Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy XXVIII edited by David Sedley (Oxford University Press) (Hardcover) Contents:
Virtue as the Sole Intrinsic Good in Plato's Early Dialogues by Scott J. Senn
From Fleece to Fabric: Weaving Culture in Plato's Statesman by Ruby Blondell
Moral Virtue and Assimilation to God in Plato's Timaeus by Timothy A. Mahoney
Ethics and Politics in Plato's Laws by Luc Brisson
What is Aristotle's "Third Man" Argument against the Forms? By Ravi Sharma
A Nose by Any Other Name: Sameness, Substitution, and Essence in Aristotle, Metaphysics Z 5 by Frank A. Lewis
Aristotle on Being-as-Truth by Giles Pearson
How Good People Do Bad Things: Aristotle on the Misdeeds of the Virtuous by Howard Curzer
Heraclitus and Material Flux in Stoic Psychology by Matthew Colvin
Plotinus on the Unity and Identity of Changing Particulars by Pauliina Remes
Fine's Plato: A Discussion of Gail Fine, Plato on Knowledge and Forms by Job Van Eck
Putting Aristotle's Physics in its Place: A Discussion of Benjamin Morison, On Location by Henry Mendell
This Summer issue of OSAP opens with Senn arguing that for Socrates virtue has a value over and above its mere practical application; virtue makes the soul good not just at something but intrinsically good according to Socrates. In fact as Senn tries to show there is according to Socrates a certain condition of one's soul that is the only thing intrinsically valuable for one. It is for the sake of this and this alone that Socrates values virtuous activity, that is activity in accordance with knowledge of the good and bad. Only this understanding of virtue makes adequate sense of and does full justice to Socrates bold claims about the invulnerability of the virtuous.
Blondell attempts to show how the metaphor of weaving in Plato's statesman gives the dialogue with its various digressions and disparate methodologies in over arching unity. From wool gathering to cloth making represents the two poles of the ideal statesman.
Mahoney offers a corrective to Sedley's article "The ideal of God-likeness" arguing that moral virtue is equally as important as intellectual development in Plato's Timaeus. The crux of Mahoney's argument is that both gods in human share nous, which aims not only at knowledge but also at the ordering in of things for the best as far as this is possible. Since nous is the most divine part of human beings, the aims of nous to find the core of human happiness. Thus when humans succeed in assimilating themselves to God by attaining the aims of nous as far as possible they become both just and happy.
Brisson's discussion of ethics and politics in Plato's Laws arose out a critical look at Bobonich's book, Plato's Utopia Recast, which attempts to show how Plato radically changed his mind on subjects of ethics at politics between the writing of the Republic and the Laws. Brisson feels that the Laws in particular have been seriously misconstrued by Bobonich and his and addresses his remarks to that end.
Ravi Sharma discusses third man arguments in Aristotle against the forms. Sharma emphasizes that the forms become particularly idiotic when translated into Aristotle's own categories and that is where much of the problem arises.
Lewis takes on a method of dialectics and off the austere regions of Aristotelian metaphysics specifically dealing with the issue of substitution of terms when attempting to define essences. Sameness claims in the case of per se accidents do not invariably support substitution and expected ways substitution in their cases subject to qualification a first we must check to see if the reformulation is required, to avoid the meaning ships threatened by the move from occurrences of the term and a given special context to occurrence outside the context since in these same cases of sameness does not reliably support substitution want to qualification about reformulation the sameness claim cannot express a definition or, at least, not a definition of the standard kind. But if definition is nonstandard in such cases, so too is the notion of essence.
Pearson provides a detailed account of Aristotle's notion of being as truth.He argues that the notion of being as truth in Aristotle does not intend to point to a signification of the is in statements in which it signifies truth. Rather Aristotle means to refer to the attaching of beings are entities in thought such that we think of things that are that they are and of things that are not that they are not. Pearson believes that this is the most clearly supported by considering precisely what Aristotle wishes to exclude being as truth from his general inquiry as being qua being. Pearson argues that Aristotle does not advocate the idea of truth in things and thereby contrary to his views expressed in the metaphysics. Rather Pearson says Aristotle is clear in this passage that truth is a property of statements or beliefs and not the in a these and these referred to consequently Pearson argues for a clearer epistemology than to other commentators.
Curzer takes a practical look at Aristotle's virtue. Some people take Aristotle to present an idealized picture of the virtuous person at such a person acts out their perfection. Such a view does not take Aristotle's practicality into view. Curzer emphasizes realistic interpretations of ethics rather than the idealized one. Aristotle's virtuous person may act wrongly in a seven different ways while remaining virtuous. Virtuous people may be unaware of the crucial facts were succumbed to overwhelming pressures. Virtuous people occasionally act out of character. They may have tiny glitches in their virtues that their virtues leave eight few situations uncovered or lead to a few extreme cases. Vices can regularly masked virtues. Finally moral dilemmas can require vicious act so as to act according to virtue in such situations is to act wrongly. Aristotle's big knowledge is these ways in which virtuous people act wrongly implies the virtuous people are imperfect Aristotle idea of virtue is realistic rather than idealized
Colvin discusses the appropriation in stoic psychology of Heraclitus's metaphors of material flux. For the Stoics the inward in out ward tensile motion of the soul puts it in communication with the outside world. This frank material psychology allows the soul a basic insentient nature where consciousness becomes motion.
Remes explorers of the platonic intuitions about the profound ontological difference between forms and particulars. She argues that Plotinus's contribution is centered around the question: what is it to be anything in time? She sees for major things in Plotinian particulars based on the platonic division between being and becoming the role of time in the life the soul gives particulars as well as events their proper and individual region in time. This helps to make their identity. So there are two concepts of the dentity in Plotinus: a numerical conception of identity in another much more loose or merely metaphorical identity. This leads to speculation about whether Plotinus entertains a four-dimensional theory of being the world. Even so the real remains for Platonists the ideal and never the shadows of form in time.
Van Eck discusses Gail Fine's collection of essays entitled, Plato on Knowledge and Forms. Van Eck sees Fine as erroring by making Plato more a modern philosopher than the ancient he was. Find approaches Plato essentially as a fellow philosophers whose views deserved a serious and open-minded defense. However her defense has a tendency to take the form of an attempt to show that Plato's views on the subjects she treats are more or less match for modern insights. And Eck thinks this goes too far and allows serious negligence regarding the incongruity between a modern conceptual framework in Plato. This is a major source of weak points indicated throughout his essay.
Mendell critiques Morison's idea of place in Aristotle's physics. In the last thirty years there have been over five major studies of Aristotle's ideal of place. For one Aristotle is setting up the principles of a deductive science when he sets up or rich account of change which is the primary concern of the whole of books physics in which place is located he is more concerned with how we talk about motion and a geometer is with how we talk about balls. This is why the account place ultimately collapses along with Aristotle's account of change and his account of anything on which physicists have made improvements. Morison's attempt to translate Aristotle into ordinary language philosophy may seem a valiant to some and misguided to others.
As usual each essay comes with its own bibliography, and the volume offers a comprehensive index locorum and style sheet.