In this fascinating introduction, David Bostock presents a fresh perspective on one of the great classics of moral philosophy: Aristotle's Nicomachaen Ethics. He argues that it is, and deserves to be, Aristotle's most widely studied work, for much of what it has to say is still important for today's debate on the problems of ethics. Here, Bostock guides the reader through explanations and evaluations of all the main themes of the work, exploring questions of interpretation and the differing views of (...) a range of commentators. He also emphasizes the philosophical merits and faults of the doctrines that emerge, critically discussing them in a simple, straightforward way. Each chapter concludes with suggestions for further reading on the themes discussed within the chapter, and the book finishes with an evaluation of the Ethics as a whole. The ideal companion for study of Aristotle's great insights, this book helps the reader to engage with his ideas and arguments as living philosophy. (shrink)
David Bostock examines the theories and arguments put forward by Plato in his Phaedo, in which he attempts to show that the soul is immortal. This excellent introduction to Plato's often difficult arguments discusses such important philosophical problems as the nature of the mind, the idea of personal identity, the question of how we understand language, and the concept of cause, reason, and explanation.
In the Theaetetus, Plato looks afresh at a problem to which, he now realizes, he had earlier given an inadequate answer: the problem of the nature of knowledge. What Plato has to say on this question is of great interest and importance, not only to scholars of Plato, but also to philosophers with wholly contemporary interests. This book is a sustained philosophical analysis and critique of the Theaetetus. David Bostock provides a detailed examination of Plato's arguments and the issues that (...) they raise. He adjudicates on rival interpretations of the text, and looks at the relations between this and other works of Plato. The book does not presuppose any knowledge of Greek. (shrink)
Intermediate Logic is an ideal text for anyone who has taken a first course in logic and is progressing to further study. It examines logical theory, rather than the applications of logic, and does not assume any specific technical grounding. The author introduces and explains each concept and term, ensuring readers have a firm foundation for study. He provides a broad, deep understanding of logic by adopting and comparing a variety of different methods and approaches.
For many centuries, Aristotle's Physics was the essential starting point for anyone who wished to study the natural sciences. This is the first complete translation since 1930 of Aristotle's key work on science. It presents Aristotle's thought accurately, while at the same time simplifying and expanding the often crabbed and elliptical style of the original, so that it is very much easier to read. A lucid introduction and extensive notes explain the general structure of each section of the book, and (...) shed light on particular problems. (shrink)
Much of Aristotle's thought developed in reaction to Plato's views, and this is certainly true of his philosophy of mathematics. To judge from his dialogue, the Meno, the first thing that struck Plato as an interesting and important feature of mathematics was its epistemology: in this subject we can apparently just “draw knowledge out of ourselves.” Aristotle certainly thinks that Plato was wrong to “separate” the objects of mathematics from the familiar objects that we experience in this world. His main (...) arguments on this point are in Chapter 2 of Book XIII of the Metaphysics. There are three distinct lines of argument: The first concerns the objects of geometry ; the second deals with the Platonist principles which are applied to arithmetic and geometry; the third is about substance as living things, especially animals, and perhaps man in particular. In addition to the above, this article also examines Aristotle's treatment of infinity. (shrink)
The article concerns the treatment of the so-called denoting phrases, of the forms ?every A?, ?any A?, ?an A? and ?some A?, in Russell's Principles of Mathematics. An initially attractive interpretation of what Russell's theory was has been proposed by P.T. Geach, in his Reference and Generality (1962). A different interpretation has been proposed by P. Dau (Notre Dame Journal, 1986). The article argues that neither of these is correct, because both credit Russell with a more thought-out theory than he (...) actually had. The conclusion is mainly negative: at this date Russell has no coherent theory of these phrases. An appendix notes that his understanding of the quantifiers in predicate logic is also, at this date, not entirely secure. (shrink)
This paper considers the attempts put forward by A.N. Whitehead and by Bertrand Russell to ‘construct’ points (and temporal instants) from what they regard as the more basic concept of extended ‘regions’. It is shown how what they each say themselves will not do, and how it should be filled out and amended so that the ‘construction’ may be regarded as successful. Finally there is a brief discussion of whether this ‘construction’ is worth pursuing, or whether it is better—as in (...) today’s mathematics—to prefer a ‘construction’ that goes the other way round, i.e. , to view a region as a set of points. (shrink)
Plato's Euthyrphro, Apology, andCrito portray Socrates' words and deeds during his trial for disbelieving in the Gods of Athens and corrupting the Athenian youth, and constitute a defense of the man Socrates and of his way of life, the philosophic life. The twelve essays in the volume, written by leading classical philosophers, investigate various aspects of these works of Plato, including the significance of Plato's characters, Socrates's revolutionary religious ideas, and the relationship between historical events and Plato's texts.
Space, Time, Matter, and Form collects ten of David Bostock's essays on themes from Aristotle's Physics, four of them published here for the first time. The first five papers look at issues raised in the first two books of the Physics, centred on notions of matter and form, and the idea of substance as what persists through change. They also range over other of Aristotle's scientific works, such as his biology and psychology and the account of change in his De (...) Generatione et Corruptione. The volume's remaining essays examine themes in later books of the Physics, including infinity, place, time, and continuity. Bostock argues that Aristotle's views on these topics are of real interest in their own right, independent of his notions of substance, form, and matter; they also raise some pressing problems of interpretation, which these essays seek to resolve. (shrink)
The last several decades have witnessed an explosion of research in Platonic philosophy. A central focus of his philosophical effort, Plato's psychology is of interest both in its own right and as fundamental to his metaphysical and moral theories. This anthology offers, for the first time, a collection of the best classic and recent essays on cenral topics of Plato's psychological theory, including essays on the nature of the soul, studies of the tripartite soul for which Plato argues in the (...) Republic, and analyses of his varied arguments for immortality. With a comprehensive introduction to the major issues of Plato's psychology and an up-to-date bibliography of work on the relevant issues, this much-needed text makes the study of Plato's psychology accessible to scholars in ancient Greek philosophy, classics, and history of psychology. (shrink)
David Bostock has produced a translation that admirably fulfills the Clarendon Aristotle Series’ goal of making Aristotle’s texts accessible to the Greekless philosophical reader. It is accurate without being overly literal and is probably the best available in English. Despite Bostock’s inelegant rendering of to ti en einai as "a what-being-is", and to ti esti as "a what-it-is", the translation is, on the whole, highly readable and brings out perspicuously the structure of Aristotle’s arguments.