In De Anima II 5, 417a21-b16, Aristotle makes a number of distinctions between types of transitions, affections, and alterations. The objective of this paper is to sort out the relationships between these distinctions by means of determining which of the distinguished types of change can be coextensive and which cannot, and which can overlap and which cannot. From the results of this analysis, an interpretation of 417a21-b16 is then constructed that differs from previous interpretations in certain important respects, chief among (...) which is its characterization of transitions from first potentiality to first actuality, e.g., learning, not as `ordinary', but rather as acquisitions of natural dispositions or faculties. (shrink)
In Physics 4.11, Aristotle discusses a sophistical puzzle in which "being Coriscus-in-the-Lyceum is different from being Coriscus-in-the-market-place." I take this puzzle to threaten the persistence of changing entities. Aristotle's answer to the puzzle is that the changing thing "is the same in respect of that, by (means of) being which at any time it is (what it is), S but in definition it is different." That is, Coriscus may be described as either a persisting substrate or as one or more (...) accidental unities. Described as the former, Coriscus persists, but described as the latter, he does not. (shrink)
This paper defends Aristotle’s project of deriving the order of time from the order of change in Physics 4.11, against the objection that it contains a vicious circularity arising from the assumption that we cannot specify the direction of a change without invoking the temporal relations of its stages. It considers and rejects a solution to this objection proposed by Ursula Coope, and proposes an alternative solution. It also considers the related problem of how the temporal orders and directions derived (...) from individual changes can together constitute a single, globally consistent order and direction of time. (shrink)
Bowin begins with an apparent paradox about Aristotelian infinity: Aristotle clearly says that infinity exists only potentially and not actually. However, Aristotle appears to say two different things about the nature of that potential existence. On the one hand, he seems to say that the potentiality is like that of a process that might occur but isn't right now. Aristotle uses the Olympics as an example: they might be occurring, but they aren't just now. On the other hand, Aristotle says (...) that infinity "exists in actuality as a process that is now occurring" (234). Bowin makes clear that Aristotle doesn't explicitly solve this problem, so we are left to work out the best reading we can. His proposed solution is that "infinity must be...a per se accident...of number and magnitude" (250). (Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2008.07.47). (shrink)
Aristotle, though not the first Greek virtue ethicist, was the first to establish virtue ethics as a distinct philosophical discipline. His exposition of the subject in his Nicomachean Ethics set the terms of subsequent debate in the European and Arabic traditions by proposing a set of plausible assumptions from which virtue ethics should proceed. His conception of human well-being and virtue as well as his brand of ethical naturalism were influential from antiquity through the Middle Ages and continue to be (...) influential today. (shrink)
Aristotle recognizes two modes of apprehending time, viz., perceiving time and grasping time intellectually. This chapter clarifies what is and is not involved in these two modes of apprehending time. It also clarifies the way in which they interact, and argues that, according to Aristotle, one’s intellectual grasp of time has an effect on one’s perception of time for those beings who have intellect.
This paper offers a new interpretation of Aristotle’s identification, in De Anima 2.5, of αἴσθησις with an ἀλλοίωσίς τις that is not ‘a kind of destruction of something by its contrary’. Drawing on a passage from Metaphysics Iota 5, it argues that when so described, what is referred to as an ἀλλοίωσίς τις is not a uniquely perceptual alteration.
At De Anima II 5, 417b17, Aristotle says, ‘The first transition (πρώτη μεταβολή) in that which can perceive is brought about by the parent, and when it is born it already has [the faculty of] sense-perception in the same way as it has knowledge. Actual sense-perception is so spoken of in the same way as contemplation.’ The purpose of this paper is to determine the nature of first transitions.
In 'Chrysippus' Puzzle about Identity', John Bowin (thereafter JB) cogently strengthens David Sedley's reading of the puzzle of Chrysippus as a reductio ad absurdum of the Growing Argument. For Sedley, Chrysippus reduces to absurdity the assumption that matter is the sole principle of identity by refuting its presupposition that the two protagonists of the puzzle, namely Theon and Dion, are related as part to the whole. According to Plutarch's Comm. not. 1083 a8-c1, however, the Growing Argument concludes by posing that (...) growth is actually 'generation' and 'destruction'. In order to avoid the contradiction, Theon should have perished rather than become a part of Dion. JB attempts to answer the questions of whether within the Growing Argument there are elements against Theon being a living part of Dion. He shows that in both Epicharmus' fragment 2 and Plutarch's Comm.not. 1083b 308 "there is nothing to block the inference from matter being the sole principle of identity to the possibility that Theon could be a part of Dion" (246). Again, in exploring whether the above contradiction can be solved, he convincingly argues against Epicharmus' and Plutarch's reading of growth as generation and destruction. In the last part of his article, JB stresses that the reductio ad absurdum of the Growing Argument can be tackled without introducing the concept of 'peculiarly qualified individuals'. (Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2004.04.12). (shrink)
This contribution offers an interpretation of the last half of chapter 1 of book 5 of Aristotle’s Physics in the form of a commentary. Among other things, it attempts an explanation of why Aristotle calls the termini of changes ‘something underlying’ (ὑποκείμενον) and ‘something not underlying’ (μὴ ὑποκείμενον). It also provides an analysis of Aristotle’s argument for the claim that what is not simpliciter does not change in the light of this interpretation.
This paper offers and interpretation of the account given by Philo of Alexandria at De aeternitate mundi 48 (SVF ii. 397) of a puzzle about personal identity created by the Stoic philosopher Chrysippus.
This volume is the product of a pair of conferences on book I of Aristotle’s Physics at Sapienza University of Rome in 2013 and 2015. Each chapter of book I receives a philosophical commentary by a prominent specialist in ancient philosophy. The contributions offer systematic and thorough exegesis, as well as new and interesting solutions to interpretative problems. In what follows, I will focus chiefly on the latter.Diana Quarantotto begins the volume with a discussion of the overall structure, role, and (...) status of book I, and offers a number of considerations in favor of viewing it as “introductory.” Perhaps her most interesting claim is that the principles introduced there are “not distinctly physical,” which... (shrink)
In a nutshell: this volume lives up to the impressive standards of the OSAP series. Throughout the eleven articles and two reviews, the clarity and rigor of argument are of a very high quality. Given the intensity and complexity of the articles, the primary audience will be graduate students and professors. In this issue "ancient philosophy" means Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. The first four articles are on Socrates and Plato; the last seven discuss various topics in Aristotelian studies. This is (...) a shame, but it takes nothing away from the value of these articles themselves. Since OSAP is a journal, I won't try to tie the contents together. Instead, I will briefly summarize the articles.1.. (shrink)