outcomes to which it can give rise I provide explanations of (...) Aristotle's terminology, and of how [A]-[C] should be understood. I then offer a set of arguments which are intended to show that the Aristotelian claims are plausible. \\\ [Nicholas Denyer] In De Caelo 1: 11-12 Aristotle argued that whatever is and always will be true is necessarily true. His argument works, once we grant him the highly plausible principle that if something is true, then it can be false if and only if it can come to be false. For example, assume it true that the sun is and always will be hot. No proposition of this form can ever come to be false. Hence this proposition cannot be false. Hence it is necessarily true, and so too is anything that follows from it. In particular, it is necessarily true that the sun is hot. Moreover, if the sun not only is and always will be hot, but also always has been, then it follows by similar reasoning that the sun not only cannot now fail to be hot, but also never could have failed. Anything everlastingly true is therefore, in the strictest sense of the term, necessarily true. (shrink)
There are enormous differences between quantifying name-variables only, quantifying verb-variables only, and quantifying both. These differences are found only in the logic of polyadic predication; and this presumably is why Richard Gaskin thinks that they distinguish names from transitive verbs only, and not from verbs generally. But that thought is mistaken: these differences also distinguish names from intransitive verbs. They thus vindicate the common idea that on the difference between names and verbs we may base grandiose metaphysical distinctions, and undermine (...) Gaskin's idea that both names and verbs may be said to designate objects. (shrink)
Metaphysicians often declare that there are large ontological differences (properties versus individuals, universals versus particulars) correlated with the linguistic distinction between names and verbs. Gaskin argues against all such declarations on the grounds that we may quantify with equal ease over the referents of both types of expression. However, his argument must be wrong, given the massive differences between first- and second-order qualification. Its only grain of truth is that these differences show up only in the logic of relations, and (...) not also in monadic logic. (shrink)
This paper expounds and assesses plato's arguments in favour of justice and their basis in his moral psychology. the purpose of the paper is to give some introduction to this aspect of plato for the benefit of those taking a-level philosophy.
The theory of forms makes a very poor theory of universals. It-or at least the "phaedo's" version of it-makes excellent sense as a theory of the elemental stuffs from which everything is made. This is shown by a detailed examination of all that this "phaedo" has to say about forms.