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TomGriffin
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Whereas the Posterior Analytics is concerned with scientific demonstration based on true premises, Aristotle's Topics focuses on dialectic argument based on premises which are merely agreed by common consent to be true. Continue reading
Posted 1 hour ago at Tom's Learning Notes
In the Posterior Analytics, Aristotle moves on from the study of formal rules of reasoning in the Prior Analytics to consider the substantive application of logic to produce scientific knowledge. Continue reading
Posted 7 hours ago at Tom's Learning Notes
Aristotle's Prior Analytics introduces the study of syllogisms, investigating how a given pair of premises can lead necessarily to a conclusion which is not contained in either premise. Continue reading
Posted 11 hours ago at Tom's Learning Notes
It was pointed out before the EU referendum that having a popular vote to defend parliamentary sovereignty was something of a quixotic exercise. Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at The Green Ribbon
Gildas' De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae (On the Ruin and Conquest of Britain) is a unique document of post-Roman Britain. Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Tom's Learning Notes
Aristotle's On Interpretation (Latin: De Interpretatione, Greek: Περὶ Ἑρμηνείας, Peri Hermeneias) is the second text of the Organon, the collection of short logical works that formed the basis of a traditional philosophical education in much of antiquity and the middle ages. Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Tom's Learning Notes
The Odyssey is an ancient Greek epic poem following the wanderings of Odysseus on his return from the Trojan War. As such, it is a sequel to the Iliad, although its exact relationship to the earlier poem is as controversial as the historical existence of Homer, the traditional author of both epics. Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Tom's Learning Notes
A short chronology of the dramatic date of Plato's dialogues, with links to relevant passages. Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Tom's Learning Notes
The Herald is reporting that Jeremy Corbyn will rule out an electoral pact with the SNP during an upcoming visit to Scotland. Compass Chair Neal Lawson has criticised any such move in an article for Labourlist. My thoughts from the Labourlist comments here: Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at The Green Ribbon
The Enneads of Plotinus represent the surviving teachings of the most influential philosopher of Late Antiquity. Plotinus' synthesis of earlier thought, adapting Aristotle to the study of Plato, has been seen as inaugurating a neoplatonic tradition that was formative for Jewish, Christian and islamic philosophy as well as later pagan thought. Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Tom's Learning Notes
The Categories is the first book of Aristotle's Organon, the collection of writings which founded the discipline of logic, and were central to philosophical education for centuries. Setting out to enumerate all the possible kinds of things which can be the subject or predicate of a proposition, Aristotle comes up with the ten concepts that give the book its title: substance, quantity, quality, relation, place, time, attitude, condition, action and affection. Continue reading
Posted Aug 21, 2016 at Tom's Learning Notes
Lucretius' On the Nature of Things (Latin: De Rerum Natura) is an epic poem dramatising an epicurean, materialist view of the world. As such, it is unique in Latin literature, as the later Roman reception of Greek philosophy was heavily influenced by Cicero's rejection of epicureanism. Continue reading
Posted Aug 20, 2016 at Tom's Learning Notes
In the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle took up the questions of human conduct that had been examined by Socrates and Plato, putting them into a scholarly framework that still influences contemporary thought. Probably only Kant has enjoyed a comparable influence among moral philosophers. Continue reading
Posted Aug 18, 2016 at Tom's Learning Notes
The Presocratic Philosophers by G.S. Kirk & J.E. Raven is a valuable history of early Greek thought, incorporating substantial quotations from the surviving fragments, in both Greek and English. Philosophers covered include: The Ionian Thinkers, Thales, Anaximander, Anaximenes; Xenophanes and Heraclitus. The Italian Schools: Pythagoras, Alcmaeon of Croton, Parmenides, Zeno of Elea, Melissus, Philolaus and Eurytus of Croton. The Post-Parmenidean Systems: Empedocles, Anaxagoras, Archelaus, Leucippus, Democritus and Diogenes of Apollonia. Continue reading
Posted Aug 16, 2016 at Tom's Learning Notes
Sing O muse of the rage of Achilles, son of Peleus', the opening lines of Homer's Iliad, have a strong claim to be the opening lines of Western literature. Whether Homer ever existed, and what role he played in the text's emergence out of oral tradition have been debated for centuries. Continue reading
Posted Aug 16, 2016 at Tom's Learning Notes
The Politics of Aristotle is, like many of his works, the oldest extant treatise on the subject, although it allude to, and sometimes criticizes, the discussion of political issues in Platonic dialogues like the Republic. Continue reading
Posted Aug 15, 2016 at Tom's Learning Notes
Although largely a secondary compilation based on previous authors, the loss of earliers sources has made Diogenes Laertius' Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers an indispensible source for the history of Greek philosophy. Continue reading
Posted Aug 13, 2016 at Tom's Learning Notes
The Church History (Greek: Ἐκκλησιαστικὴ ἱστορία; Latin: Historia Ecclesiastica or Historia Ecclesiae) of Eusebius was the first major historical work written from a Christian point of view. Continue reading
Posted Aug 10, 2016 at Tom's Learning Notes
The Philebus is a late Platonic dialogue on ethics in which Socrates argues against the hedonistic position propounded by his two interlocutors, Philebus and Protarchus. Free online and downloadable texts Gutenberg: Philebus, translated by Benjamin Jowett, multiple formats. Perseus: Greek text (Burnet ed., 1903). English translation (Fowler, 1925). Online texts.... Continue reading
Posted Aug 5, 2016 at Tom's Learning Notes
The Statesman or Politicus is a late Platonic dialogue, a sequel to The Sophist, addressing similar themes. The discussion seeks to identify the kind of knowledge proper to the true statesman, distinguishing it from the knowledge of appearances that characterizes the sophist. Free online and downloadable texts Gutenberg: The Statesman,... Continue reading
Posted Aug 5, 2016 at Tom's Learning Notes
The Critias is one of Plato's late dialogues, an incomplete sequel to the Timaeus. The main speaker is possibly the historical Athenian aristocrat and relative of Plato, or his grandfather of the same name. Critias presents what is the earliest known version of the myth of Atlantis, a city which... Continue reading
Posted Aug 5, 2016 at Tom's Learning Notes
The Laws is Plato's last and longest dialogue, and the only one in which Socrates does not appear, unless indeed he is the mysterious Athenian Stranger who joins the Spartan Megillos and the Cretan statesman Clinias. While it is not a dialogue one would choose as introduction to Plato, for... Continue reading
Posted Aug 5, 2016 at Tom's Learning Notes
The Timaeus is a late Platonic dialogue in which the eponymous narrator provides an extended account of the creation and structure of the universe. One of the few dialogues known to the Medieval European West before the Renaissance, it had a major influence on the tradition of natural philosophy. Continue reading
Posted Aug 5, 2016 at Tom's Learning Notes
The Sophist is one of a small number of late Platonic dialogues in which Socrates cedes the lead role, in this case to the Eleatic Stranger, a follower of the presocratic philosophers Parmenides and Zeno. The discussion is presented as taking place a few days after the Theaetetus, and picks up some of the earlier dialogues themes in the course of discussing how the sophist differs from the true philosopher and the statesman. Continue reading
Posted Aug 5, 2016 at Tom's Learning Notes
The Theatetus is Plato's most extended discussions of the theory of knowledge. The absence of the theory of forms from the dialogue has perplexed commentators, some of whom conclude that Plato abandoned the theory in the light of the criticisms adduced in the Parmenides. Free Online and Downloadable Texts Gutenberg:... Continue reading
Posted Aug 5, 2016 at Tom's Learning Notes