En el mundo occidental, la primera figura que encarna el arquetipo del mediador sapiencial entre la comunidad humana y lo divino es, sin duda, Pitágoras de Samos. Las implicaciones de las doctrinas de este chamán en la historia de las ideas son enormes, pues sus invenciones abarcan todos los campos del saber: matemáticas, astronomía, filosofía, retórica, política, adivinación, medicina y religión. Nada escapa a este sabio griego, al que se atribuye un famoso teorema matemático, las escalas musicales y la idea (...) de la inmortalidad del alma. La primera parte del libro se ocupa de estudiar a Pitágoras como figura carismática y legendaria, la colección de sus enseñanzas, sus aspectos mánticos y políticos y, finalmente, la tradición pitagórica entre la realidad y la falsificación. En la segunda parte se presenta por primera vez, en una nueva traducción anotada, una recopilación de todas las biografías del filósofo: las escritas por Porfirio de Tiro, Jámblico de Calcis y Diógenes Laercio, y, como novedad, la más antigua que se conserva, redactada por el historiador griego Diodoro de Sicilia (s. I a.C.), y la del patriarca Focio de Constantinopla (s. IX). Todo ello, junto a la colección de máximas pitagóricas de origen tardío, llamada Versos de oro, así como el epítome de la enciclopedia bizantina Suda (s. X), forma el presente corpus biográfico-doctrinal de Pitágoras, que era una labor pendiente en el panorama bibliográfico español. David Hernández de la Fuente (Madrid, 1974) es escritor y profesor universitario, especializado en religión griega, antigüedad tardía e historia del platonismo. Doctor en filología clásica y sociología, es autor de los ensayos Oráculos griegos (Alianza) y Bakkhos Anax (CSIC), así como de numerosos artículos en revistas académicas y ediciones de autores clásicos, y ha coordinado la obra colectiva New Perspectives on Late Antiquity (Cambridge Scholars Pub.). Como autor de narrativa ha publicado Las puertas del sueño (Premio de Arte Joven 2005 de la Comunidad de Madrid), Continental (2007) y A cubierto (Premio Diputación de Valencia 2010). Memoria mundi 59 Isbn: 978-84-938466-6-4 440 páginas. (shrink)
Margaret Atwood and David Suzuki are two of the most prominent Canadian public intellectuals involved in the global warming debate. They both argue that anthropogenic global warming is occurring, warn against its grave consequences, and urge governments and the public to take immediate, decisive, extensive, and profound measures to prevent it. They differ, however, in the reasons and evidence they provide in support of their position. While Suzuki stresses the scientific evidence in favour of the global warming theory and (...) the scientific consensus around it, Atwood is suspicious of the objectivity of science, and draws on an idiosyncratic neo-Malthusian theory of human development. Their implicit views about the cognitive authority of science may be identified with Critical Contextual Empiricism and Feminist Standpoint Epistemology, respectively, both of which face difficulties with providing solid grounds for the position they advocate. . (shrink)
Early geological investigations in the St David's area are described, particularly the work of Murchison. In a reconnaissance survey in 1835, he regarded a ridge of rocks at St David's as intrusive in unfossiliferous Cambrian; and the early Survey mapping was conducted on that assumption, leading to the publication of maps in 1845 and 1857. The latter represented the margins of the St David's ridge as ‘Altered Cambrian’. So the supposedly intrusive ‘syenite’ was regarded as younger, and (...) there was no Precambrian. These views were challenged by a local doctor, Henry Hicks, who developed an idea of the ex-Survey palaeontologist John Salter that the rocks of the ridge were stratified and had formed a Precambrian island, round which Cambrian sediments had been deposited. Hicks subsequently proposed subdivision of his Precambrian into ‘Dimetian’, ‘Pebidian’, and ‘Arvonian’, and he attempted correlations with rocks in Shropshire, North Wales, and even North America, seeking to develop the neo-Neptunist ideas of Sterry Hunt. The challenge to the Survey's work was countered in the 1880s by the Director General, Geikie, who showed that Hicks's idea of stratification in the Dimetian was mistaken. A heated controversy developed, several amateur geologists, supported by a group of Cambridge Sedgwickians, forming a coalition of ‘Archaeans’ against the Survey. Geikie was supported by Lloyd Morgan. Attention focused particularly on Ogof Lle-sugn Cave and St Non's Arch, with theory/controversy-ladenness of observations evident on both sides. Evidence from an eyewitness student record of a Geological Society meeting reveals the ‘sanit`ized’ nature of the official summary of the debate in QJGS. Field mapping early in the twentieth century by J. F. N. Green allowed a compromise consensus to be achieved, but Green's evidence for unconformity between the Cambrian and the Dimetian, obtained by excavation, can no longer be verified, and his consensual history of the area may need revision. Unconformity between the Cambrian and the Pebidian tuffs is not in doubt, however, and Precambrian at St David's is accepted. The study exhibits features of geological controversy and the British geological community in the nineteenth century. It also furnishes a further instance of the great influence of Murchison in nineteenth-century British geology and the side-effects of his controversy with Sedgwick. (shrink)
Oliver Johnson’s book is the first attempt to offer a systematic textual analysis of Book 1 of The Treatise, in which he seeks to fill “an important gap in the literature on Hume” by undertaking “the task of going through Book I fully, systematically, and in detail, following directly in the footsteps of Hume”.
In an influential article, A. I. Sabra identified an intellectual trend from twelfth and thirteenth-century Andalusia which he described as the ‘‘Andalusian revolt against Ptolemaic astronomy.” Philosophers such as Ibn Rushd , Ibn Tufayl , and Maimonides objected to Ptolemy’s theories on philosophic grounds, not because of shortcomings in the theories' predictive accuracy. Sabra showed how al-Bitrūjī's Kitāb al-Hay'a attempted to account for observed planetary motions in a way that met the philosophic standards of those philosophers and others. In Nūr (...) al-‘ālam , the subject of this article, Joseph ibn Joseph ibn Nahmias endeavoured to improve upon al-Bitrūjī’s models. Levi Ben Gerson's Hebrew writings on astronomy criticized al-Bitrūjī, but Ibn Nahmias did not mention them. Nūr al-‘ālam deserves attention, too, because it is the first Arabic text on theoretical astronomy by a Jewish author to come to light. In the body of this article, I will describe and analyze Ibn Nahmias’ theory, from Nūr al-‘ālam , for the motion of the sun. (shrink)
Nietzsche and the Origin of Virtue : This book is a discussion of Nietzsche's ethical and political ideas. It is an attempt to be both scholarly and, in a sense, activist. The ultimate point is to see how believers in liberal democracy (like me and most of my readers) should respond to the challenge that Nietzsche represents. As with any profound challenge, one is never the same again after it is overcome. In particular, I suggest that liberals can learn something (...) very important from the ideas that grow out of Nietzsche's early discussion of Homer's notion of agon or Wettkampf (roughly, conflict or competition). (shrink)