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Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 2, Issue 2, 2018
Ancient Greek Philosophy: Classical Greek Philosophy

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Displaying: 1-20 of 69 documents


articles in english
1. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
Christiana Andreou Reflection and the Aristotelian Theory of Vision
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Reflection was the only optical phenomenon known in ancient Greek science and its quantitative law was soon discovered. The phenomenon, as we understand it today, is related to some sort of motion. In the present paper, we discuss the compatibility of the explanations of the phenomenon of reflection with the Aristotelian theory of visual perception in which no movement is involved. First, we describe Aristotle’s theory of vision, then we will examine the role, if any, of reflection in the Aristotelian theory of vision, and, finally, we propose a way to explain how the phenomenon of reflection can be accommodated into the Aristotelian theory of visual perception.
2. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
Carolina Araujo Adeimantus’ Challenge
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A large amount of contemporary literature on Plato’s Republic deals with Glaucon’s speech as the major challenge Socrates is to face in his defense of justice, seeing in Adeimantus’ speech nothing but a restating of the matter. However, Plato is very clear in stating both that Glaucon’s argument was not enough and that he did not make the most relevant point to the matter (362d3-5). The aim of this paper is to present Adeimantus’ contribution to the problem in two general theses: first the objection to piety as a virtue, submitting it to justice; second the argument about the power of collective concealment as a device for breaking the cause/effect pattern that sustains the logic of retribution. The conclusion is that, while Glaucon presents an account that would grant justice to members of a community that obey its laws, Adeimantus considers this only an appearance of justice that would still produce collective unjust actions. By means of Glaucon’s challenge, Socrates is expected to prove that justice has a power in the soul besides its communitarian function, but by Adeimantus’ challenge, he is to demonstrate that it has a power in the soul despite the injustice that constitutes a community.
3. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
Hugo Filgueiras de Araújo A Perception Philosophy in Plato
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The aim of this paper is to defend that Plato’s philosophy, embodied in the hypothesis of forms that has in its scope an account of sense data and sensitivity. They do not have to be left out, as the secondary literature usually holds. In Theaetetus, Socrates analyses exhaustively the possibility of sensitivity be held as knowledge; In Phaedo, using the reminiscence argument, Plato admits that in order to have learning process and memory, it is necessary that we have two correlative and mutually necessary cognitive experiences, namely: a sensitive perception (aísthesis), which gives rise to anamneses, and the soul’s contact to the forms, which is prior to birth. This is so, because the individual can only have memory of what he knew beforehand. This paper holds therefore that there is a perception philosophy in Plato.
4. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
Chloe Balla Philosophy as a Way of Dying?: On Socrates’ Last Words in the Phaedo
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The idea of philosophy as a way of living is explicitly introduced by Plato, who illustrates it through the story of his teacher’s life and death. A most striking aspect of Plato’s account of philosophy as a way of living is that it also appears to involve the idea of philosophy as a preparation for, or even a pursuit of, dying: they that strive unceasingly for this release [sc. the release of soul from body] are, so we maintain, none other than those that pursue philosophy aright; indeed this and nothing else is the philosopher’s concern, the release and separation of soul from body (Phaedo 67d; trans. Hackforth, with modifications) The soul of the philosopher trains itself to die readily, by achieving, already during life, a state of purity: which is precisely what true philosophy consists in 80-81a.
5. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
Richard A. Berg The Role of Irony in Xenophon’s Dialogue of Socrates with Theodote
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In his Memoirs of Socrates at 3.11 Xenophon reports a dialogue of Socrates with Theodote, a high-ranking prostitute, which looks to be unique in the ancient Greek canon in representing a philosophical exchange of ideas between a man and woman. But what are we to make of the dialogue between them? The mere occurrence of the dialogue alone is surely not enough to make Xenophon’s Socrates out to be a feminist. In the attempt to understand the exchange between them I argue it is important to note that Theodote’s offer for Socrates to cross the line from the mind to the body makes literal and commercial sense, while Socrates’ description of his male followers as “girlfriends” does neither. Moreover, the biting irony of the dialogue’s conclusion suggests that he would not have wanted her to join his male followers, thus breaking with their established women-stay-at- home social conventions. Xenophon’s Theodote dialogue, I conclude, emphatically does not make Socrates out to be a feminist, at least not in the sense of being willing to accept female followers.
6. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
Hugo Bezerra Tiburtino Organon and its Meaning
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What does it mean when it is said that Aristotelian logic is an organon, an instrument? Does it mean that Aristotle’s logic is a method? I shall argue that the first meaning of organon is not that it is a method; at least that was not the intention of the ancient commentators, who began the tradition of an instrumental logic. Indeed, for them organon means what it is supposed to mean, i.e., means that lead to an end, even if we talk about logic or any other discipline; that do not imply that it should be a method, although does not rule this out also.
7. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
Laura Bitiniece Justice as a Method of Politics in Plato’s Republic
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This paper looks at a hypothesis that for Plato politics is a field of ethical acts. The reason behind every truly political action is justice, in a way making justice a method of politics. According to Resp. 433a-c, it’s possible to interpret two meanings of justice: (a) the principle of differentiation by division of functions, and (b) something that provides δύναμις for virtues. Seeing justice as a creative energy, justice can be understood as a motivational force to counterbalance the force of desires. Republic is clear about “who has to do x?” (one who is fit for it, e.g. Resp. 370a-c, 433a) and “how to do x?” (with the ἀρετή of this τέχνη, e.g. Resp. 352e-353c). The question “why to do x” (because it is just) in all the cases concerning life in polis is the one, that could possibly link the motivational gap in politics and ethics of Plato’s Republic.
8. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
Lisa Bressan A Comparison between Book E and Book K of Aristotle’s Metaphysics: The Being Outside and Separate
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In Aristotle’s Metaphysics K 8, in the part which is the parallel discussion of being as truth done in book Epsilon (chapter 4), the author, in defining being per se, uses the phrase τὸ ἔξω ὂν καὶ χωριστόν. This is not what Aristotle states in book E, namely that being as truth, along with being per accidens, is founded on the remaining kind of being and does not manifest - any nature outside of being (οὐκ ἔξω οὖσάν τινα φύσιν τοῦ ὄντος). Through the analysis and comparison of the two expositions, I will try to highlight how this difference depends on the different conception in the author of book Kappa about the object of the philosophy. In fact, while in book E the object of philosophy is being qua being and in particular being per se, and the separate substance turns out to be the object of first philosophy as the cause and the principle (that is as the explanation of being qua being) in book K, on the con-trary, the separate substance, since it is identified tout court with being qua being (cf. K 7, 1064a29 - there is a science of being qua being and qua separate, τοῦ ὄντος ᾗ ὂν καὶ χωριστόν), is itself the true object of study of philosophy.
9. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
George Bruseker The Metaphor of Hunting and the Method of Division in the Sophist
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This paper examines the metaphor of hunting as used in Plato’s dialogue, the Sophist. In it, we explore the idea that the example of the ‘angler’ given at the start of the dialogue is no throw-away example, but opens up the metaphor of hunting as an important element of understanding how to use the method of division introduced for coming to definitional knowledge. I argue that the use of the metaphor of hunting is a pedagogical tool that transforms the attentive student’s understanding of the method of division from a dry science of definition, to a manner of approaching the search for truth. Applied reflexively to the search for the definition of the sophist, it helps reveal that the search for knowledge is a non-linear, iterative process which requires passing-through, and abides no shortcuts. It leaves open the suggestion that the true image of knowledge and the philosopher may finally be found in a version of acquisitive rather than productive or seperative arts (as they are classified within the dialogue).
10. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
Aylin Cankaya Philosophia as Energeia in Aristotle
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This paper discusses Aristotle’s description of philosophia in a way of how it should be understood? It seems like philosophy begins with wonder. In this sense, it consists of an inquiry. Hereby, inquiring about the “things” and “beings” and constantly pursuing knowledge indicates an endless process. And this process may not be sufficient for philosophical activity itself. Besides the inquiry process, philosophical activity consists of active thinking and the ability to practice active thinking in our daily lives. In this context, philosophy is not a debate of abstract concepts, or describing the concepts. For Aristotle, philosophia was a way of active living throughout our entire lives. That means that not only pursing knowledge is necessary to achieve that state, but also thinking about, and transforming that knowledge in our lives. This paper focuses on the active part of philosophy; which can be seen as an important part towards the understanding of philosophia.
11. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
Qingyun Cao On the Unity of Aristotelian Composite Substance
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Aristotle claims that sensible substance is composed of form and matter, while he insists that it is a unity in the strictest sense, that is, the same and one, rather than a heap. However, in what sense a composite thing can be a unity? He takes pains to give an answer in Metaphysics. The key solution lies in his account of matter as potentiality and form as actuality. But many scholars are bewildered by his laconic expressions of the solution, and there are mainly two approaches of interpretations. One is ‘projective’, which takes substance as a basically unified concept; matter and form are two derived aspects of the unity. Another approach is ‘explanatory’, which takes form and matter as the real components and attempts to explain how they can constitute a unitary substance in a time and across a time. The main tasks of this paper are to reexamine the problem and the two approaches and to argue that the manner that a substance is unified should be understood in the light of its coming to be; a sensible substance is a diachronic composite and a functional unity.
12. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
Irina Deretić A Myth on the Origin of Humans in Plato’s Protagoras
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The aim of this paper is to elucidate the origin, development and nature of human beings as it is described in Plato’s Protagoras myth. My main claim is that, according to this story, the human is a multi-dimensional being with various aspects and dispositions. After the creation of mortals had been finished, the human dispositions were further developed and differentiated through time. The creation and further development of living beings is to be divided into four stages, out of which the pre-political and political are of particular significance for humans. I will attempt to show that each of these stages can be better accounted for by using the different hermeneutical models, or by finding out which theory underlines each of them.
13. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
Stefan Dolgert Vegetarian Republic: Pythagorean Themes in Plato’s Republic
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Plato is often considered a founder of the humanist tradition, but I question this interpretation of Plato’s humanism via a return to the Neo-Platonic/Neo-Pythagorean interpretation of the “healthy city” (372e) of the Republic, which is more frequently (though infelicitously) referred to as the “city of pigs” (372d). Here, in the first city Socrates describes in Book II, we see a “vegetarian republic” in which humans and nonhumans live in mutual con-cord rather than as predator and prey. Neither hunting nor animal husbandry is practiced in this first regime, and while animals are used for labor-power, Socrates’ detailed description of the diet of the citizens of the huopolis makes it clear that animals are not consumed as food. Plato’s Socrates never retracts his praise of this first regime throughout the remainder of the Republic, which implies that this city and its human/animal comity retain their exemplary status in Plato’s political theory.
14. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
Konstantin Mikhailovich Dolgov The Philosopher and Philosophy in Plato’s View
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The paper reveals Plato’s basic views on the philosopher and philosophy. According to Plato, philosophers should rule the state, but for this purpose they should be brought up and educated in the appropriate way, possess qualities and virtues that will enable them to create if not the ideal society and the state, then the most reasonable and suitable one for the people to live in. These virtues are the following: eternal aspiration to cognize being and truth, justice, courage, reasonableness etc. Plato creates an image of the philosopher who is anxious not for personal wealth and prosperity, but for the public good, that is, highly spiritual, highly moral, virtuous life of the society and the state. Naturally, philosophers develop the appropriate philosophy to express their ideas and ideals. In Plato’s works philosophy acquires the character of the social and state ideology which is aimed at educating citizens in the spirit of justice, freedom and responsibility, dignity, good, beauty, love, that is, such philosophy which makes citizens extremely noble and directs their efforts to achieve the public good, the highest spiritual sphere, but not the material well-being. The paper shows that the philosopher and philosophy in Plato’s interpretation have not become outdated for two thousand years, but, on the contrary, have preserved their vitality and sense until nowadays.
15. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
John Dudley The Unrealism of Aristotle’s Metaphysics?
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In this paper, I aim to show that Aristotle’s metaphysics belongs to an unrealist tradition in ancient philosophy, deriving from Anaximander, Pythagoras, Parmenides and Plato.
16. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
Brian Elliott Plato’s Phaedrus on Philosophy and the City
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This paper offers an interpretation of the dramatic setting of Plato’s Phaedrus as an allegory of the situation of the philosopher within Plato’s Athens. Following Jean-Pierre Vernant’s work on the place of class struggle and warfare within the ancient Greek city-state in his Myth and Society in Ancient Greece I decipher key passages on the Phaedrus as implicit responses to Plato’s experience of the city. The key themes that emerge are: the relation between the country and the city; the connection between leisure, luxury, and territorial expansion; the prospects for philosophical rule in the city; and the assessment of writing as a product of urban and commercial development. In my concluding paragraphs I suggest that Plato’s dialogues should more generally be regarded as a confrontation with the social conditions of the city-state as Plato experienced them. I also suggest that Platonic writings such as the Phaedrus are best interpreted allegorically as well as literally to ensure that multiple levels of meaning are drawn out through close analysis.
17. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
Lucas Fain Prelude to a Genealogy of Happiness: Solon to Socrates
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This paper examines how the Solonian conception of happiness appears transformed in the Socratic teaching, precisely as it is bound up with the introduction of erōs in the historical transition from Herodotean inquiry to Platonic philosophy. It argues, first, that philosophy is distinguished from inquiry by the introduction of erōs; and second, that the turn from olbos to eudaimonia appears as a defining moment in the historical transition from in-quiry to philosophy. Whereas Herodotean inquiry understands the importance for happiness of looking to the end and seeing the whole, Platonic philosophy understands the end or the whole as a fundamental problem, and indeed as a fundamentally erotic problem.
18. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
Marie I. George A Critique of Richard Sorabji’s Interpretation of Aristotle
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A correct understanding of experience (empeiría) is crucial for understanding the difference between human and non-human animals. Richard Sorabji interprets Aristotle to be affirming that experience in non-human animals is the same thing as a rudimentary universal, and that the individual who possesses experience achieves his goal by the application of low level univer-sals. I argue that this is neither a correct understanding of Aristotle’s statements in the Posterior Analytics, Metaphysics, and Nicomachean Ethics, nor is it true to the facts. Sorabji is misled, first, by the fact that experience can be regarded as a rudimentary universal (though not a true universal) in humans, and secondly by the fact that people of experience often possess universals that pertain to their actions. As to the latter, I show that people of experience do not succeed in virtue of possessing universals. As to the former, I point out that regarding experience as a rudimentary universal presupposes that the being that possesses them goes on to acquire true universals, something Sorabji fails to show. The presence of a modicum of experience in some non-human animals, thus, does not show that these beings share with us the capacity for knowledge of universals.
19. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
Thomas Giourgas Well-being, Education and Unity of the Soul in Plato
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Is Socrates in the Protagoras a sincere hedonist? The decipherment of the latter question is fundamental to the unraveling of key aspects of Plato’s ethical thought. It has been suggested that Socrates in the Protagoras finds hedonism philosophically attractive for it functions as a necessary anti-akrasia premise and, therefore, it fits his moral psychology. At the same time quantitative hedonism provides for commensurability of moral value and, in turn, for a more straightforward, quantifiable, and action-guiding Platonic ethical theory. Although initially appealing, the latter hypothesis is deeply problematic. On the one hand, hedonism is not a necessary theoretical tool either for commensurability of value or for a quantifiable eudemonistic ethical theory. On the other hand a hedonistic interpretation of the Protagoras would result in a plethora of blatant anomalies for Platonic ethical theory as it is exhibited in the early and middle period dialogues. In particular, the endorsement of quantitative hedonism comes tied with an apotheosis of sophistic education and also with a purely instrumental conception of virtue which contradicts cardinal components of Socrates’ and Plato’s virtue theory. Therefore, a prohedonistic approach of the Protagoras is untenable and has to be rejected. As a result, a sufficiently plausible defense of the Socratic doctrine “no one does wrong willingly” needs to be constructed on non-hedonistic grounds. My suggestion is that we should recast Plato’s treatment of akrasia in terms of two –commonly defended by early Plato- descriptive theses of human psychology; that is, psychological eudemonism and motivational intellectualism. This move will lead us to the conclusion that the traditional conceptualization of akrasia as a single and unified phenomenon is incomplete as it does not pay justice to the richness of Plato’s moral psychology. Rather, as I will maintain, there are two types of akrasia implicit in Plato’s treatment of the phenomenon: synchronic akrasia and diachronic akrasia. On this revisionary theoretical basis, the differences between early Plato and later Plato on akrasia can be understood as variations in the adherence or not to psychological eudemonism and motivational intellectualism.
20. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
Athanasios Gkatzaras Plato’s Republic (386c5-7 & 516d4-7): An Ambiguous (?) Attitude of Plato on Three Homeric Lines
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The subject of my paper is the explanation of Plato’s attitude in Republic on three lines taken from Odyssey (11.489-91). In one case (386c5-7) Plato rejects these lines, because they should not be heard by children or free men, while in another case (516d4-7) he repeats them as a perfect example of illustrating philosopher’s feelings. My purpose is to show that this attitude is not ambiguous; it is compatible with Plato’s doctrines and a good example of the importance that the context plays whenever Plato interprets a poem.