This volume contains papers originally presented to the Boston Area Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy during 2005-6. Of the seven colloquia, two deal with topics in Neoplatonism, four are dedicated to Aristotle’s ethics and metaphysics, and one to Plato’s Republic.
In this paper I focus on the problem of accounting for apparent inconsistencies between Plato’s early and middle works. Developmentalism seeks to account for these variances by differentiating a Socratic philosophy in the early dialogues from a Platonic philosophy in the middle. In opposition to this position, I propose an alternative explanation: differences between these two groups are due to Plato’s depiction and use of middle period epistemology. I argue that, in the early dialogues, Plato depicts Socrates’ use of (...) the “summoners” described in Book 7 of the Republic, and that Plato uses Socrates’ failed attempts to summon interlocutors for the purpose of summoning readers. In conclusion, I suggest that the hypothesis that Plato uses summoners provides a framework for addressing the wider problem of inconsistencies within the Platonic corpus. (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)
The essays in this volume were written to celebrate the sixtieth birthday of G. E. L. Owen, who by his essays and seminars on ancient Greek philosophy has made a contribution to its study that is second to none. The authors, from both sides of the Atlantic, include not only scholars whose main research interests lie in Greek philosophy, but others best known for their work in general philosophy. All are pupils or younger colleagues of Professor Owen who are (...) indebted to his practice of philosophical scholarship as a first-order philosophical activity. At the heart of G. E. L. Owen's work has been a preoccupation with the role of philosophical reflection on language in the metaphysics and epistemology of Plato, Aristotle and other ancient Greek thinkers. This is accordingly the general topic of the present volume, which includes five papers on Plato's critical dialogues and seven on Aristotle, prefaced by two on Heraclitus and followed by a study of the debate in Hellenistic philosophy on the sorites. This is a book for specialists in Greek philosophy and philosophers of language which will also be of interest to some linguists. (shrink)
With one exception, the papers in this volume were originally presented to the Boston Area Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy during 2006-7. Five colloquia deal directly with Plato, while another discusses Heidegger's interpretation of Plato. Two colloquia deal with the Epicurean notion of preconception and with the Stoic conception of the good.
The papers in this volume were originally presented to the Boston Area Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy during 2007-8. Four colloquia deal directly with major works of Aristotle, while another discusses Aristotle's influence on the Stoics. Three colloquia deal with Plato, discussing the _Philebus_, _Phaedrus_ and _Republic_.
This volume represents some of the activities of the Boston Area Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy from the academic year 1997-98. It contains nine colloquia that were hosted by eight different colleges and universities in the greater Boston area. Discussions of the works of Plato dominate this volume, with six of the nine colloquia based on Platonic texts. Appropriately, the colloquia begin with an analysis of division in the ancient atomists. Later, a study of truth in Aristotle gives (...) a counterpoint to the Platonic interplay of drama and pedagogy or logic and rhetoric examined in papers about the "Theaetetus" and "Symposium". A presentation of Proclus’s account of evil revisits some of the issues of sophistry and morality discussed in relation to Plato’s "Republic" and "Euthydemus". Finally, the remaining Platonic papers are in a way not about Plato at all, but about Socrates and Xanthippe, supplementing Platonic dialogues with Xenophon and others. Underneath these discussions of ancient texts current modes of philosophy run along, providing a score of alternative interpretative schemes._ This publication has also been published in paperback, please click here_ for details. (shrink)
Volume XXIX contains papers and commentaries presented to the Boston Area Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy during academic year 2012-13. The papers feature Plato's Republic and Timaeus , examine Aristotle on generation, analogy and method, and analyze Proclus on first principles.
Interpreters of Plato’s Parmenides have long agreed that it is a canonical work in the history of ontology. In the first part, the aged Parmenides presents a devastating critique of Platonic ontology, followed in the second by what purports to be a response to that critique. But despite the scholarly agreement as to the general subject matter of the dialogue, what makes it one whole has nevertheless eluded its readers, so much so that some have even speculated it to be (...) a patchwork of two dimly related dialogues. -/- In Becoming Socrates, Alex Priou shows that the Parmenides’ unity remains elusive due to scholarly neglect of a particular passage in Parmenides’ critique—a passage Parmenides identifies as the hinge between the dialogue’s two parts and as the “greatest impasse” facing Platonic ontology. There Parmenides situates the concern with ontology or the question of being within the concern with political philosophy or the question of good rule. In this way, the Parmenides shows us how a youthful Socrates first learned of the centrality of political philosophy that would become the hallmark of his life—that it, and not ontology, is “first philosophy.”. (shrink)
The papers in this collection on Aristotle’s Eudemian Ethics by Charles, Rowe, McCabe, Whiting, and Buddensiek, offer new readings of Aristotle on the voluntary, friendship, and good fortune in the EE, by treating the EE on its own terms.
While it may be controversial to categorize Plato’s Theatetetus as “epistemological,” given what is implied by this term, the dialogue does offer a discourse on knowledge, at least in the minimal sense of questioning knowledge. But more than that, the dialogue “situates” its questioning, and its critical examination of attempted definitions of knowledge, in two ways that are particularly illuminating: first, its dramatization of Socrates coming-to-know Theaetetus through philosophical dialogue; second, its taking for granted a whole array of epistemic practices (...) and keeping them in view, peripherally, throughout the discussion. The most interesting example of the latter is found in the famous Digression of the Theaetetus, where the difference between philosophy and rhetoric is understood in terms of the knowledge/lack-of-knowledge belonging to each. (shrink)
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)
This special supplementary volume of Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy contains the revised versions of papers which were first presented at a colloquium on ancient philosophy held at Oberlin College in 1986. In addition to the five major papers presented at the colloquium, the replies of the five commentators as well as the responses of the authors to the commentators are contained in this volume. In some cases, such as the reply of David Charles, the replies (...) are almost papers in their own right, while in others, the replies are restricted to comments on the major paper. Although there is no theme common to all the papers, the topics of which range from Plato's theory of perception to Aristotle's account of political distribution--and so the volume suffers from a certain lack of unity--the general high quality of the papers and the replies more than makes up for this lack of unity. (shrink)
This pathbreaking work pursues two interwoven themes. Firstly, it engages in a deconstruction of Ancient philosopher's texts--mainly from Plato, but also from Homer and Parmenides--in order to free four Greek female figures from the patriarchal discourse which for centuries had imprisoned them in a particular role. Secondly, it attempts to construct a symbolic female order, reinterpreting these figures from a new perspective. Building on the theory of sexual difference, Cavarero shows that death is the central category on which the (...) whole edifice of traditional philosophy is based. By contrast, the category of birth provides the thread with which new concepts of feminist criticism can be woven together to establish a fresh way of thinking. Cavarero develops a philosophical narrative which, by re-interpreting each of the four figures of ancient thought, uncovers several images of the female desire for self-representation. Plato himself had not forseen that one day female subjectivity would assert its autonomy, plundering and throwing into confusion the patriarchal text in order to tell another story. (shrink)
A distinction between knowledge and belief is set out and justified at the end of Book V of Plato’s Republic. The justification is intended to establish the claim of the philosophers to rule in an ideal state. I set out the argument and explain why considerable disagreement remains about the nature of the distinction and the assumptions on which it rests. I discuss the main options for interpreting the justification, briefly assessing their strengths and weaknesses. I conclude with comments on (...) recent developments, and by drawing attention to a neglected aspect of Plato’s distinction. (shrink)
Ordinary language and scientific discourse are filled with linguistic expressions for dispositional properties such as “soluble,” “elastic,” “reliable,” and “humorous.” We characterize objects in all domains – physical objects as well as human persons – with the help of dispositional expressions. Hence, the concept of a disposition has historically and systematically played a central role in different areas of philosophy ranging from metaphysics to ethics. The contributions of this volume analyze the ancient foundations of the discussion about disposition, (...) examine the problem of disposition within the context of the foundation of modern science, and analyze this dispute up to the 20th century. Furthermore, articles explore the contemporary theories of dispositions. (shrink)
Knowledge, Nature, and the Good brings together some of John Cooper's most important works on ancient philosophy. In thirteen chapters that represent an ideal companion to the author's influential Reason and Emotion, Cooper addresses a wide range of topics and periods--from Hippocratic medical theory and Plato's epistemology and moral philosophy, to Aristotle's physics and metaphysics, academic scepticism, and the cosmology, moral psychology, and ethical theory of the ancient Stoics.Almost half of the pieces appear here for the (...) first time or are presented in newly expanded, extensively revised versions. Many stand at the cutting edge of research into ancient ethics and moral psychology. Other chapters, dating from as far back as 1970, are classics of philosophical scholarship on antiquity that continue to play a prominent role in current teaching and scholarship in the field. All of the chapters are distinctive for the way that, whatever the particular topic being pursued, they attempt to understand the ancient philosophers' views in philosophical terms drawn from the ancient philosophical tradition itself.Through engaging creatively and philosophically with the ancient texts, these essays aim to make ancient philosophical perspectives freshly available to contemporary philosophers and philosophy students, in all their fascinating inventiveness, originality, and deep philosophical merit. This book will be treasured by philosophers, classicists, students of philosophy and classics, those in other disciplines with an interest in ancient philosophy, and anyone who seeks to understand philosophy in philosophical terms. (shrink)
The Theaetetus is subtitled peri epistemes, on knowledge, and peirastikos, tentative. Theaetetus' three attempted definitions of knowledge, each ventured only to fail, are structured in a cascading reduction. This regress functions both negatively, as an indirect demonstration that knowledge is not definable in term of opinion or judgment, that is, knowledge is not "opinion plus," but also positively, as the ill-fated definitions build upon one another to delineate the elements necessary for a possible theory of judgment. The themes of knowledge (...) and judgment never resolve, yet, through the multiple peirastic beginnings that perish struggling to say something lasting about knowledge, this main theme ties together the dialogue's many subthemes-wisdom and character; sophistry and its relation to philosophy; Socrates' trial; intellectual midwifery, or Socratic dialectic; appearance and reality; Heracliteanism; Eleaticism; forms and participation; unity and plurality; particularity and universality; identity and difference; memory and time; relations; the relation of resemblance. One could go on. The guiding question, how to define knowledge, is a theoretical one, and the reasoning becomes progressively more abstract as the dialogue proceeds, while at the same time never straying far from practical implications: the theoretical conception of knowledge holds consequences made manifest in human action and deliberation. The dialogue about knowledge is also a dialogue about wisdom. (shrink)