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Profile: Theodor Ebert (Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg)
  1. Theodor Ebert (2010). Michael Wolff über Beweise für vollkommene Syllogismen bei Aristoteles. Journal for General Philosophy of Science 41 (1):215 - 231.
    The paper rejects Michael Wolff's claim that Aristotle offers proofs for the validity of his perfect syllogisms.
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  2. Theodor Ebert (2010). Michael Wolff über Kant als Logiker. Eine Stellungnahme zu Wolffs Metakritik. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 41 (2):373 - 382.
    In an earlier article (see J Gen Philos Sci (2009) 40: 357-372) I have discussed the arguments brought forward by Michael Wolff against the interpretation given in the commentary by Ebert and Nortmann on Aristotle's syllogistic theory (Aristoteles Analytica Priora Buch I, übersetzt und erläutert von Theodor Ebert und Ulrich Nortmann. Berlin 2007) and against the critique of Kant's adaption of the syllogistic logic. I have dealt with Wolff's arguments concerning (Ebert/Nortmann's interpretation of) Aristotle in the paper mentioned and with (...)
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  3. Theodor Ebert (2009). Michael Wolff über Syllogismen bei Aristoteles und Vernunftschlüsse bei Kant. Journal for General Philosophy of Science 40 (2):357 - 372.
  4. Theodor Ebert (2008). In Defence of the Dialectical School. In Francesca Alesse (ed.), Anthropine Sophia. Studi di filologia e storiografia filosofica in memoria di Gabriele Giannantoni. Bibliopolis. 275-293.
    In this paper I defend the existence of a Dialectical school proper against criticisms brought forward by Klaus Döring and by Jonathan Barnes. Whereas Döring claims that there was no Dialectical school separate from the Megarians, Barnes takes issue with my claim (argued for in “Dialektiker und frühe Stoiker bei Sextus Empiricus”) that most of the reports in Sextus on the dialecticians refer to members of the Dialectical school. Barnes contends that these dialecticians are in fact Stoic logicians. As against (...)
     
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  5. Theodor Ebert (2007). Socrates on the Definition of Figure in the Meno. In Corrigan Stern-Gillet (ed.), Reading Ancient Texts. Vol. I: Presocratics and Plato. Brill. 113-124.
    This paper argues that Socrates’ second definition of figure in Plato’s Meno (76a5–7) is deliberately insufficient: It states only a necessary condition for something’s being a figure, not a condition that is necessary as well as sufficient. For although it is true that every figure (in plane geometry) is (or corresponds to) a limit of a solid, not every limit of solid is a figure, i.e. not if the solid has a curved surface. It is argued that this mistake is (...)
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  6. Theodor Ebert (2007). “The Theory of Recollection in Plato’s Meno”: Against a Myth of Platonic Scholarship. In Brisson Erler (ed.), Gorgias – Menon. Selected Papers from the Seventh Symposium Platonicum. Academia Verlag. 184-198.
    This paper argues that Plato’s Meno does not offer evidence for a belief, commonly attributed to Plato, that we when learning something recollect what we learn from previous existences. This “theory of recollection” is a construct based on a reading of the relevant passages in the Meno which does not take into account the dialectical aspect of Socrates’ discussion with his interlocutor. And in one passage (81e3) it is based on a variant reading for which a better and better attested (...)
     
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  7. Theodor Ebert & Ulrich Nortmann (2007). Aristoteles: Analytica Priora. Buch I. Übersetzt Und Erläutert. Akademie Verlang.
    This is a German translation with commentary of Aristotle’s Prior Analytics, Book I. The introduction ('Einleitung', pp. 97–182) contains a concise history of the reception of Aristotle’s syllogistic from Theophrastus to Kant and Hegel. The commentary places special attention to the modal chapters (i. e. I 3 and 8–22). Aristotle’s modal syllogistic is treated with more sympathy than in other modern commentaries and discussions of this part of Aristotle’s logic.
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  8. Theodor Ebert (2006). Art. Diodorus Cronus. In Donald M. Borchert (ed.), The Encyclopedia of Philosophy 2nd edition. vol. 3. Thomson Gale. 87.
    The article discusses the biographical and doxographical evidence for Diodorus Cronus, a prominent and influential figure at the start of Hellenistic philosophy. Special emphasis is given to Diodorus’ logic, as well to his controversy with Philo the Dialectician over the truth-criteria for the conditional as to his Master argument, concerning modal notions.
     
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  9. Theodor Ebert (2006). Comment lire le Phédon? Le jeu des questions et des réponses comme clé herméneutique. Philosophie Antique 6:5-17.
    In this paper I argue for a reading of the Phaedo which takes into account the different levels of understanding and the different intentions of the partners to the dialectical discussions. Taking as an instantiation the argument about recollection, I show that the steps leading to the conclusion of the soul’s prenatal knowledge are steps to which Socrates’ interlocutor Simmias is committed; Socrates the questioner, however, does not commit himself to the concessions elicited from his partner.
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  10. Theodor Ebert (2006). Klugheit. Überlegungen zu ihrem Status in Handlungstheorie und Moralphilosophie. In Günter Abel (ed.), Kreativität, XX. Deutscher Kongress für Philosophie. Kolloquienbeiträge. Meiner. 1038–1050.
    In this paper, I take my start from certain distinctions Aristotle made use of in his analysis of prudence (phronesis) in the Nicomachean Ethics, but I then move away from Aristotle’s claims, in particular because I find fault with Aristotle’s exclusion of technical achievements from the realm of prudence. It is not the type of action which serves as a criterion to differentiate prudent acts from merely skilful ones, since in building a house you may act skilfully as well as (...)
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  11. Theodor Ebert (2006). Platon über den Wert der Wahrnehmung. In Christof Rapp & Tim Wagner (eds.), Wissen und Bildung in der antiken Philosophie. Metzler. 163–178.
    This paper discusses passages in Plato’s Phaedo which seem to contradict each other: at Phaedo 65a-d and at 66e-67a Plato seems to rule out that sense perception can be of any help in the acquisition of knowledge, whereas at Phaedo 74b-75a it is claimed that we get our knowledge of (the form of) equality only via the perception of equal things. I argue that the incompatibility of these passages is only apparent since in the first group of texts (all taken (...)
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  12. Theodor Ebert (2004). Gesammelte Aufsätze, vol. I: Zur Philosophie des Aristoteles. Mentis.
    This is a collection of papers already published (spanning the years from 1976 to 1998) covering Aristotle’s logic, his theory of science, his psychology, and his Ethics. Three papers are in English, six in German. The book contains an index of proper names as well as a list of Ebert’s publications up to 2002.
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  13. Theodor Ebert (2004). Gesammelte Aufsätze, vol. II: Zur Philosophie und ihrer Geschichte. Mentis.
    This is a collection of papers already published (spanning the years from 1976 to 2002) covering mostly the history of philosophy, with the exception of Aristotle (papers on Aristotle are contained in vol. I). The bulk of the papers (eight) are on Plato (on the Meno, Phaedo, Republic and Sophist), two concern the Presocratics, one paper discusses the theory of sign with the Stoics, five are on modern philosophy (Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz and Kant). Two papers are in English, the rest (...)
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  14. Theodor Ebert (2004). Phaidon. Übersetzung und Kommentar. (Band I 4 von Platon Werke. Übersetzung und Kommentar. Vandenhoeck & Rupercht.
    In this commentary I try to do justice to two aspects of Plato’s Phaedo: First of all, to its Pythagorean elements, in particular to the fact that the dialogue in Athens is being reported to a Pythagorean community in Phlius. Moreover, I stress that it is Socrates who introduces the Pythagorean material into the discussion at Athens, not (as is often claimed) Simmias and Cebes. There is no reason to turn these two interlocutors into followers of Pythagoras or Philolaus. Secondly, (...)
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  15. Theodor Ebert (2001). Sokrates über seinen Umgang mit Hypotheseis (PHAIDON 100A). Ein Problem und ein Vorschlag zur Lösung. Hermes 129 (4):467-473.
    The text at Phaedo 100a is a well-known crux: Socrates seems to claim as for his use of a hypothesis: whatever does not follow from my hypothesis, I put down as not true (hos ouk alethe). Since there may be pairs of contradictory propositions, both of which do not follow from his hypothesis, Socrates would have to claim that both are false, although of two contradictory propositions only one can be false. I argue, using a reading already proposed by Henricus (...)
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  16. Theodor Ebert (2001). Why is Evenus Called a Philosopher at Phaedo 61c? Classical Quarterly 51 (2):423-434.
    I contend that “philosophos” is meant to carry the connotation of a Pythagorean: Euenus is a native from Paros which had a strong Pythagorean community down to the end of the fifth century. Moreover, “philosophos” was used to refer to the Pythagoreans, as can be seen from the story related by Cicero from Heraclides Ponticus (Tusc. Disp. V, iii, 7-8; cp. DL, 1.12; 8.8). I argue (against Burkert) that even if this story is part of the lore surrounding Pythagoras and, (...)
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  17. Nicholas Denyer, Theodor Ebert, Fernando Ferreira, Richard Gaskin, Rolf George, Burkhard Hafemann, Verity Harte, Fernando Inciarte, Christoph Kann & Melissa Lane (1999). Liste der Autoren List of Contributors. Logical Analysis and History of Philosophy 2:273.
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  18. Theodor Ebert (1999). Der fragende Sokrates. Überlegungen zur Interpretation platonischer Dialoge am Beispiel des Menon. Philosophiegeschichte Und Logische Analyse 2:67-85.
    I discuss the "theory of recollection" in Plato's Meno (81a–86c). Socrates' comments on the "geometry lesson" (85b8–86c3) are used to support the claim that, in a Socratic dialogue, we ought to differentiate between between non-committal and committal questions (= those implying a commitment of the questioner). It is then argued that the "theory of recollection" is no Platonic doctrine: Socrates uses Pythagorean material against Meno who is acquainted with the Pythagorean tradition and whose eristical argument against the possibility of learning (...)
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  19. Theodor Ebert (1998). Aristotelian Accidents. Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 16:133-159.
    I argue, firstly, that the accounts of 'accident' in Aristotle's Met. V 30 and in Top. I 5 cannot be used to elucidate each other: the Metaphysics passage tries to disentangle the uses of a Greek word, the Topics passage introduces technical terms for Aristotle's semantics. I then argue that the positive definition in Top. I 5 is to be understood in the following way: X is an accident of Y iff X belongs to Y and if there is a (...)
     
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  20. Theodor Ebert (1995). Was Ist Ein Vollkommener Syllogismus des Aristoteles? Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 77 (3):221-247.
    This paper (1) criticizes Patzig's explanation of Aristotle's reason for calling his first figure syllogisms perfect syllogisms, i.e. the transitivity relation: it can only be used for Barbara, not for the other three moods. The paper offers (2) an alternative interpretation: It is only in the case of the (perfect) first figure moods that we can move from the subject term of the minor premiss, taken to be a predicate of an individual, to the predicate term of the major premiss. (...)
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  21. Theodor Ebert (1992). IMMORTALITAS oder IMMATERIALITAS? Zum Untertitel von Descartes' Meditationen. Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 74 (2):180-202.
    This paper discusses the question why the first edition of Descartes' Meditations carries a title announcing a proof of the immortality of the soul, whereas Descartes himself (in the Synopsis as well as in his Replies) explicitly denies any intention to deliver such a proof. In the first part of the paper, I refute existing attempts to explain this inconsistency. In the second part, I argue that it was Descartes' intention to announce a proof for the immaterialitas, not for the (...)
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  22. Theodor Ebert (1991). Dialektiker und fruehe Stoiker bei Sextus Empiricus. Untersuchungen zur Enstehung der Aussagenlogik. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.
    This monograph discusses the sources for ancient propositional logic, mainly in Sextus Empiricus and Diogenes Laertius bk. VII. It is argued that most of the sources in Sextus which have hitherto been taken to be sources for Stoic logic either do not report Stoic logic at all or report pre-Chrysippean Stoic logic. These texts report (in the first case) a group labelled the Dialecticians whose most prominent members were Diodorus Cronus and Philo or else (in the second case) early Stoic (...)
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  23. Theodor Ebert (1991). Von der Weltursache zum Weltbaumeister. Bemerkungen zu einem Argumentationsfehler im platonischen Timaios. Antike Und Abendland 37:43-54.
    The paper discusses Timaeus 27d5-29b1, i.e. part of the proem of Timaeus' lecture. This passage contains the exposition of three principles (27d5-28b2) and their application to certain questions intended to lay the foundations for the subsequent cosmology (28b2-29b1). I argue that one of the main results Timaeus wants to deduce from his principles, i.e. the claim that the cosmos has been constructed by a divine craftsman, is not warranted by his principles and rests on a rather conspicuous flaw in the (...)
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  24. Theodor Ebert (1989). Wo beginnt der Weg der Doxa? Phronesis 34 (1):121-138.
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  25. Theodor Ebert (1989). Wo beginnt der Weg der Doxa? Eine Textumstellung im Fragment 8 des "Parmenides". Phronesis 34 (2):121 - 138.
    The paper takes up a proposal made in 1936 by Guido Calogero concerning Parmenides 8.34-41 DK (repeated in his Storia della logica antica, Bari 1967, p. 165). According to Calogero, these verses should be placed behind 8.52 DK. Calogero's conjecture has gone unnoticed in the bulk of the Parmenides literature. I defend this transposition, partly enlarging Calogero's arguments, and discuss the philosophical implications of moving this text to the beginning of the doxa part of Parmenides' poem.
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  26. Theodor Ebert (1987). Entelechie und Monade. Bemerkungen zum Gebrauch eines aristotelischen Begriffs bei Leibniz. In J. Wiesner (ed.), Aristoteles--Werk und Wirkung (Festschrift Moraux). vol. II. de Gruyter. 560-583.
    In this paper I argue that Leibniz' (L.) concept of entelechy, though L. himself believes to have derived it directly from Aristotle, does not correspond exactly to the Aristotelian concept. The main difference between the Aristotelian and the Leibnizian concept may be explained as follows: Whereas Aristotle uses "entelecheia" to designate a property possessed by living organisms, L. takes it to be a generic term for souls and other monads. It is further argued that Aristotle's somewhat intricate argument in De (...)
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  27. Theodor Ebert (1987). The Origin of the Stoic Theory of Signs in Sextus Empiricus. Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 5:83-126.
    In this paper I argue that the Stoic theory of signs as reported by Sextus Empiricus in AM and in PH belongs to Stoic logicians which precede Chrysippus. I further argue that the PH-version of this theory presupposes the version in AM and is an attempt to improve the older theory. I tentatively attribute the PH-version to Cleanthes and the AM-version to Zeno. I finally argue that the origin of this Stoic theory is to be found in the Dialectical school (...)
     
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  28. Theodor Ebert (1985). Gattungen der Prädikate und Gattungen des Seienden bei Aristoteles. Zum Verhältnis von Kat. 4 und Top. I 9. Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 67 (2):113-138.
    The paper starts from a distinction between two terms in Aristotle: kategoroumenon and kategoria. It is argued that the job of the first is to pick out 'predicated predicates' (i.e. predicates attached to a specific subject), the job of the second is to designate 'predicable predicates' (terms which can be attached to specific subjects). It is then argued (1) that Aristotle's division of the (erroneously) so-called 'predicables' (i. e. genus, proprium, definiens, accident) is a classification of predicated predicates, (2) that (...)
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  29. Theodor Ebert (1983). Aristotle on What Is Done in Perceiving. Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 37 (2):181 - 198.
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  30. Theodor Ebert (1980). Warum fehlt bei Aristoteles die 4. Figur? Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 62 (1):13-31.
    The reason for Aristotle’s treatment of (traditional) fourth figure syllogisms as first figure syllogisms with inverted terms in the conclusion is the following: To disprove the conclusiveness of a premiss pair Aristotle formulates two triplets of true propositions such that two of them correspond to the premiss pair in question and that the third proposition corresponding to a conclusion is an a-proposition in the first case, an e-proposition in the other. Since the truth of an a-proposition grants the falsity of (...)
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  31. Theodor Ebert (1977). Zur Formulierung prädikativer Aussagen in den logischen Schriften des Aristoteles. Phronesis 22 (2):123 - 145.
    Why does Aristotle not use the copulative wording for categorical propositions, but instead the clumsier terminological formulations (e. g. the B belongs to every A) in his syllogistic? The proposed explanations by Alexander, Lukasiewicz and Patzig: Aristotle wants to make clear the difference between subject and predicate, seems to be insufficient. In quantified categorical propositions, this difference is always sufficiently clear by the use of the pronouns going with the subject expressions. Aristotle opts for the terminological wording because in premiss (...)
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  32. Theodor Ebert (1977). Zur Formulierung prüdikutiver Aussagen in den logischen Schriften des Aristoteles. Phronesis 22 (2):123-145.
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  33. Theodor Ebert (1976). Kants kategorischer Imperativ und die Kriterien gebotener, verbotener und freigestellter Handlungen. Kant-Studien 67 (1-4):570-583.
    Kant’s Categorical Imperative (CI) is to be taken as a necessary and sufficient condition for any action that is permissible, i. e. not prohibited. The class of permissible actions contains actions which are allowed as well as those which are morally required. If to perform an action and to abstain from this action can be taken to be ‘practical opposites’, then an action that is morally required for, a duty, is an action whose practical opposite is prohibited, and vice versa. (...)
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  34. Theodor Ebert (1976). Praxis und Poiesis. Zu einer handlungstheoretischen Unterscheidung des Aristoteles. Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 30 (1):12 - 30.
    I try to show that Aristotle does not restrict 'praxis' to those activities which have their end in themselves. NE VI 5, 1140b6-7 need not to be taken as an argument in favour of the restricted interpretation: the wording of the passage is compatible with the interpretation that the end of a praxis is (another) praxis (e.g. eupraxia), the end of a poiesis on the other hand is never a poiesis. This interpretation fits better the use of 'praxis' throughout the (...)
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  35. Theodor Ebert (1974). Über Eine Vermeintliche Entdeckung in der Wissenschaftstheorie. Journal for General Philosophy of Science 5 (2):308-316.
    The paper tries to defend the critical rationalism of Popper and Albert against criticisms brought forward by Janich/Kambartel/Mittelstrass in a series of articles entitled: Wissenschaftstheorie als Wissenschaftskritik, Aspekte 1972 - since published as a book. These authors try to overcome the trilemma of infinite regress, circular reasoning and axiomatic foundation which confronts any attempt to base scientific foundations on reasons: they claim that this trilemma is due to an "extremely limited concept of reasoning" which can be overcome by using the (...)
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  36. Theodor Ebert (1973). Plato's Theory of Recollection Reconsidered an Interpretation of Meno 80a?86c. Man and World 6 (2):163-181.
    It is argued that recollection in Plato's "Meno" is used as a metaphor, though not one for a priori knowledge: the point of comparison is the analogy between the processes of learning in the sense of coming to know from an error and recollecting something one has forgotten. Recollecting in this sense as well as correcting an error implies the becoming aware of a lack of knowledge previously unnoticed. It is shown that the geometry lesson (82b9-85b7) is intended to bring (...)
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