This book offers an original new account of one of Aristotle's central doctrines. Freudenthal He recreates from Aristotle's writings a more complete theory of material substance which is able to explain the problematical areas of the way matter organizes itself and the persistence of matter, to show that the hitherto ignored concept of vital heat is as central in explaining material substance as soul or form.
Fortunately, there is heat; and Freudenthal is keen to promote it as an overlooked central factor in Aristotle’s theory of material substance. He begins in agreement with the many scholars who argue that Aristotle’s theory of the four elements underdetermines the plain fact that there are organic substances which exhibit both synchronic and diachronic unity. He goes further than most, however, by arguing that left unaugmented Aristotle’s account of the four basic elements would positively preclude the existence of these forms (...) of unity. For Aristotle embraces the Presocratic picture of the four elements as engaged in “endemic strife”, so constituted that their natural propensities lead them to separate and dissolve rather than to unite and synthesize. Thus, for example, each of the four elements has a natural direction, which ought to result in fire and air ever moving upward and away from earth and water, which will move downward if unimpeded. Hence, as Aristotle himself recognizes, some agent force is required to hold the four elements together when they are mixed. (shrink)
In May 1933 the historian of chemistry Hélène Metzger addressed a letter to the renowned historian and philosopher of science Émile Meyerson, a cri de coeur against Meyerson’s patronizing attitude toward her. This recently discovered letter is published and translated here because it is an exceptional human document reflecting the gender power structure of our discipline in interwar France. At the age of forty‐three, and with five books to her credit, Metzger was still a junior scholar in the exclusively male (...) community of French historians and philosophers of science. We sketch the institutional setting of higher learning in France at the time, noting the limited openings it offered to would‐be femmes savantes, and situate Metzger in this context. We also describe the philosophical differences between Metzger and Meyerson. Though Metzger never managed to obtain a post of her own, in her letter to Meyerson she forcefully lays claim, at least, to a mind of her own. (shrink)
The classic Arabic bibliographies ascribe to al-Farabi a treatise entitled Fi mahiyyat al-nafs (“On the Essence of the Soul”), of which no Arabic manuscript is known to exist. There is however a Hebrew text, translated from the Arabic by Zera[hudot]iah ben She'altiel [Hudot]en of Rome in 1284, which is ascribed to al-Farabi in all the manuscripts and which carries the title Ma'amar be-mahut ha-nefesh (“Treatise on the Essence of the Soul”). Since Steinschneider, this text is taken to be the translation (...) of al-Farabi's treatise lost in the original. In this paper I argue that the Ma'amar be-mahut ha-nefesh is not by al-Farabi: it is in vain that one looks in it for ideas characteristic to the Second Master, while the ideas expressed therein are incompatible with those of al-Farabi. I offer a study of Ma'amar be-mahut ha-nefesh, followed by an annotated translation into French. This is a “popular” Neoplatonic text, whose ideas are mostly very ordinary, but in part uncommon. It notably explains the emergence of forms in matter by positing the existence of a pneuma that by circulating around the body “brings forth” the vegetative and animal souls. The author also draws on an unusual notion called hemshel in Hebrew (a term probably translating the Arabic mithal, rendered as exemplum in Latin): the exemplum is said to become visible as a result of the pneuma's circular motion. The paper is followed by a short Note by Rémi Brague looking into the sources of the treatise. Brague concludes that the text cannot be assigned to any specific tradition. (shrink)
Respect, Pluralism, and Justice is a series of essays which sketch a broadly Kantian framework for moral deliberation, and then use it to address important social and political issues. Hill shows how Kantian theory can be developed to deal with questions about cultural diversity, punishment, political violence, responsibility for the consequences of wrongdoing, and state coercion in a pluralistic society.
An hommage to Gad Freudenthal, this volume offers studies on the history of science and on the role of science in medieval and early-modern Jewish cultures, investigating various aspects of processes of knowledge transfer and scientific cross-cultural contacts,.
The days, not so far back, in which Arabic philosophical works were skimmed essentially with a view of ‘uncovering’ lost gems of Greek philosophy are fortunately behind us. Today these works are studied on their own, as essential building blocks of the history of philosophy. None the less, medieval philosophic works in Arabic continue to allow significant new discoveries concerning the history of Greek philosophy. The same holds, naturally enough, of medieval Hebrew works written by Jewish scholars who lived under (...) the Crescent and accessed Arabic sources. (shrink)
The AIDS epidemic has elicited sometimes conflicting Jewish theological, ethical, and halackhic responses regarding morality, compulsory testing and treatment, and ritual circumcision. Compiled here are 12 major texts, 1986-1995, and the resolutions on AIDS of two US Jewish organizations. Some bibliographic references are in untranslated Hebrew. Annotation copyrighted by Book News, Inc., Portland, OR.