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Plato’s Timaeus and the Missing Fourth Guest

Finding the Harmony of the Spheres

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Donna M. Altimari Adler

In Plato's Timaeus and the Missing Fourth Guest, Donna M. Altimari Adler proposes a new Timaeus scale structure. She finds the harmonic cosmos in Plato's text, mathematically, regarding it as a number generator. Plato's primary number sequence, she argues, yields a matrix defining a sophisticated harmony of the spheres. She stresses the Decad as the pattern governing both human perception and the generation of all things, in the text, including the World Soul and musical scale symbolizing it. She precisely identifies Plato's "fabric" and its locus of severance and solves other thorny problems of interpretation, e.g., properly naming the sets of three and four bands, born of splitting the band of difference, and explaining their differing motions and speeds.
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Essen im antiken Judentum und Urchristentum

Diskurse zur sozialen Bedeutung von Tischgemeinschaft, Speiseverboten und Reinheitsvorschriften

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Christina Eschner

In Essen im antiken Judentum und Urchristentum Christina Eschner examines the Early Christian disputes about the Jewish law against the background of Ancient Jewish discourses on commands of the law, in order to situate the Early Christian practice of the law within its broader context. Jewish sources include the Dead Sea Scrolls, Jewish writings in Greek and early rabbinic texts. This study focusses on rules concerning prohibited food, table fellowship and the permissible way of food intake. Pagan traditions are also considered. Thus, the work has an interdisciplinary orientation, discussing issues at the junction of New Testament studies, Classics, Ancient History and Jewish studies. It concludes that Early Christian food discourses do not aim for the complete abolition of the law. In Essen im antiken Judentum und Urchristentum untersucht Christina Eschner die Auseinandersetzungen zum jüdischen Gesetz innerhalb des Urchristentums vor dem Hintergrund der im antiken Judentum belegten Diskurse zu Gesetzesanordnungen, um die urchristliche Praxis des Gesetzes in ihrem größeren Rahmen zu erheben. Dabei finden Schriften aus Qumran, dem griechischsprachigen und dem rabbinischen Judentum Berücksichtigung. Der Fokus liegt auf Vorschriften zu verbotenen Speisen, zur Tischgemeinschaft und zur erlaubten Art und Weise der Nahrungsaufnahme. Auch pagane Traditionen werden einbezogen. Damit ist diese Studie besonders interdisziplinär ausgerichtet. Sie bewegt sich an der Schnittstelle zwischen Themenfeldern der neutestamentlichen Wissenschaft, der Altphilologie, der Alten Geschichte und der Judaistik. Dabei kommt sie zu dem Ergebnis, dass die urchristlichen Diskurse zum Essen nicht auf eine vollständige Abschaffung des Gesetzes zielen.
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The School of Doubt

Skepticism, History and Politics in Cicero's Academica

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Orazio Cappello

The School of Doubt conducts a close philological and philosophical reading of Cicero’s Academica, a fragmentary work on sense-perception and Academic history written in the wake of Caesar’s victory in the civil wars (45 BCE). Focusing in turn on the author’s letters discussing the process of composition, the historiographical treatment of the Platonic tradition and the critical exploration of philosophical doubt, this volume presents Cicero as an original and sophisticated historian of philosophy and a radical figure in Western skeptical thought. Widely misconstrued as a technical treatise and a mere chronicle of the Greek debates on which it draws, the Academica here emerges as a key work in the evolution of Ciceronian philosophy and of ancient skepticism – and one that responds directly to the disintegration of Republican Rome.
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Perspektiven der Philosophie

Neues Jahrbuch. Band 44 – 2018

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Perspektiven der Philosophie. Neues Jahrbuch eröffnet Forschern, denen die philosophische Begründung des Denkens wichtig ist, eine Publikationsmöglichkeit. Wir verstehen uns nicht als Schulorgan einer philosophischen Lehrmeinung, sondern sehen unsere Aufgabe darin, an der Intensivierung des wissenschaftlichen Philosophierens mitzuwirken. Besonders fördern wir den wissenschaftlichen Nachwuchs und laden ihn zur Mitarbeit ein. Beitragende sind Jutta Georg, Georges Goedert, Christina Kast, Salvatore Lavecchia, Cordelia Mühlenbeck, Peter Nickl, Rebecca Paimann, Leonhard G. Richter, Tina Röck, Alfred Rohloff, Werner Schmitt, Harald Seubert, Thorsten Streubel und Andreas Woyke.
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Galen’s Theory of Black Bile

Hippocratic Tradition, Manipulation, Innovation

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Keith Andrew Stewart

In Galen’s Theory of Black Bile: Hippocratic Tradition, Manipulation, Innovation Keith Stewart investigates Galen’s writing on black bile to explain health and disease and shows that Galen sometimes presented this humour as three substances with different properties that can either be harmful or beneficial to the body. Keith Stewart analyses the most important treatises for Galen’s physical description and characteristion of black bile and challenges certain views on the development of this humour, such as the importance of the content of the Hippocratic On the Nature of Man. This analysis allows us to understand how and why Galen defines and uses black bile in different ways for his arguments that cannot always be reconciled with the content of his sources.
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Eris vs. Aemulatio

Valuing Competition in Classical Antiquity

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Competition is everywhere in antiquity. It took many forms: the upper class competed with their peers and with historical and mythological predecessors; artists of all kinds emulated generic models and past masterpieces; philosophers and their schools vied with one another to give the best interpretation of the world; architects and doctors tried to outdo their fellow craftsmen. Discord and conflict resulted, but so did innovation, social cohesion, and political stability. In Hesiod's view Eris was not one entity but two, the one a “grievous goddess,” the other an “aid to men.” Eris vs. Aemulatio examines the functioning and effect of competition in ancient society, in both its productive and destructive aspects.
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The Derveni Papyrus

Unearthing Ancient Mysteries

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The Derveni Papyrus: Unearthing Ancient Mysteries is devoted to this fascinating and challenging document, discovered in 1962 in a tomb in Derveni, near Thessaloniki, and dated c. 340-320 BCE. It contains a text probably written at the end of 5th c. BCE, which after some reflections on minor divinities and unusual cults, comments upon a poem attributed to Orpheus from an allegorical and philosophical perspective. This volume focuses on the restoration and conservation of the papyrus, the ideas of the anonymous author about Erinyes and daimons, the quoted Orphic poem in comparison with Hesiod’s Theogony and Parmenides’ poem, the exegetical approach of the commentator, his cosmogonic system, his attitude regarding mystery cults and his peculiar theology.
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For six centuries, Plato has held German philosophy in his grip. Brill’s Companion to German Platonism examines how German thinkers have interpreted Plato and how in turn he has decisively influenced their thought. Under the editorship of Alan Kim, this companion gathers the work of scholars from four continents, writing on figures from Cusanus and Leibniz to Husserl and Heidegger. Taken together, their contributions reveal a characteristic pattern of “transcendental” interpretations of the mind’s relation to the Platonic Forms. In addition, the volume examines the importance that the dialogue form itself has assumed since the nineteenth century, with essays on Schleiermacher, the Tübingen School, and Gadamer. Brill’s Companion to German Platonism presents both Plato and his German interpreters in a fascinating new light.
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Aristotle on Prescription

Deliberation and Rule-Making in Aristotle’s Practical Philosophy

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Francesca Alesse

The focus of Aristotle on Prescription is Aristotle’s reflections on rule-making. It is widely believed that Aristotle was only concerned with decision-making, understood as a deliberative process enabling a person to arrive at particular, contingent decisions. However, rule-making is fundamental to Aristotle’s ethical texts. Establishing rules means indicating patterns for action that are sufficiently specific to meet situational difficulties and sufficiently constant in time to provide us with a code of behaviour to be used in similar situations. When we prescribe rules, we demonstrate the ability to direct not only our own life but also other people’s lives. Alesse’s book explores Aristotle’s deep reflections on the nature and functions of prescription, and on the relationship between rules and individual decisions.