Ancient Philosophy Today 3 (1):98-119 (2021)

In Archytas of Tarentum, Carl Huffman reconstructs Archytas’ theory of definition by linking definitions to the mathematical study of ratios and proportions. This paper considers whether and how Archytas used definitions and whether he possessed a theory of definition. Our evidence does not support the claim that Archytas has a theory of definition, and his approach to the science of harmonics suggests that he relied on analogies and proportions in the practice of inquiry. We understand sounds and other entities by placing them in a network of relations governed by mathematical proportions. Although he does not seem to have formulated definitions of sound, Archytas pursued inquiry into motion and rest by formulating definitions in such a way that they fit into a larger network of causal explanations.
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DOI 10.3366/anph.2021.0044
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References found in this work BETA

Socrates' Pursuit of Definitions.David Wolfsdorf - 2003 - Phronesis 48 (4):271 - 312.
Socratic Epagōgē and Socratic Induction.Mark L. McPherran - 2007 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 45 (3):347-364.
Collecting the Letters.Stephen Menn - 1998 - Phronesis 43 (4):291 - 305.
Colloquium 9.Mitchell Miller - 1990 - Proceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium of Ancient Philosophy 6 (1):323-359.

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