The presence of slavery in Plato’s political and ethical thought is marked by two contrary tendencies: one signals the conventional character of statutory slavery and tends to reduce the moral boundary between free people and servile people; the other one, going in the opposite direction, strongly reaffirms the functional frontier between these two categories, and makes it impassable. What does this double gesture of integration and exclusion of slavery mean with respect to Plato’s political thought? My claim, based on the analysis of a passage in Book vi of the Laws and some excerpts from the Statesman, is the following: for Plato, the statutory slavery fulfills the function of drawing the inner civic boundary on which the political field must be built if it is to have a true conceptual autonomy, by contrast with what contributes to its construction but without being fully political.
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Vivianne de Castilho Moreira
This article is intended to examine the lines 1006a34-b9 of Metaphysics Γ 4, where Aristotle conjectures and discusses an objection to the very first step of his proof of the principle of the most universal science. As we shall see in detail, this objection consists in claiming that the meaning of a word is multiple, so that it is not possible for a word to have one single meaning, contrarily to what it seems to be required for one to say something. As we shall also see, some crucial aspects of aristotelian notion of meaning emerge in this context, among which those related to the unity proper to it.
This paper takes issue with the thesis of Rashed and Auffret that the Critias that has come down to us is not a genuine dialogue of Plato. Authors do not consider the style of the Critias, which should be a factor in any complete study of authorship. It observes the widespread consensus that the style of the Timaeus and Critias are virtually inseparable. It surveys a wide range of stylistic studies that have tended to confirm this, before answering a possible objection that cites the similarity of style between the genuine Laws and Philip of Opus’ Epinomis. Since the main argument used by Rashed and Auffret relies on an inconsistency between Timaeus and Critias consideration is given to the types of inconsistency found within Platonic dialogues and sequences of dialogues, particularly the hiatus-avoiding dialogues including Timaeus itself and Laws. Finally, alternative explanations of the alleged inconsistency are offered.
This paper argues that the strong relationship between moral truth and knowledge is the main feature of Socrates’ philosophy and what makes him the real discoverer of ethics. In particular, this point explains the peculiar knowledge model adopted by Socrates, who, while admitting to be aware of his ignorance, shows instead his deep knowledge in a series of philosophical domains. Moreover, all this process makes the Socratic concept of anthropine sophia something dynamic and essential for philosophical inquiry. At the beginning, the paper also provides a new look at the so-called Socratic question.
This paper concerns three chief aspects of Xenocrates’ exegetical activity as head of the Platonic Academy, his interpretation of certain key passages of Plato, his appropriation of Pythagoras and the Pythagorean tradition, and his exegesis of the poets, notably Homer, Hesiod and the Orphic poems, thus setting the stage for later developments in Platonism.
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Régis Lefort's study of Bernard Vargaftig (1934-2012) highlights the pictorial character of his poems and the musical composition of his work. Lefort locates in the phenomenon of reversal, so frequently enacted by Vargaftig, a poetic aesthetic and the very identity of the poem. Beginning with the last line and working back to the first, the poet burrows deep into the language of the poem to identify its source. Reversal is also a means of destruction, of entering into an avalanche, in order to rebuild the poem and go towards the dawn of words. It marks in the work the omnipresence of Hebrew culture, according to which the search for the real can reveal no truth, since all truth is inaccessible to human reason, but rather entails an upheaval of knowledge that is in itself the very condition of ontological knowledge.
This book is the first comprehensive study of Hittite phonology conducted from a descriptive perspective and the first to use the results of experimental phonetics and phonological typology. In spite of problems probably destined to remain unsolved, this study shows that it is possible to rationally analyze a description of the phonological structure of words.