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Akten der 18. Tagung der Karl und Gertrud Abel-Stiftung vom 30. September bis 2. Oktober 2015 in Mainz
Literaturgeschichtliche Untersuchungen und Kommentar
An Ancient Poet's Guide for an Age of Excess
An Ancient Guide to Giving and Receiving

Abstract

This paper focuses on two passages of Aristotle’s Metaphysics, one in Z 3, the other in H1, in which Aristotle seems to assert that the hupokeimenon is said in three ways, as matter, form, and the compound of matter and form. From these two passages it is often said that subjecthood is a criterion for being substance (alongside two other criteria, separateness and being a tode ti). A consequence of this is that, if form is to be substance, and form is substance, namely first substance, it has to comply with the subject-criterion. This paper challenges this reading, purporting to show that these two passages need not commit Aristotle to the subject-criterion, and that there are good reasons not to commit him to it.

Abstract

The paper seeks to specify how, according to Plato’s Sophist, true statements achieve their being about objects and their saying that ‘what is about such objects is’. Drawing on the 6th definition of the sophist, I argue for a normative-teleological conception of truth in which the best condition of our soul –in its making statements or having mental states– consists in its seeking to attain the telos of truth. Further, on the basis of Plato’s discussion of original and image, his distinction between correct and incorrect image, and the 7th definition, I argue that achieving the telos of truth involves preserving the original’s proportions and appropriate features. The view that Plato’s conception of truth takes statements or mental states to be certain types of image is not ground-breaking. The important contribution of my argument is that it offers a plausible way to understand two recalcitrant claims made by Plato: first, that falsity obtains not only in the region of incorrect images (appearances) but also within correct images (likenesses); second, that some incorrect images are based on knowledge and so could be true.

Abstract

Kant’s repeated statement in the Critique of Pure Reason that the so-called table of judgements and, as a consequence, the table of pure concepts of the understanding or categories, is fully exhaustive is well-known. This ambitious assertion has worried and challenged generations of authors. However, thus far the entire discussion has completely disregarded the fact that in his Critique of Practical Reason Kant undertakes a coordinate venture. For the “Table of the Categories of Freedom”, which he sets out, with only a few explanations, in the “Second Chapter” of the Critique, Kant makes, when looked at more closely, the very same claim to completeness. This article shows that this same claim is made, even though Kant does not state this assertion as explicitly as one might have expected. And it poses the question, which underlying, yet concealed assumptions this view might appeal to. Or is it that Kant has merely failed to provide the evidence in this case?