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Ancient Perspectives on Aristotles De anima

Gerd Van Riel, Pierre Destrée (eds)

Aristotle’s treatise On the Soul figures among the most influential texts in the intellectual history of the West. It is the first systematic treatise on the nature and functioning of the human soul, presenting Aristotle’s authoritative analyses of, among others, sense perception, imagination, memory, and intellect. The ongoing debates on this difficult work continue the commentary tradition that dates back to antiquity. This volume offers a selection of papers by distinguished scholars, exploring the ancient perspectives on Aristotle’s De anima, from Aristotle’s earliest successors through the Aristotelian Commentators at the end of Antiquity. It constitutes a twin publication with a volume entitled Medieval Perspectives on Aristotle’s De anima (to be published in the Series ‘Philosophes Médiévaux’, Peeters Publ.), both volumes appearing to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the De Wulf Mansion Centre for Ancient, Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy at K.U. Leuven and U.C. Louvain. Contributions by: Enrico Berti, Klaus Corcilius, Frans de Haas, Andrea Falcon, Patrick Macfarlane, Pierre-Marie Morel, Ronald Polansky, R.W. Sharples, Nathanael Stein, Annick Stevens, Joel Yurdin, Marco Zingano.

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Aquinas on Being and Essence

A Translation and Interpretation

Joseph Bobik

In Aquinas on Being and Essence: A Translation and Interpretation, Joseph Bobik interprets the doctrines put forth by St. Thomas Aquinas in his treatise On Being and Essence. He foregrounds the meaning of the important distinction between first and second intentions, the differing uses of the term “matter,” and the Thomistic conception of metaphysics.

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Aristotle belongs to the small class of philosophers who were not only influential in a particular field of philosophy but also shaped the profile of every philosophical discipline. In this book Otfried Höffe provides a comprehensive introduction to the life and work of Aristotle, covering well-known Aristotelian topics such as ethics, politics, and metaphysics as well as the less familiar, such as biology, psychology, and rhetoric. Höffe also compares Aristotle to other major figures in the history of European (especially German) philosophy, making connections to Kant and Hegel that are particularly insightful. A picture of Aristotle emerges as a philosopher who is much more modern than previously thought, one whose writings are still relevant today and continue to make valuable contributions to many contemporary philosophical debates.

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Aristotle and Other Platonists

Lloyd P. Gerson

"Aristotle versus Plato. For a long time that is the angle from which the tale has been told, in textbooks on the history of philosophy and to university students. Aristotle's philosophy, so the story goes, was au fond in opposition to Plato's. But it was not always thus."—from the Introduction In a wide-ranging book likely to cause controversy, Lloyd P. Gerson sets out the case for the "harmony" of Platonism and Aristotelianism, the standard view in late antiquity. He aims to show that the twentieth-century view that Aristotle started out as a Platonist and ended up as an anti-Platonist is seriously flawed. Gerson examines the Neoplatonic commentators on Aristotle based on their principle of harmony. In considering ancient studies of Aristotle's Categories, Physics, De Anima, Metaphysics, and Nicomachean Ethics, the author shows how the principle of harmony allows us to understand numerous texts that otherwise appear intractable. Gerson also explains how these "esoteric" treatises can be seen not to conflict with the early "exoteric" and admittedly Platonic dialogues of Aristotle. Aristotle and Other Platonists concludes with an assessment of some of the philosophical results of acknowledging harmony.

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His Life and School

Carlo Natali

This definitive biography shows that Aristotle's philosophy is best understood on the basis of a firm knowledge of his life and of the school he founded. First published in Italian, and now translated, updated, and expanded for English readers, this concise chronological narrative is the most authoritative account of Aristotle's life and his Lyceum available in any language. Gathering, distilling, and analyzing all the evidence and previous scholarship, Carlo Natali, one of the world's leading Aristotle scholars, provides a masterful synthesis that is accessible to students yet filled with evidence and original interpretations that specialists will find informative and provocative.

Cutting through the controversy and confusion that have surrounded Aristotle's biography, Natali tells the story of Aristotle's eventful life and sheds new light on his role in the foundation of the Lyceum. Natali offers the most detailed and persuasive argument yet for the view that the school, an important institution of higher learning and scientific research, was designed to foster a new intellectual way of life among Aristotle's followers, helping them fulfill an aristocratic ideal of the best way to use the leisure they enjoyed. Drawing a wealth of connections between Aristotle's life and thinking, Natali demonstrates how the two are mutually illuminating.

For this edition, ancient texts have been freshly translated on the basis of the most recent critical editions; indexes have been added, including a comprehensive index of sources and an index to previous scholarship; and scholarship that has appeared since the book's original publication has been incorporated.

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Aristotle's Concept of Chance

Accidents, Cause, Necessity, and Determinism

The first exhaustive study of Aristotle's concept of chance. This landmark book is the first to provide a comprehensive account of Aristotle’s concept of chance. Chance is invoked by many to explain order in the universe, the origins of life, even human freedom and happiness. An understanding of Aristotle’s concept of chance is indispensable for an appreciation of his views on nature and ethics, views which have had a tremendous influence on the development of Western philosophy. Author John Dudley analyzes Aristotle’s account of chance in the Physics, the Metaphysics, in his biological and ethical treatises, and in a number of his other works as well. Important complementary considerations such as Aristotle’s criticism of Presocratic philosophers, particularly Empedocles and Democritus, Plato’s concept of chance, the chronology of Aristotle’s works, and the relevance of Aristotle’s work to evolution and quantum theory are also covered in depth. This is an essential book for scholars and students of Western philosophy.

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Aristotle's Ethics

Writings from the Complete Works


Aristotle’s moral philosophy is a pillar of Western ethical thought. It bequeathed to the world an emphasis on virtues and vices, happiness as well-being or a life well lived, and rationally motivated action as a mean between extremes. Its influence was felt well beyond antiquity into the Middle Ages, particularly through the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas. In the past century, with the rise of virtue theory in moral philosophy, Aristotle’s ethics has been revived as a source of insight and interest. While most attention has traditionally focused on Aristotle’s famous Nicomachean Ethics, there are several other works written by or attributed to Aristotle that illuminate his ethics: the Eudemian Ethics, the Magna Moralia, and Virtues and Vices.

This book brings together all four of these important texts, in thoroughly revised versions of the translations found in the authoritative complete works universally recognized as the standard English edition. Edited and introduced by two of the world’s leading scholars of ancient philosophy, this is an essential volume for anyone interested in the ethical thought of one of the most important philosophers in the Western tradition.

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Aristotle's "Rhetoric"

David J. Furley

In the field of philosophy, Plato's view of rhetoric as a potentially treacherous craft has long overshadowed Aristotle's view, which focuses on rhetoric as an independent discipline that relates in complex ways to dialectic and logic and to ethics and moral psychology. This volume, composed of essays by internationally renowned philosophers and classicists, provides the first extensive examination of Aristotle's Rhetoric and its subject matter in many years. One aim is to locate both Aristotle's treatise and its subject within the more general context of his philosophical treatment of other disciplines, including moral and political theory as well as poetics. The contributors also seek to illuminate the structure of Aristotle's own conception of rhetoric as presented in his treatise.

The first section of the book, which deals with the arguments of rhetoric, contains essays by M. F. Burnyeat and Jacques Brunschwig. A section treating the status of the art of rhetoric features pieces by Eckart Schütrumpf, Jürgen Sprute, M. M. McCabe, and Glenn W. Most. Essays by John M. Cooper, Stephen Halliwell, and Jean-Louis Labarrière address topics related to rhetoric, ethics, and politics. The final section, on rhetoric and literary art, comprises essays by Alexander Nehamas and André Laks.

Originally published in 1994.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

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Augustine and Academic Skepticism

A Philosophical Study

by Blake D. Dutton

Among the most important, but frequently neglected, figures in the history of debates over skepticism is Augustine of Hippo (354–430 CE). His early dialogue, Against the Academics, together with substantial material from his other writings, constitutes a sustained attempt to respond to the tradition of skepticism with which he was familiar. This was the tradition of Academic skepticism, which had its home in Plato's Academy and was transmitted to the Roman world through the writings of Cicero (106–43 BCE). Augustine and Academic Skepticism is the first comprehensive treatment of Augustine’s critique of Academic skepticism. In clear and accessible prose, Blake D. Dutton presents that critique as a serious work of philosophy and engages with it precisely as such.

While Dutton provides an extensive review of Academic skepticism and Augustine’s encounter with it, his primary concern is to articulate and evaluate Augustine’s strategy to discredit Academic skepticism as a philosophical practice and vindicate the possibility of knowledge against the Academic denial of that possibility. In doing so, he sheds considerable light on Augustine’s views on philosophical inquiry and the acquisition of knowledge.

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Augustine and the Cure of Souls

Revising a Classical Ideal

Paul R. Kolbet

Augustine and the Cure of Souls situates Augustine within the ancient philosophical tradition of using words to order emotions. Paul Kolbet uncovers a profound continuity in Augustine’s thought, from his earliest pre-baptismal writings to his final acts as bishop, revealing a man deeply indebted to the Roman past and yet distinctly Christian. Rather than supplanting his classical learning, Augustine’s Christianity reinvigorated precisely those elements of Roman wisdom that he believed were slipping into decadence. In particular, Kolbet addresses the manner in which Augustine not only used classical rhetorical theory to express his theological vision, but also infused it with theological content. This book offers a fresh reading of Augustine’s writings—particularly his numerous, though often neglected, sermons—and provides an accessible point of entry into the great North African bishop’s life and thought.

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