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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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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.