This paper argues that in De Adverbiis 201, 1-8 Apollonius is neither postulating, nor defending a sequential ranking of the three forms of adverbs of place to the effect that the notion referred by place-where is anterior to the notion referred by place-whence, and the notion referred by place-whence is anterior to the notion referred by place-whither. His point is that place-where is equally primitive in respect to both place-whence and place-whither because an analysis of place-whence and place-whither discloses place-where (...) but not the other way round. (shrink)
In his letters to Lucius Papirius Paetus from 46 BC Cicero provides striking reports on his thoughts and activities as he seeks to accommodate himself to the new political realities following Caesar’s decisive victory over the republican forces in Africa. In these letters Cicero also engages in a kind of performative role-playing: he casts himself variously as a teacher of oratory to two of Caesar’s close associates (Hirtius and Dolabella), as a bon vivant immersed in the Caesarian social scene, and (...) as a man of moral principle who measures himself against the model of the wise man. Philosophical jokes, allusions, and arguments all figure prominently: Cicero is evidently drawing on a rich range of philosophical material to frame his actions and how he should be judged. This paper brings out the full significance of these underlying philosophical frameworks and makes clear the ways in which Cicero exploits the resources of the Greek philosophical tradition in his self-fashioning in the letters to Paetus. (shrink)
In Metaphysics Γ, Aristotle argues against those who seem to accept contradictions. He distinguishes between the Sophists, who deny the principle of non-contradiction through arguments, and the Natural Philosophers, whose physical investigations lead to the acceptance of objective contradictions. Heraclitus’ name appears throughout the discussion. Usually, he is associated with the discussion against the Sophists. In this paper, I explore how the discussion with the Natural Philosophers may illuminate both the interpretation of Heraclitus by Aristotle and Heraclitus’ own worldview. To (...) refute the Natural Philosophers, Aristotle proposes a general reconstruction of their reasoning. Roughly, relying on sensory evidence (A1), they see that the same thing changes from one opposite to another (A2). Such a change appears to characterize a generation out of non-being, which a Natural Philosopher does not accept (A3). To solve the problem, despite their different worldviews, Natural Philosophers hint at a state in which opposites co-occur, characterizing an objective contradiction (C). Looking at the discussion in Metaphysics Γ and Heraclitus fragments, sections 1–3 show how assumptions A1, A2, and A3 easily apply to Heraclitus. The case of the conclusion is more challenging. In the case of the Pluralists, the co-existence of opposites characterizes a state in which there is no generation. Such a view does not fit Heraclitus’ mobilism. To argue that Aristotle’s argument is general enough to encompass dynamic views, I examine his problematization of accepting the change of change in Metaphysics K and Physics V. There, after re-stating several points that appear in Metaphysics Γ, Aristotle argues that accepting the becoming of another becoming leads to a state of contradiction in which the becoming is perishing. Heraclitus’ B8, cited in Nicomachean Ethics, gives evidence that, for Aristotle, Heraclitus puts a process at the origin of an opposite process. Moreover, after examining the expression ‘living the death/dying the life’ in B62, I argue that Heraclitus was aware that his worldview implied a dynamic objective contradiction. Finally, an analysis of elemental changes in B36 proves that accepting objective contradictions does not make Heraclitus’ worldview less attractive. (shrink)
The ontology of artefacts in Byzantine philosophy is still a terra incognita. One way of mapping this unexplored territory is to delve into Michael of Ephesus’ commentary on Aristotle’s Metaphysics. Written around 1100, this commentary provides a detailed interpretation of the most important source for Aristotle’s ontological account of artefacts. By highlighting Michael’s main metaphysical tenets and his interpretation of key-passages of the Aristotelian work, this study aims to reconstruct Michael’s ontology of artefacts and present it as one instance, which (...) is perhaps exemplary, of the Byzantine ontology of artefacts. In particular, the study shows that this commentary holds a definite position on the nature of artefacts, according to which they are neither substances nor hylomorphic compounds. Indeed, artefacts lack a form altogether and their forms exist only in thought. As a result, Michael’s commentary provides an ontological interpretation of artefacts as accidental beings, i.e., as matter which acquires a mere property as opposed to a substantial form. While such an interpretation shows originality when compared to the Aristotelian text, it also indicates adherence to the reading established by Alexander of Aphrodisias, despite important departures concerning the status of natural forms. (shrink)
In Aristotle’s writings regarding the biology of embryology, especially in the Generation of Animals, he contends that the mother’s menstrual fluids provide the material for the generation of the offspring, and the father’s form determines its formation as a member of that species (e.g. human). The katamenia (menstrual fluids) of the mother are said to be potentially all the body parts of the offspring, though actually none of them. So, the fluids are potentially the offspring. But are they a first (...) potentiality or second potentiality (first actuality) of a human, in the terminology of De Anima II? In this paper I will argue that katamenia are a first potentiality of a human. My first argument is that katamenia do not have the potential for human activities such as thinking, but rather the potential of becoming something having the potential for those activities. I answer the objection that katamenia are not even a first potentiality, by appealing to an important text contending that for any x whose source of becoming is external, x is potentially y if nothing in x with respect to matter needs to be changed in order for an external principle to make x into y. (shrink)
On propose ici de clarifier ce qu’Anaximandre entendait par « le divin » et ce qu’il appelait des « dieux ». À partir d’une réévaluation des sources anciennes, on soutient que cette enquête peut aider à comprendre son modèle cosmologique et le problème des cataclysmes dans son système. Trois hypothèses sont avancées à cette fin : [i] que dans Physique, III, 4, 203b3 15, le syntagme τὸ ἄπειρον renvoie à une notion concrète de substrat infini ; [ii] que dans ce (...) même passage, Aristote n’a probablement pas attribué aux philosophes de la nature – y compris Anaximandre – la thèse selon laquelle τὸ ἄπειρον est divin, mais plutôt la thèse selon laquelle ils comprennent le divin comme étant immortel et impérissable ; [iii] qu’Anaximandre, en supposant que « les astres célestes » sont des dieux, admettrait qu’ils naissent mais ne se détruisent pas – ce qui réfuterait l’idée d’un cataclysme universel chez lui. En conclusion, l’étude discute en quoi consisterait la gouvernance cosmique de τὸ ἄπειρον dans un univers divisé en trois niveaux et propose que cette gouvernance viendrait du fait que τὸ ἄπειρον possède un mouvement éternel. (shrink)
In this paper, we intend to explore the possible influences of legislative prose in the Anaximander’s cosmological prose construction, who would have been, according to Themistius, “the first Greek who dared to expose a written discourse about nature” (ἐθάρρησε πρῶτος ὧν ἴσμεν Ἑλλήνων λόγον ἐξενεγκεῖν περὶ φύσεως συγγεγραμμένον, Or. 26 p. 383 = DK12A7). Our aim is to clarify which notions of nature and justice are assumed in its emergent cosmology, considering that, at least from the lexical point of view, (...) it seems strongly suggestive to be undefined the barriers between the legal and cosmic order, between the Human and the Natural. Indeed, this is what the peripatetic tradition seems to suggest by judging Anaximander’s language extremely poetic (ποιητικωτέροις οὕτως ὀνόμασιν αὐτὰ λέγων), since he would use legal terms (διδόναι αὐτὰ δίκην καὶ τίσιν ἀλλήλοις τῆς ἀδικίας) to explain the natural processes of generation and corruption (ἡ γένεσίς ἐστι τοῖς οὖσι, καὶ τὴν φθορὰν εἰς ταῦτα γίνεσθαι, Simpl. in Phys. 24. 13–25 = DK12B1). ——— Objetivamos neste artigo explorar as possíveis influências da prosa legislativa na constituição da prosa cosmológica de Anaximandro de Mileto, que teria sido, segundo Temístio, “o primeiro grego que ousou expor um discurso escrito sobre a natureza” (ἐθάρρησε πρῶτος ὧν ἴσμεν Ἑλλήνων λόγον ἐξενεγκεῖν περὶ φύσεως συγγεγραμμένον, Or. 26 p.383 = DK12A7). Visamos aclarar que noções de natureza e de justiça estão sendo pressupostas nessa cosmologia então emergente, considerando que, ao menos do ponto de vista lexical, parece fortemente sugestivo serem indefinidas as barreiras entre a ordem jurídica e a cósmica, entre o âmbito humano e o natural. Com efeito, é o que parece já sugerir a tradição peripatética ao julgar o linguajar de Anaximandro extremamente poético (ποιητικωτέροις οὕτως ὀνόμασιν αὐτὰ λέγων) por o milésio empregar termos considerados do âmbito jurídico (διδόναι αὐτὰ δίκην καὶ τίσιν ἀλλήλοις τῆς ἀδικίας) para explicar os processos ditos naturais de geração e corrupção (ἡ γένεσίς ἐστι τοῖς οὖσι, καὶ τὴν φθορὰν εἰς ταῦτα γίνεσθαι, Simpl. in Phys. 24.13–25 = DK12B1). (shrink)
Both Heraclitus and Democritus, as the philosophers of historia peri phuseôs, consider nature and human character, habit, law and soul as interrelated emphasizing the links between phusis, kinesis, ethos, logos, kresis, nomos and daimon. On the one hand, Heraclitus’s principle of change (panta rhei) and his emphasis on the element of fire and cosmic motion ultimately dominate his ethics reinforcing his ideas of change, moderation, balance and justice, on the other, Democritus’s atomist description of phusis and motion underlies his principle (...) of moderation and his ideas of health and measured life. In this series, particularly referring to the main principles of motion, moderation and justice, I attempt to describe a coherent pre-Socratic ethical perspective based on the Heraclitean and Democritean fragments. I explore the connections between their physics and ethics also borrowing from Nietzsche’s lectures and writings on the Pre-Socratics. I redefine such Heraclitean and Democritean concepts as harmony, order, perfection, health, self-control, contentment, cheerfulness, concord, sound judgment, wisdom, measure and balance and discuss them under the principles of motion (phusis), moderation (sophrosyne) and justice. In doing so, I also expose the relevance of the Heraclitean notion of logos (interpreting it as the underlying categorical principle of transition between phusis and ethos) in bringing together these ideas and principles. Finally, based on this pre-Socratic Weltanschauung, I assess the possibility of a coherent picture of humanity, its nature and conduct as extending from or fitting into or extending-from-when-fitting-into the cosmos of moving forces and atoms. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that Emperor Julian’s use of the theory of common concepts is evidence for a general strategy of Platonist anti-Christian discourse: the attempt at showing that Christianity, as opposed to pagan philosophy, fails to live up to the commonly available standards of truth. After the introduction (§ 1), the paper offers a short summary of the Stoic theory of common concepts and their Platonist appropriation (§ 2). Then it turns to Julian’s account of the naturally arising (...) concept of god, offering an analysis of its Stoic and Platonist resonances (§3). Finally, I consider possible motivations for Julian’s formulation of anti-Christian polemics within this framework (§ 4). A few concluding paragraphs (§ 5) intend to situate this claim in Julian’s overall position and to point out its wider relevance for anti-Christian polemics. (shrink)
This volume consists of fourteen essays in honor of Daniel Devereux on the themes of love, friendship, and wisdom in Plato, Aristotle, and the Epicureans. Philia (friendship) and eros (love) are topics of major philosophical interest in ancient Greek philosophy. They are also topics of growing interest and importance in contemporary philosophy, much of which is inspired by ancient discussions. Philosophy is itself, of course, a special sort of love, viz. the love of wisdom. Loving in the right way is (...) very closely connected to doing philosophy, cultivating wisdom, and living well. The first nine essays run the gamut of Plato's philosophical career. They include discussions of Plato's Alcibiades, Euthydemus, Gorgias, Phaedo, Phaedrus, and Symposium; and Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, Politics, Protrepticus and Magna Moralia. It ends with a discussion of Epicurean friendship. (shrink)
Corpus dei papiri filosofici greci e latini . Testi e lessico nei papiri di cultura greca e latina. Parte IV.2. Tavole . Pp. xxxiv + pls. Florence: Leo S. Olschki for Accademia Toscana di Scienze e Lettere “La Colombaria”, 2008. Cased, €210. ISBN: 978-88-222-5785-7Corpus dei papiri filosofici greci e latini . Testi e lessico nei papiri di cultura greca e latina. Parte I.2: Cultura e filosofia . In two volumes. Pp. lxxxii + 1005. Florence: Leo S. Olschki for Accademia Toscana (...) di Scienze e Lettere “La Colombaria”, 2008. Paper, €175. ISBN: 978-88-222-5791-8. (shrink)
Among our earliest extant references to the word ‘philosophize’ is an unfamiliar one, from the mythographer Herodorus of Pontic Heraclea, whose son Bryson associated with Plato and Aristotle. A Byzantine compiler quotes Herodorus, probably from his book on Heracles, as saying that his hero ‘philosophized until death’. This is a surprising claim in light of the fifth/fourth-centuryb.c.view of Heracles as long-toiling but not intellectual. Euripides'Licymniuscharacterizes him as ‘unimpressive and unadorned, good to the greatest degree, confined from allsophiain action, unversed in (...) talking’. Heracles is thus explicitly distinguished from those who strive for dialectical understanding or theoretical knowledge. (shrink)
This paper examines two letters between Cicero and Gaius Cassius Longinus in which they critically discuss and denigrate the translation of Epicurus’ term εἴδωλον as spectrum by an Epicurean named Catius. It first offers a new positive account for why Catius made his choice of translation, and it then outlines the full reasons for why Cicero and Cassius found the translation unsatisfying.
The Beginnings and Nature of Science in Archaic Greece: The aim of the paper is to examine the beginnings and nature of science in the archaic period of ancient Greece. The method of research is historicalphilosophical. It is historical because the interpretation of the birth of science suggested by our approach corresponds with text evidence. And it is philosophical because our reconstruction of the birth of science is able to explain the dynamic nature of the stratification of science. In the (...) first part of the paper we deal with the methodological analysis of the issue of the beginnings of science. In the second part we analyse particular manifestations of ancient investigations that, based on the diversity of their aims and the variety of methods, gradually emancipated to become separate disciplines. In the third part of the paper we argue in favour of the thesis that disciplines emerged from philosophy in such a manner that various disciplines stemmed from the diversity of philosophy. In the conclusion we state that in Archaic Greece of the 6th-5th centuries BC science emerged from the wealth of various research approaches by gradual separation, i.e. stratification of aims and stabilization of research methods. However, not a single science but a number of disciplines appeared. They did not emerge from one philosophy but from the abundance of research approaches and aims. Only later the umbrella term “science” began to be used. (shrink)
Contrary to the common opinion of the scarce important of politics in Plotinus’ thought, in this paper the relevance of this notion is stressed. Even though Plotinus’ main interest is evidently toward interiority and rational spirituality, men’s actual condition, born and living in a social context, forces him to acknowledge the importance of man’s social and political life. The discussion on virtues in Enneads I, 2 is essential in establishing the real weight of politics in Plotinus’ philosophy.
Neoplatonic Demons and Angels is a collection of studies which examine the place reserved for angels and demons not only by the main Neoplatonic philosophers, but also in Gnosticism, the Chaldaean Oracles and Christian Neoplatonism.
The editors of Nietzsche as a Scholar of Antiquity claim with some justification that few philosophers, and even fewer classicists, have "taken the time to understand [Nietzsche] on his own terms as a scholar of antiquity". "Our primary aim," Jensen and Heit say, "is to show not how Nietzsche's earlier works on antiquity help us to understand Nietzsche, but how they may improve our understanding of antiquity." The contributions vary quite widely in style and quality, and I shall suggest that (...) not every contribution to the collection succeeds in that stated primary aim. (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)