Scholars often regard the 4th century controversy on education as a rivalry between philosophy, which is represented by Plato and Aristotle, and rhetoric, which is represented most prominently by Isocrates. The problem with this view is that it presupposes a distinction between philosophy and rhetoric which seems to be the product rather than the cause of the controversy. In this paper I discuss certain aspects of Isocrates’ thought which allow us to place him in the beginning of a tradition which (...) only later would be recognized as empiricist. Both Plato and Aristotle oppose Isocrates, but their arguments develop in different directions. I argue that Aristotle, who is influenced by Isocrates, provides him with the normative context rhetoric needs in order to qualify as an art. This, however, does not imply that Aristotle subscribes to empiricism. Following Plato, he postulates a realm of real essences grasped by reason which, in Aristotle’s case, ultimately accounts for his view that rhetoric is an offshoot of dialectic. By contrast, Plato bans rhetoric completely from the state, handing over the task of persuasion to the philosopher or the ideal legislator. (shrink)
In this article the treatment of animals by the early Christian and Arabic philosophy has been developed, focusing mainly on the work of Isidore of Seville and Al-Farabi. The contribution of this study is to highlight the insufficiently considered aspects of the ontology of animals and of their endorsement as moral "subjects" in both Latin and Arabic literature up to our days.
In the course of the Complaint, which Thomas Hoccleve composed, probably in 1420, as the first part of his so-called Series, the poet claims to have derived comfort from a certain “lamentacioun of a woful man” which he found in a book. There he read of a dialogue between the woeful man and Reason; and he reports the lamentations of the one and the good advice of the other up to the point at which, he says, the owner of the (...) book asked for it back. This text remained a mystery until, in the 1970 volume of this journal, A. G. Rigg identified it as a work of Isidore of Seville, the Synonyma, commonly subtitled De lamentatione animae peccatricis. This Latin treatise of moral advice and spiritual consolation, though now commonly overshadowed by the same author's Etymologiae, was a work widely read and admired in the Middle Ages. Professor Rigg was assisted in his identification by the fact that five of the six surviving copies of the Complaint accompany the English verse with a series of Latin glosses evidently taken from Hoccleve's source. Consulting the Patrologia Latina text of the Synonyma, Rigg found that these glosses could be matched there more or less exactly, scattered over the first twenty-four paragraphs of that edition. (shrink)
In this article, it is shown that, following the precedent set in particular by Marinus' "Life of Proclus", Damascius, in his "Life of Isidore", uses biography so as to illustrate philosophical progress through the Neoplatonic scale of virtues. Damascius applies this scale, however, to a wide range of figures belonging to pagan philosophical circles of the fifth century AD: they show different degrees and forms of progress in this scale and thus provide an edificatory panorama of patterns of philosophical (...) perfection. Each level of the scale of virtues is shown to be exemplified in Damascius' biographies. It is suggested that few, in Damascius' opinion, reached the highest levels of virtue and that philosophical decline is intimated in his descriptions of his contemporaries. (shrink)
That Isidore′s etymological encyclopaedia should still remain to be edited seems strange at first sight; a book which makes a bridge between ancient and modern learning, and gives us a picture of the arts and sciences in Spain in the seventh century. Arevalo′s edition has a fair text, but practically no apparatus criticus; Otto′s offers the variants of a few worthless MSS. to support a very poor text. Since Otto′s, published some eighty years ago, there have been promises of (...) editions, but no actual edition. (shrink)
Étude de l'influence sur les commentateurs du Haut Moyen Âge des ouvrages d'Ambroise sur la Genèse. Leur impact fut profond, mais d'un autre côté il semble qu'ils n'étaient pas amplement lus. Cette impression est confirmée par la tradition manuscrite. Claude de Turin découvrit certaines des sources des commentaires d'Isidore sur la Genèse, au nombre desquelles figure Ambroise.
This essay identifies the source, and traces both the subsequent use and the changing definition, of the expression instinctu naturae in the early history of natural law discourse. It also examines the later assimilation and endurance of the expression in English, as well as the efforts of Hobbes to proscribe the use, and Locke to limit the meaning, of the term instinct.Initially serving simply to predicate a divine stimulus as the source of human knowledge of the natural law-natura, id est (...) Deus-instinctu naturae was later understood to refer to an instinct of human nature, that is, an instinct of the reason that defined human nature, an intuitive instinct that recognized immediately, in a pre-deliberative, non-discursive way, the self-evident practical principles of the moral order, once their terms were understood. (shrink)