This paper argues that the duality of phantasia consists not in its being divided between two faculties, but in its being the meeting point of two representations. First it is argued that Plotinus’ theory, according to which the representation is a judgement, rests on his reading of Theaetetus 184c–187a and its criticism in De Anima III, 2–3. Second, it is argued that the ‘image’ in which the Plotinian representation consists follows the perceptual judgement instead of preceding it. Third, it is argued that there is neither a sub-sensitive faculty of phantasia nor a sub-sensitive representation. Then, the exteriority of the objects of representation with respect to the soul is discussed. Finally, an interpretation is proposed concerning the necessity for Plotinus to posit two representations of the same object.
Aristotle claims that Empedocles took perception and knowledge to be the same; Theophrastus follows Aristotle. The paper begins by examining why Aristotle and Theophrastus identify thought/knowing with perception in Empedocles. I maintain that the extant fragments do not support the assertion that Empedocles identifies or conflates sensation with thought or cognition. Indeed, the evidence of the texts shows that Empedocles is careful to distinguish them, and argues that to have genuine understanding one must not be misled into supposing that sense perception is sufficient for knowledge. Nevertheless, sense perception is necessary for human knowing.
There seems to be tension between portrayals of Socrates as both a committed philosopher and a pious man. For instance, one might doubt Socrates’ commitment to philosophy since he seems to irrationally defer to a daimonion. On the other hand, the fact that he challenges messages from Oracles (Apology 21–22) and the gods’ role concerning the origin of the pious (Euthyphro 10–15) draws into question Socrates’ piety. In this paper, I argue that Socratic piety and rationality are not only compatible, but they are also symbiotic. Socrates could not be rational without being pious, nor could he be pious without being rational because, for him, care and curiosity are intimately intertwined. In this regard, Socrates’ epistemology, when applied, resembles Karl Popper’s falsificationism. For Socrates, maintaining human wisdom amounts to regular purification of one’s belief-system. In addition, this maintenance is functionally identical to caring for one’s soul, which is morally imperative.
Sextus responds to the Dogmatists’ criticism that the Sceptics cannot investigate Dogmatic theses, formulating his own version of Meno’s puzzle against them. He thus forces them to adopt υοεῐυ ἁπλῶς – a way of thinking that does not carry any commitment to the reality of what someone thinks – as their only solution to the puzzle and as the necessary starting point of their investigation. Nοεῐυ ἁπλῶς avoids Dogmatic assumptions without making use of the Sceptical argumentation that leads to suspension of judgment. It constitutes a novel answer to Meno’s puzzle, Dogmatism- and Scepticism-free, with important consequences both for Dogmatism and for Scepticism.
The opening discussion of the Meno features a halting conversation in which Meno struggles at length to answer Socrates’ question, “What is Virtue?” Whereas Socrates demands a unitary account, presenting Virtue as one, Meno repeatedly speaks of Virtue in plurality. Through the opposing sides of this conflict, Plato highlights impediments that appear to prevent ordinary speakers from inquiring into nature. These include the fallibility of ordinary beliefs and statements, and the inability of ordinary speakers to countenance properties as entities in their own right. In an argument often overlooked by interpreters, Plato reveals commitments implicit in ordinary discourse by which these impediments are overcome. As this argument shows, ordinary speakers such as Meno take their own terms to speak univocally and truly about a plurality of items. This is sufficient basis to proceed in dialectic, and to inquire into nature, through language.