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A Greek and Arabic Lexicon (GALex)

Materials for a Dictionary of the Mediaeval Translations from Greek into Arabic. Volume 1 (Alif) أ to ي Second, Revised Edition


Edited by Gerhard Endress and Dimitri Gutas

From the eighth to the tenth century A.D., Greek scientific and philosophical works were translated wholesale into Arabic. This activity resulted in the incorporation and reorganization of the classical heritage in the new civilization which, using Arabic, spread with Islam.
A Greek and Arabic Lexicon is the first systematic attempt to present in an analytical and rationalized way our knowledge of the vocabulary of the translations. It is based on the glossaries included in text editions, both published and unpublished, and on other materials gleaned from various sources. The work is published in fascicules of 128 pages of lexical entries plus indexes of the Greek-Arabic correspondences, of Greek proper names and transliterated words, of variant Greek and Arabic passages, and of the Greek authors cited in the context passages. From the second fascicule onwards the indexes are cumulative.
A Greek and Arabic Lexicon is an indispensable reference tool for the study and understanding of Arabic scientific and philosophical language and literature. It facilitates the preparation of future editions of Arabic texts translated directly from the Greek, as well as of works originally composed in Arabic but based on the translations. It contributes to our knowledge of the vocabulary and syntax of Classical and Middle Arabic, of the thought and methods of the translators and of the nature of the translation activity into Arabic methods of the translators and of the nature of the translation activity into Arabic as a whole, and of the way a new vocabulary may develop in an existing language.
Moreover, the Greek-Arabic glossary in general and the index of variant Greek passages in particular will assist in future editions of the Greek text of the works translated into Arabic. These provide information, in a way that can be used by classical scholars who do not know Arabic, on the readings of the manuscripts which were used by the Arab translators and which antedate by more than two centuries the Greek manuscripts actually extant. The work further contributes to our knowledge of the vocabulary of Classical and Middle Greek and of the reception and reading of classical Greek works in late antiquity and pre-Photian Byzantine literature.

Alex Long

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.

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.

Mark Sentesy


This paper clarifies the way Aristotle uses generation (γένεσις) to establish the priority of activity (ἐνέργεια) in time and in being. It opens by examining the concept of genetic priority. The argument for priority in beinghood has two parts. The first part is a synthetic argument that accomplishment (τέλος) is the primary kind of source (ἀρχή), an argument based on the structure of generation. The second part engages three critical objections to the claim that activity could be an accomplishment: (i) activity appears to lack its own structure; (ii) activity is different in kind from the object it accomplishes; and (iii) activity is external to its accomplishment. Aristotle responds to these objections by analyzing the structure of generation. In the course of the argument, Aristotle establishes that beinghood and form are activity.

Erica A. Holberg


Aristotle repeatedly qualifies the pleasure of courageous actions relative to other kinds of virtuous actions. This article argues that the pleasure of courageous actions is qualified because virtuous activity and its pleasure is dependent upon external conditions, and the external conditions of courageous actions are particularly constraining. The article shows that Curzer’s explanation of the qualified pleasure of courageous actions by the presence of pain violates Aristotle’s commitment to virtuous actions as being pleasant by their nature.