Aristotle holds that it was Socrates who first made frequent, systematic use of epagôgç in his elenctic investigations of various definitions of the virtues (Meta. 1078b7–32). Plato and Xenophon also target epagôgç as an innovative, distinguishing mark of Socratic methodology when they have Socrates' interlocutors complain that Socrates prattles on far too much about "his favorite topic" (Mem. 1.2.37)—blacksmiths, cobblers, cooks, physicians, and other such tiresome craftspeople—in order to generate and test general principles concerning the alleged craft of virtue. It is remarkable, then, how little secondary literature exists on this subject—moreover, several of the few accounts we do have naively assume that epagôgç is the same as modern inductive generalization. Others are in conflict as to whether, for example, we can find any legitimate instances of probabilistic inductive epagôgç in the Socratic dialogues. This paper addresses these and other issues by offering a new, critical account of Socratic epagôgç—one tied to its occurrences in several key Socratic elenchoi.
The traditional "doctrinal" approach to interpreting Plato's dialogues has been criticized in recent literature on grounds that it can neither account for the structural complexities of the dialogues nor resolve conflicts within or between dialogues. Accordingly, a non-doctrinal, dramatic approach has been offered in its place. In response to this literature, I argue that, though the doctrinal approach is flawed, the non-doctrinal, dramatic approach does not provide a viable alternative. Instead, I offer a revised doctrinal approach based upon Socrates' discussion of "summoners" in Republic 522e–525a and supported by the Meno.
I argue that for Aquinas philosophy is a necessary tool of theology and that philosophy is not changed by its theological context. Rather, the subalternation of disciplines results in a reciprocal relation between philosophy and theology. This is understood in terms of the distinction between what is better known in itself and what is better known to us. This view is defended by (1) reinterpreting Aquinas' use of the metaphor of the water of philosophy being transformed into the wine of theology; and (2) his position that the theological use of philosophy is an instance of grace perfecting nature.
This article focuses on one aspect of the late mediaeval debate over divine power, as it was discussed by Oxford philosophers Walter Chatton (d. 1343) and William Ockham (d. 1347). Chatton and Ockham would have agreed, for example, that God is ultimately responsible for the existence of the works of Pablo Picasso, but they would not agree over wheher it violates God's omnipotence to say that he cannot make something that Picasso made, for example, the painting Guernica, without using Picasso himself as an intermediate cause. The context of their dispute was a larger debate regarding the ontological status of relations. This article (1) explains how these two issues, omnipotence and relations, became so interestingly tangled together, (2) tries to see which of the two men mentioned above got the better of their exchange, and finally (3) draws out some important consequences for fourteenth-century discussions of causality, occasionalism, and omnipotence.
Berkeley's Essay Towards a New Theory of Vision presents a theory of various aspects of the spatial content of visual experience that attempts to undercut not only the optico-geometric accounts of e.g., Descartes and Malebranche, but also elements of the empiricist account of Locke. My task in this paper is to shed light on some features of Berkeley's account that have not been adequately appreciated. After rehearsing a more detailed Lockean critique of the notion that depth is a proper object of vision, Berkeley directs arguments he takes to be entirely parallel against the notion that vision has two-dimensional planar contents as proper objects. I show that this argument fails due to an illicit slide unnoticed by both Berkeley and his commentators—a slide present but innocuously so in the case of depth. Berkeley's positive account, according to which the apparent spatial content of vision is a matter of associations between, on the one hand, tactile and motor contents, and on the other hand non-spatial visual contents, also fails because of an illicit slide—again, unnoticed by Berkeley and his commentators. I close by discerning the salvageable and correct core of Berkeley's theory of the spatiality of vision.
Establishing and defending the Christian faith serves as both a guide and a limit to Berkeley's intriguing metaphysics. I take Berkeley seriously when he says that his aim is to promote the consideration of God and the truth of Christianity. In this paper I discuss and engage Berkeley's superficially weak argument (which I call the natural analogy argument) in defense of the plausibility of the doctrine of bodily resurrection. When his immaterialist resources are properly applied, the argument has more merit than one might initially believe. I conclude by speculating that Berkeley had reason to believe that immaterialism was a better fit with Christianity than materialism.
Interpretations of Kant's transcendental idealism have been dominated by two extreme views: phenomenalist and merely epistemic readings. There are serious objections to both of these extremes, and the aim of this paper is to develop a middle ground between the two. In the Prolegomena, Kant suggests that his idealism about appearances can be understood in terms of an analogy with secondary qualities like color. Commentators have rejected this option because they have assumed that the analogy should be read in terms of either a Lockean or a Berkelean account of qualities such as color, and have argued, rightly, that neither can provide the basis for a coherent interpretation of Kant's position. I argue that the account of color that the analogy requires is one within the context of a direct theory of perception, as opposed to Locke's representative account. Using this account of color, the secondary quality analogy enables us to explain how appearances can be mind-dependent without existing in the mind.