Tag Archives: Aristotle

The Feminine Symptom: Aleatory Matter in the Aristotelian Cosmos

The Feminine Symptom takes as its starting point the problem of female offspring for Aristotle: If form is transmitted by the male and the female provides only matter, how is a female child produced? Aristotle answers that there must be some fault or misstep in the process.

This inexplicable but necessary coincidence–sumptoma in Greek–defines the feminine symptom. Departing from the standard associations of male-activity-form and female-passivity-matter, Bianchi traces the operation of chance and spontaneity throughout Aristotle’s biology, physics, cosmology, and metaphysics and argues that it is not passive but aleatory matter–unpredictable, ungovernable, and acting against nature and teleology–that he continually allies with the feminine.

Aristotle’s pervasive disparagement of the female as a mild form of monstrosity thus works to shore up his polemic against the aleatory and to consolidate patriarchal teleology in the face of atomism and Empedocleanism.

Bianchi concludes by connecting her analysis to recent biological and materialist political thinking, and makes the case for a new, antiessentialist politics of aleatory feminism.

Aristotle on Perceiving Objects

How can we explain the structure of perceptual experience? What is it that we perceive? How is it that we perceive objects and not disjoint arrays of properties? By which sense or senses do we perceive objects? Are our five senses sufficient for the perception of objects?

Aristotle investigated these questions by means of the metaphysical modeling of the unity of the perceptual faculty and the unity of experiential content. His account remains fruitful-but also challenging-even for contemporary philosophy.

This book offers a reconstruction of the six metaphysical models Aristotle offered to address these and related questions, focusing on their metaphysical underpinning in his theory of causal powers. By doing so, the book brings out what is especially valuable and even surprising about the topic: the core principles of Aristotle’s metaphysics of perception are fundamentally different from those of his metaphysics of substance. Yet, for precisely this reason, his models of perceptual content are unexplored territory. This book breaks new ground in offering an understanding of Aristotle’s metaphysics of the content of perceptual experience and of the composition of the perceptual faculty.

Semantik und Ontologie. Drei Studien zu Aristoteles

The focus of the book, that consists in three studies, can be described in the following aspects: Considerations on Aristotle’s universals, reconstruction of Aristotle’s critics to Plato’ s ideas in Aristotle’s lost work “On Ideas”, analysis of Aristotle’s substance in the works Categories, Metaphysics, On the Soul, Posterior Analytics, Physics. My point of view is that Aristotle refuses every aspect of Plato’s ideas in a radical way. I analyze Aristotle’s conditions for a synonymy of predication and compare them with the condition for a not-homonymy of predication in the Argument from Relatives of “On Ideas”. My reflections on substance plead for the presence of a plurality of values of substance in the works of Aristotle: substance can be, for instance, the individual biological entity (plant or animal) or the essence/nature/form of a biological entity; a co-existence of both values can be noticed in the different works of Aristotle.

Aristotle on the Nature of Truth

Christopher P. Long, Aristotle on the Nature of Truth, 1st ed. (Cambridge University Press, 2010).

This book reconsiders the traditional correspondence theory of truth, which takes truth to be a matter of correctly representing objects.

Drawing Heideggerian phenomenology into dialogue with American pragmatic naturalism, I undertake a rigorous reading of Aristotle that articulates the meaning of truth as a cooperative activity between human beings and the natural world that is rooted in our endeavors to do justice to the nature of things.

By following a path of Aristotle’s thinking that leads from our rudimentary encounters with things in perceiving through human communication to thinking, this book traces an itinerary that uncovers the nature of truth as ecological justice, and it finds the nature of justice in our attempts to articulate the truth of things.

Endorsements of the book:

“An original interpretation of Aristotle that subtly weaves together the themes of truth and justice. Christopher Long shows how the question of truth leads us ineluctably to justice and the question of justice leads us back to truth. He combines a rigorous reading of Aristotle’s texts with an imaginative discussion of how American pragmatic naturalism and Heideggerian phenomenology illuminate Aristotle’s attentive response to the world. Through Long’s rich text, we can virtually hear Aristotle’s voice speaking to us in new, relevant, and exciting ways.”
– Richard J. Bernstein, New School for Social Research

“Christopher Long’s new book, Aristotle and the Nature of Truth, is a remarkably fresh and original treatment of one of the most central topics in all of philosophy. Long shows through penetrating and persuasive scholarship that for Aristotle the question of truth is about the nature of things and the things of nature. Thus, this is as much a book about nature and about ecology as it is about truth and being, and it is an indispensable tool for those whose work in environmental philosophy is committed to mining the tradition in order to retrieve a theoretical basis for a new sense of ecological justice. Long philosophizes with a remarkable gracefulness and he has a unique ability to work across methodological traditions to offer a reading of Aristotle that draws resources equally from phenomenology, pragmatism, and analytic philosophy. This book will contribute a great deal to overcoming the polarization that inhibits the usual philosophical approaches to ancient Greek philosophy.”
– Walter A. Brogan,Villanova University

“This is a boldly conceived, painstakingly researched, and exquisitely executed work. The author’s intensely focused attention on the relevant texts is matched by a hermeneutic sensibility animated by imagination, probity, and a steadying awareness of Aristotle’s principal preoccupations and commitments. Christopher Long exemplifies what he takes to be at the heart of Aristotle’s understanding of truth – responsibility in the sense of responsiveness (including reflexive responsiveness). His reading of Aristotle as an integral part of philosophical naturalism, taken to be a living philosophical tradition, is just one of the notable and valuable aspects of this unique contribution to contemporary philosophy, not just contemporary scholarship. At every turn, Professor Long shows in detail the relevance of Aristotle’s writings – indeed, the force of his arguments and the depth of his insights.”
– Vincent Colapietro, Pennsylvania State University

“This is a deeply insightful, genuinely important book that says things far beyond what its title might suggest. It is at once a learned and original study of Aristotle and his contemporary importance; a brilliant and productive dialogue with naturalism, pragmatism, and existential phenomenology; and a profound and moving meditation on truth, nature, and justice.  Aristotle and the Nature of Truth is philosophy at its best.”
– John J. Stuhr, Emory University

Gonzalez and Deslauries to Speak at APS@SPEP

We at the Ancient Philosophy Society are very excited to have two excellent speakers joining us the annual SPEP meeting being held this year in Montreal.

Francisco Gonzalez of the University of Ottawa will be presenting “What’s in a Moment? Time for Aristotle (and Heidegger)” and Marguerite Deslauriers of McGill University will be speaking on “Sexual Difference and Divine Being in Plato’s Statesman and Symposium.”

Please join us on Thursday morning, 9am to noon, November 4th, 2010 in Maisonneve D at the Marriott Château Champlain Hotel.

Also, don’t forget, the deadline for the Call for Papers for the 2011 APS Conference at Sundance in April is November 15, 2010.

Post-Doctoral Research Fellowships in Ancient Greek Philosophy in São Paulo

The Research Project on Greek Classical Philosophy: Plato, Aristotle, and their Influence in Antiquity announces three (3) postdoctoral positions at the Philosophy Department, University of São Paulo, in the following areas:

  • Plato’s Philosophy (1 Fellowship)
  • Aristotle’s Philosophy (1 Fellowship)
  • Hellenistic or Plotinus’ Philosophy (1 Fellowship)

The fellowships will be appointed to a two-year term, renewable for an additional term, beginning in March 2011. Each fellowship carries a departmental application and the responsibility of joining in the research activities of the Research Project (research seminars, conferences, meetings). These fellowships correspond to a research position, with no teaching responsibilities attached.

The fellowships are sponsored by FAPESP. Chosen candidates will earn R$ 5,028.00 (Brazilian currency) per month, tax free.

Applicants may apply to more than one position.

They should have completed the PhD in Philosophy or Classics, preferably no earlier than 2006. For each position, the applicant must include :

  • an updated Curriculum Vitae;
  • a statement of proposed research (no more than 4 pages, plus 1 separate page for bibliography), specifying the topic(s) to be studied, including a research schedule for the first two years and a list of expected publications;
  • a writing sample (dissertation chapter or other paper);
  • one sealed letter of recommendation, to be sent directly by the person making the recommendation to the address below.

All documents should be submitted in printed form; please note that the materials will not be returned. Candidates will be notified by e-mail once their dossier has been processed (please provide an e-mail address in the application).

All dossier materials and the selection committee’s evaluations remain confidential. The committee is not able to provide feedback on individual applications.

Closing date for all applications: November 13th 2010.

Applications (in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, or Portuguese) should be submitted (as print materials) to:

Prof. Marco Zingano
Philosophy Department
Av. Prof. Luciano Gualberto, 315
05508-900 São Paulo, SP

More information can be obtained in these sites:

Research Project: http://www.bv.fapesp.br/en/projetos-tematicos/7226/greek-classical- philosophy-plato-aristotle/
USP Department of Philosophy (www.fflch.usp.br/df)
Journal of Ancient Philosophy (www.filosofiaantiga.com)
FAPESP (www.fapesp.br)

For information not available in these sites, please contact Prof. Marco Zingano at mzingano@usp.br .

Digital Dialogue 34: Heidegger on Aristotle

Digital Dialogue 34
Originally uploaded by Christopher Long

Rob Metcalf, Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Colorado at Denver and graduate of the Pennsylvania State University’s Department of Philosophy, joins Christopher Long for episode 34 of the Digital Dialogue.

Rob’s work focuses on ancient philosophy, phenomenology, ethics, philosophy of religion and the history of philosophy.

We recorded this episode at Michigan State where we were attending the annual meeting of the Ancient Philosophy Society. Our discussion focused on his and Mark Tanzer’s recent translation of Heidegger’s 1924 lecture course entitled Basic Concepts of Aristotelian Philosophy.

Digital Dialogue 34: Metcalf on Heidegger’s reading of Aristotle

To subscribe to the Digital Dialogue through iTunesU, click here.

Aristotle Position at Emory

According to John Stuhr of Emory University, they will be advertising for the following position:

Assistant Professor (tenure-track) Beginning Fall 2011. Four courses/year, beginning undergraduate to graduate level. Usual advising, committee, and other non-teaching duties. Ph. D. required.

AOS: Aristotle. AOC: history of philosophy.

Review of applications begins November 15, 2010; interviews will take place at the APA meeting in December, 2010; finalists will visit campus beginning in January. Applications must include: a cover letter that addresses the position description; a current CV; a writing sample; a teaching portfolio; and three confidential letters of reference. Send applications to: Aristotle Search, Department of Philosophy, 214 Bowden Hall, 561 South Kilgo Circle, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322. Nominations are invited. Emory University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer, and actively seeks applications from women and minorities.

NEH Summer Seminar: Aristotle on Truth and Meaning

The Society wants to call its members attention to the NEH Summer Seminar on Truth and Meaning in Aristotle by Mark Wheeler and Deborah Modrak. We encourage all our members to visit the website for the seminar at http://aristotle.sdsu.edu for more information.

The description reads in part:

Our seminar will be devoted to the study of Aristotle’s semantic conception of truth and falsehood, both in light of his account of how human language and thought represent the world and in relation to other conceptions of truth and falsehood from those of his predecessors to those of leading contemporary philosophers.

The seminar will be held at San Diego State University from June 21-July 16, 2010.  Sixteen successful applicants will be awarded a $3,300 stipend.  For the first time, graduate students in this field may also apply.  Application deadline is March 2, 2010.  If you have any further questions by contacting me at sarias2@earthlink.net.

Basic Concepts of Aristotelian Philosophy

Indiana University Press has just released a translation of Heidegger’s Basic Concepts of Aristotelian Philosophy, translated by Robert Metcalf and Mark Tanzer.

“With a deep sensitivity to the nuances of Heidegger’s German, this translation retains a liveliness and readability that captures something of the urgency and creativity of Heidegger’s original presentation.”
—Christopher P. Long, Pennsylvania State University

Volume 18 of Martin Heidegger’s collected works presents his important 1924 Marburg lectures which anticipate much of the revolutionary thinking that he subsequently articulated in Being and Time. Available in English for the first time, they make a significant contribution to ancient philosophy, Aristotle studies, Continental philosophy, and phenomenology.

To learn more about the book, see: