João Rodolfo Munhoz Ohara
In a late treatise, That the Capacities of the Soul Follow the Mixtures of the Body (QAM), Galen of Pergamum infamously offered the view that the substance of the soul is identical with a bodily mixture. This thesis has been found radical and extreme in modern scholarship and is generally considered to be at odds with Galen’s ‘agnosticism’ on the substance of soul. In this paper I propose a close reading of QAM that allows us to make sense of it in terms of Galen’s other work, including his late work On My Own Opinions (De Propriis Placitis).
This article focusses on the generality of the entities involved in a geometric proof of the kind found in ancient Greek treatises: it shows that the standard modern translation of Greek mathematical propositions falsifies crucial syntactical elements, and employs an incorrect conception of the denotative letters in a Greek geometric proof; epigraphic evidence is adduced to show that these denotative letters are ‘letter-labels’. On this basis, the article explores the consequences of seeing that a Greek mathematical proposition is fully general, and the ontological commitments underlying the stylistic practice.
Hendrik Lorenz and Benjamin Morison
Aristotle takes practical wisdom and arts or crafts to be forms of knowledge which, we argue, can usefully be thought of as ‘empiricist’. This empiricism has two key features: knowledge does not rest on grasping unobservable natures or essences; and knowledge does not rest on grasping logical relations that hold among propositions. Instead, knowledge rests on observation, memory, experience and everyday uses of reason. While Aristotle’s conception of theoretical knowledge does require grasping unobservable essences and logical relations that hold among suitable propositions, his conception of practical and productive knowledge avoids such requirements and is consistent with empiricism.
There is little agreement about Aristotle’s philosophy of geometry, partly due to the textual evidence and partly part to disagreement over what constitutes a plausible view. I keep separate the questions ‘What is Aristotle’s philosophy of geometry?’ and ‘Is Aristotle right?’, and consider the textual evidence in the context of Greek geometrical practice, and show that, for Aristotle, plane geometry is about properties of certain sensible objects—specifically, dimensional continuity—and certain properties possessed by actual and potential compass-and-straightedge drawings qua quantitative and continuous. For their part, the objects of stereometry are potential sensible three-dimensional figures qua quantitative and continuous.
David Bronstein and Whitney Schwab
Plato in the Meno is standardly interpreted as committed to condition innatism: human beings are born with latent innate states of knowledge. Against this view, Gail Fine has argued for prenatalism: human souls possess knowledge in a disembodied state but lose it upon being embodied. We argue against both views and in favor of content innatism: human beings are born with innate cognitive contents that can be, but do not exist innately in the soul as, the contents of states of knowledge. Content innatism has strong textual support and constitutes a philosophically interesting theory.
The kind of self-knowledge at issue in the eye-soul analogy of the Alcibiades (132d5-133c7) is knowledge of one’s epistemic state, i.e. what one knows and does not know, rather than knowledge of what one is. My evidence for this is the connection between knowledge of one’s epistemic state and self-improvement, the equivalence of self-knowledge to moderation, and the fact that ‘looking’ into the soul of another is a metaphor for elenctic discussion. The final lines of the analogy (133c1-7) clarify that the part of the soul one ‘looks’ into and the part one learns about when learning about one’s epistemic state is divine.
A growing number of scholars have seen that the Republic’s division of goods includes goods which possess value δι᾽ αὑτό in virtue of some of their causal effects. Building on this, I argue that goods, including justice, which are valuable διὰ τὰ γιγνόµενα ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ (and whose effects can contribute to the value a good has δι᾽ αὑτό) are so in virtue of a limited class of beneficial effects: those that depend on the recognition of other agents. This way of dividing goods explains why Socrates legitimately invokes some effects of justice in his demonstration that justice is valuable δι᾽ αὑτό.