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Abstract

Anaximenes is usually considered to be a material monist recognizing transparent atmospheric air as a principle (ἀρχή). In the cosmogonic explanation of the origin of the earth and the heavenly bodies, the Greek term ἀήρ turns out to mean rather ‘opaque damp mist’. However, Not only does it accord with archaic usage, but also with how it was used in his mentor, Anaximander. Yet, in cosmology ἀήρ means ‘air’ serving as stuff on which the earth and the heavenly bodies float. Hence, in keeping with contemporary usage, Anaximenes recognised two kinds of ἀήρ, distinguishing them functionally. Whereas mist is conceived of as a generating substance, air functions only as carrying stuff.

Abstract

The sentence setting the stage for the philosophical investigation within the Philebus is, naively translated, “He says that to enjoy is good.” Instead of the predicate adjective “good,” most interpreters prefer to translate with a definite description, “the good,” with consequences that affect the interpretation of the dialogue as a whole. Part one defends the naïve translation, both in the context of Socrates’ first seven speeches and viewing the dialogue as a whole. Part two considers and rejects the reasons given against the naïve translation on the basis of grammar, idiosyncratic Platonic style, immediate context, and later restatements.

Abstract

In recent years substantial effort has been expended by scholars to better understand the nature of the ancient interest in divination. This study will argue that the Stoic philosopher Epictetus’ views of divination have been largely overlooked and mistakenly defined by his modern interpreters. While often portrayed as being opposed to the art, it is proposed that he envisages divination can be beneficially employed: namely in highlighting certain moral actions, and in motivating individuals to commence philosophical study.

Abstract

Readers of Plato since antiquity have generally taken Socrates’ intellectual autobiography in the Phaedo as a signal of his turn away from the study of natural philosophy. They have turned instead to characters such as Timaeus for evidence of Plato’s pursuit of physics. This article argues that Plato’s Socrates himself developed a philosophy of nature in his criticism of Anaxagoras and his subsequent philosophic pursuits. Socrates’ autobiography places the study of nature in a foundational position within the development of his philosophic method. In the Apology, Socrates further elaborated his investigation into nature through his understanding of theology. Finally, in the Phaedrus, Socrates connects the study of nature with the study of rhetoric as tools for virtue. Therefore, Plato’s Socrates does not reject or abandon physics, as has often been suggested, but rather, he incorporates it into his own philosophic project and challenges its practitioners to connect their own inquiries with human affairs.

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Vergil’s Underworld and the Poetics of Tradition