Authors
Peter Adamson
Creighton University
Abstract
This article offers an analysis of the argumentative method of two treatises by Alexander of Aphrodisias, On Fate and On Providence, the latter of which is preserved only in Arabic translation. It is argued that both texts use techniques from Aristotelian dialectic, albeit in different ways, with On Fate adhering to methods outlined in Aristotle's Topics whereas On Providence uses the ‘aporetic’ method familiar from texts such as MetaphysicsΒ‎. This represents a revision of a previous study of Alexander's method in On Fate by Jaap Mansfeld, which emphasized parallels between that method and the techniques of ancient scepticism. It is, however, suggested that Alexander does reflect developments in epistemology during the Hellenistic period, especially in so far as he ‘upgrades’ the status of endoxa to play something like the role of common conceptions in the dogmatic Hellenistic schools.
Keywords Alexander of Aphrodisias, dialectic, Aristotle, fate, determinism, providence, epistemology, Topics, Stoicism
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DOI 10.1093/oso/9780198825128.003.0008
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References found in this work BETA

Aristotle and the Methods of Ethics.Jonathan Barnes - 1980 - Revue Internationale de Philosophie 34 (3):490.
The Endoxon Mystique: What Endoxa Are and What They Are Not.Dorothea Frede - 2012 - Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 43:185-215.
Aristotle on the Uses of Dialectic.Robin Smith - 1993 - Synthese 96 (3):335 - 358.
Aristotle and the Problems of Method in Ethics.Marco Zingano - 2007 - Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 32:297-330.

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