This collection makes available in English twelve papers by the distinguished French scholar Professor Jacques Brunschwig. The essays deal with problems arising in the texts and doctrines of the three major philosophical schools of the Hellenistic period - Epicureanism, Stoicism and Scepticism. The author's strategy is to focus on some specific problem and then to enlarge the conclusion of his discussion so as to reformulate or reassess some more important issue. The main subjects tackled are: problems in Epicurean cosmology and (...) linguistic theory; aspects of Stoic logic, ontology and theology; the history of Scepticism; and analysis of some of the conceptual tools used by the Sceptics in their anti-dogmatic arguments. (shrink)
“Review a friend’s book? Surely that’s not done: magis amica, no doubt, veritas—but friendship stops the critic’s nose for truth and smoothes his tongue to bland civilities.” But here there’s not the smallest risk of fudge; for here the most exacting reader will heap up superlatives. In truth, you’ll meet no finer work on Hellenistic thought than what’s between the covers of this book.
La treizième réunion du Symposium Aristotelicum, en 1993, a eu une très étrange et très triste destinée. Certes, elle s’est tenue dans le cadre enchanteur de la Chartreuse de Pontignano, près de Sienne ; elle a donné lieu, comme ses devancières, à des communications et à des discussions d’un vif intérêt. Mais l’édition de ses Actes, pour une fois, s’est heurtée à d’insurmontables obstacles. La charge en avait été initialement confiée à Mario Mignucci et à Michael Frede, deux des plus (...) fidèles et stimulants participants du Symposium. Ils ont été tragiquement enlevés à notre admiration et à notre affection, le premier en 2004, sous les coups d’une longue et impitoyable maladie, le second en 2007, en conséquence d’un accident imprévisible et brutal. Le retard causé à la publication du XIIIe Symposium par cette double et douloureuse disparition n’a pu être comblé jusqu’à présent ; les membres du comité organisateur m’ont assuré qu’à leur avis, il risquait de ne l’être jamais. Par une coïncidence émouvante, trois semaines seulement avant la mort de Michael Frede, mon collègue et ami Thomas De Koninck me demanda si j’accepterais de publier dans le Laval théologique et philosophique l’étude que j’avais présentée, plus de dix ans auparavant, au XIIIe Symposium. Je passe sur les divers scrupules qui me firent hésiter quelque temps. L’insistance du Professeur De Koninck et celle de ses collaborateurs, Paul Asselin et Martin Achard, en eurent finalement raison, ce dont je leur suis très profondément reconnaissant. Quant à ce texte, le lecteur voudra bien se souvenir de la longue histoire dont il est l’ultime fruit. Il serait bien difficile de le résumer : il est, il tente d’être cela même pour quoi il se donne, à savoir pour une lecture détaillée du commentaire par Ammonius du célèbre premier chapitre du De Interpretatione, lecture focalisée non pas tellement sur la lumière que le commentaire ancien peut jeter sur la lettre et sur l’interprétation du texte aristotélicien que sur ce que ce commentaire peut nous apprendre sur les méthodes, les choix, les comportements intellectuels de son auteur lui-même, et sur ses propres motivations philosophiques et pédagogiques face à un texte comme celui qu’il entreprend de commenter. The XIIIth meeting of the Symposium Aristotelicum, which took place in 1993 on the De Interpretatione, had a very strange and very sad history. True enough, it took place in the enchanting decor of the Certosa di Pontignano, near Siena ; and, as usual, it offered contributions and discussions of the highest order. But this time the publication of the papers met with insurmountable obstacles. It had been initially entrusted to Mario Mignucci and Michael Frede, two of the most faithful and devoted participants in the Symposium. Most infortunately, however, they were both wrenched from our admiration and affection, Mario Mignucci in 2004, after a protracted and merciless disease, Michael Frede in 2007, owing to an unpredictable, sudden accident. The inevitable ensuing delay for the publication of the XIIIth Symposium has not been caught up with so far and those members of the Organization Committee whom I have been able to contact told me that, in their opinion, it ran a strong risk of never being caught up at all, alas. By a moving coincidence, no more than three weeks before Michael’s death, my colleague and friend, Professor Thomas De Koninck, had asked me if I would agree to publish the present paper in the Laval théologique et philosophique. Thomas and his collaborators Paul Asselin and Martin Achard helped me to finally overcome my scruples ; I am deeply grateful to them. As for this long paper itself, it would be difficult to summarize it : it is, or tries to be, exactly what it looks like, namely a detailed reading of Ammonius’ commentary to the famous Chapter One of the De Interpretatione. If this reading has any dose of originality, it will be due not so much to the lights the ancient commentary may shed on the letter and the interpretation of the Aristotelician text as to what it may teach concerning the methods, selections, and intellectual behaviour of its author himself, as well as with regard to his own philosophical and pedagogical reactions before such a text as Aristotle’s own. (shrink)
The philosophers of the Hellenistic schools in ancient Greece and Rome (Epicureans, Stoics, Sceptics, Academics, Cyrenaics) made important contributions to the philosophy of mind and the philosophy of psychology. This volume, which contains the proceedings of the Fifth Symposium Hellenisticum, describes and analyses their contributions on issues such as: the nature of perception, imagination and belief; the nature of the passions and their role in action; the relationship between mind and body; freedom and determinism; the role of pleasure as a (...) goal; the effects of poetry on belief and passion. Written with a high level of historical and philosophical scholarship, the essays are intended both for classicists and for specialists interested in the philosophy of mind. (shrink)
Martial Gueroult (1891–1976) and Victor Goldschmidt (1914–1981) are two major figures in French history of philosophy during the second half of the last century. The latter has often been described as one of the former's “disciples”, on the basis of their common opposition to the “geneticist” approach in the study of past philosophers, and their common support for a “structuralist” one, which was an influential paradigm in various fields of French thought at the time of their activity. A detailed study (...) of their methodological principles and their concrete practice shows that their relationship was much more complicated. (shrink)
This is the latest volume in a series that has made important contributions on Hellenistic philosophy, currently the liveliest context of research in ancient philosophy. Each volume is based on a smallish conference of leading international scholars; the aim is not to generate shared work on a single issue or topic, but to produce a series of original, expert papers in a given area. A feature of the series has been to show not only that much new, good scholarship can (...) be done on Hellenistic thought, but also that the theories brought to light are philosophically powerful, when judged by the most exacting contemporary standards. How well does this volume measure up against these high expectations? (shrink)
The article discusses the sceptical New Academy's interpretation of Plato as a sceptic. The first part discusses Arcesilaus' reintroduction of Socratic method, and the reading of the Socratic dialogues and the Theaetetus implied by this. The second part discusses arguments probably used by the later, more moderate Academy for a reading of Plato's more dogmatic dialogues in a way consistent with scepticism.