Leading figures in ancient philosophy present nineteen original papers on three key themes in the work of Richard Sorabji. The papers dealing with Metaphysics range from Democritus to Numenius on basic questions about the structure and nature of reality: necessitation, properties, and time. The section on Soul includes one paper on the individuation of souls in Plato and five papers on Aristotle's and Aristotelian theories of cognition, with a special emphasis on perception. The section devoted to Ethics concentrates (...) upon Stoicism and the complex views the Stoics held on such topics as motivation, akrasia, oikeitsis, and the emotions. It also includes one paper on the influence of Greek ethics in Modern Philosophy. The volume also contains a fascinating "intellectual autobiography" by Sorabji himself, and a full Bibliography of his works. (shrink)
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)
This volume presents 26 essays on method and metaphysics in ancient philosophy by Jonathan Barnes, one of the most admired and influential philosophers of his generation. Several of the essays appear here in English for the first time; others are substantially revised. This will be a rich feast for students and scholars of ancient philosophy.
If we want to be autonomous, what do we want? The author shows that contemporary value-neutral and metaphysically economical conceptions of autonomy, such as that of Harry Frankfurt, face a serious problem. Drawing on Plato, Augustine, and Kant, this book provides a sketch of how "ancient" and "modern" can be reconciled to solve it. But at what expense? It turns out that the dominant modern ideal of autonomy cannot do without a costly metaphysics if it is to be (...) coherent. (shrink)
This dissertation shows that Proclus provides a consistent reading of Plato's late dialogues, and develops a three level ontology which stands on its own. By augmenting the reserve of Platonist philosophy with Post Platonic developments of Greek mathematics and astronomy and physics, at points where Platonism ceased to provide operating principles, Proclus, reached for formulations which went beyond Plato. His own metaphysics, though sometimes obscured by theurgic allusions, grounds Being in an infinite One. ;One of the problems that Proclus (...) attempts to solve through the posit of three infinities, is that an iterative potential infinity, seen in the interval structure of the physical world, could divide to oblivion if uncolonized by Principle. The 'One Being', which brings Limit and noetic sameness, is itself entrapped in Self Reflexivity. An infinity of a third kind, one beyond all Limit and Unlimit is posed to solve this problem. This is Proclus' NeoPlatonic solution to the fact that Being alone, albeit under the rule of intellect, cannot guarantee itself. ;Platonism assumes a "universe" i.e. One grounding Many, which predetermines the place of all structure. $\rm A\nu\lambda o\gamma\iota\alpha$ is a principle of substitution which governs the visible cosmos and makes it comprehensible by mathematical formulations. Plato's emphasis on the self same as the epitome of Being, with circularity as the highest form for thought, helps Proclus provide a consistent account of: Creation ; Infinity as a Simultaneous Whole ; Soul and Nous, Dialectic is valorized over other forms of thought as most like $$ the eternal truth and a means to assimilation. Procession and reversion forms a circle which demonstrates a metaphysical successor of cosmic revolutions found to exist as the heavenly bodies carry out their noetic patterns. ;Finally Eternity encapsulates Time; but again its infinite circularity is only recouped by a One beyond all Limit which can carry out the Providence of a final cause. (shrink)
In this contribution, I explore the treatment that Plato devotes to Protagoras’ relativism in the first section of the Theaetetus (151 E 1–186 E 12) where, among other things, the definition that knowledge is perception is put under scrutiny. What I aim to do is to understand the subtlety of Plato’s argument about Protagorean relativism and, at the same time, to assess its philosophical significance by revealing the inextric¬ability of ontological and epistemological aspects on which it is built (for this (...) latter aspect, I refer to contemporary discussions of relativism, mainly to Margolis’ robust relativism). I then turn to Aristotle’s treatment of Protagoras’ relativism in Metaphysics Γ, sections 5 and 6, in order to show that Plato and Aristotle surprisingly share the same view as regards the philosophical content of Protagoras’ relativism (in doing so, I take position against the standard opinion among scholars that Plato and Aristotle understand Protagoras’ relativism in different, even incompatible, ways). What I ultimately aim to demonstrate is that Protagoras’ relativism, as understood by both Plato and Aristotle, is a coherent, even attractive, philosophical position. (shrink)
This book presents a detailed analysis of three ancient models of spatial magnitude, time, and local motion. The Aristotelian model is presented as an application of the ancient, geometrically orthodox conception of extension to the physical world. The other two models, which represent departures from mathematical orthodoxy, are a "quantum" model of spatial magnitude, and a Stoic model, according to which limit entities such as points, edges, and surfaces do not exist in (physical) reality. The book is unique (...) in its discussion of these ancient models within the context of later philosophical, scientific, and mathematical developments. (shrink)
Sixteen authors, including some of the most distinguished scholars of our time, present essays which together reflect the impressive scope of Jonathan Barnes's contributions to philosophy, and in particular to the study of ancient philosophy. Six are on knowledge, five on logic and metaphysics, five on ethics.
This book studies Wallace Stevens and pre-Socratic poetic philosophy, showing how concepts that animate Stevens’ poetry parallel concepts found in the works of Parmenides, Heraclitus, Empedocles, and Xenophanes.
This paper argues that Heidegger’s deconstruction of metaphysics lends itself to an environmental ethic of non-violent ‘dwelling’. I trace the instrumental mode of ‘being-in-the-world’ to the beginning of Western metaphysics in ancient Greece. The root of the problem is the technological understanding of things as objects and truth as objectivity. Heidegger indicates a more primordial understanding of truth as ‘event’. For Heidegger, the emergence of a non-instrumental way of life depends upon the extent to which the technological (...) ‘framing’ of nature nature is clearly perceived. I suggest that while Heidegger’s post-foundational ethic does indeed envision a non-instrumental relation to nature, it remains unclear how such an alternative way of life may be politically achieved. (shrink)