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Bobzien, Susanne. Ancient Logic
2016, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
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Added by: Berta Grimau, Contributed by: Giada Fratantonio
Summary: A comprehensive introduction to ancient (western) logic from the 5th century BCE to the 6th century CE, with an emphasis on topics which may be of interest to contemporary logicians. Topics include pre-Aristotelian logic, Aristotelian logic, Peripatetic logic, Stoic Logic and a note on Epicureans and their views on logic.

Comment: This paper would be ideal as an introductory overview for a course on ancient logic. Alternatively, it could serve as an overview for a module on ancient logic within a more general course on the history of logic. No prior knowledge of logic is required; formalisms are for the most part avoided in the paper. Note that this is a SEP entry, so it's completely accessible to students.

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Bobzien, Susanne. Stoic Syllogistic
1996, Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 14: 133-92.
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Added by: Berta Grimau, Contributed by: Giada Fratantonio
Abstract: For the Stoics, a syllogism is a formally valid argument; the primary function of their syllogistic is to establish such formal validity. Stoic syllogistic is a system of formal logic that relies on two types of argumental rules: (i) 5 rules (the accounts of the indemonstrables) which determine whether any given argument is an indemonstrable argument, i.e. an elementary syllogism the validity of which is not in need of further demonstration; (ii) one unary and three binary argumental rules which establish the formal validity of non-indemonstrable arguments by analysing them in one or more steps into one or more indemonstrable arguments (cut type rules and antilogism). The function of these rules is to reduce given non-indemonstrable arguments to indemonstrable syllogisms. Moreover, the Stoic method of deduction differs from standard modern ones in that the direction is reversed (similar to tableau methods). The Stoic system may hence be called an argumental reductive system of deduction. In this paper, a reconstruction of this system of logic is presented, and similarities to relevance logic are pointed out.

Comment: This paper can be used as specialised/further reading for an advanced undergrad or postgraduate course on ancient logic or as a primary reading in an advanced undergrad or postgraduate course on Stoic logic. Alternatively, given that the text argues that there are important parallels between Stoic logic and Relevance logic, it could be used in a course on Relevance logic as well. It requires prior knowledge of logic (in particular, proof theory).

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Broadie, Sarah. Plato’s Sun-Like Good: Dialectic in the Republic
2021, Cambridge University Press
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, Contributed by: Quentin Pharr
Publisher’s Note: Plato's Sun-Like Good is a revolutionary discussion of the Republic's philosopher-rulers, their dialectic, and their relation to the form of the good. With detailed arguments Sarah Broadie explains how, if we think of the form of the good as 'interrogative', we can re-conceive those central reference-points of Platonism in down-to-earth terms without loss to our sense of Plato's philosophical greatness. The book's main aims are: first, to show how for Plato the form of the good is of practical value in a way that we can understand; secondly, to make sense of the connection he draws between dialectic and the form of the good; and thirdly, to make sense of the relationship between the form of the good and other forms while respecting the contours of the sun-good analogy and remaining faithful to the text of the Republic itself.

Comment: This text is an excellent companion text for reading Plato's Republic - especially Books 5 and 6. It provides clear interpretations of the various metaphors and analogies that Plato presents in those books, and it provides one of the most important new interpretations of Plato's conception of philosopher-rulers, the Form of the Good, and philosophical dialectic. This text is primarily for those students who are looking to dive into the relevant debates associated with these books in the Republic. Accordingly, it requires some understanding of some of Plato's other dialogues, as well as some understanding of philosophical and mathematical methodologies as conceived by Plato.

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Chakravartty, Anjan. Introduction: Ancient Skepticism, Voluntarism, and Science
2015, International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 5 (2):73-79
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Added by: Simon Fokt, Contributed by: Matthew Watts
Abstract: In this introduction, I motivate the project of examining certain resonances between ancient skeptical positions, especially Pyrrhonism, and positions in contemporary epistemology, with special attention to recent work in the epistemology of science. One such resonance concerns the idea of suspension of judgment or belief in certain contexts or domains of inquiry, and the reasons for (or processes eventuating in) suspension. Another concerns the question of whether suspension of belief in such circumstances is voluntary, in any of the senses discussed in current work on voluntarism in epistemology, which informs recent discussions of how voluntarism regarding epistemic stances may shed light on positions like scientific realism and antirealism. The aim of this special issue is thus to explore certain analogies and disanalogies between ancient and contemporary debates about skepticism, and to consider whether and to what extent the former can provide insight into the latter.

Comment: This text offers motivation for examining ancient skeptical positions in relation to contemporary epistemology, especially epistemology of science.

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Gannett, Lisa. Echoes From the Cave: Philosophical Conversations Since Plato
2014, Oup Canada.
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Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa, Contributed by: Simon Fokt
Publisher's Note: Echoes from the Cave: Philosophical Conversations since Plato is an anthology of classic and contemporary readings in philosophy compiled to introduce students to the main problems discussed by philosophers past and present

Comment: This is an anthology of texts on central topics in philosophy, many of which might be suitable for the DRL.

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Goldstein, Rebecca. Plato at the Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won’t Go Away
2014, Pantheon Books.
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Added by: Jamie Collin
Publisher's Note: Imagine that Plato came to life in the twenty-first century and embarked on a multi-city speaking tour. How would he mediate a debate between a Freudian psychoanalyst and a 'tiger mum' on how to raise the perfect child? How would he handle the host of a right-wing news program who denies there can be morality without religion? What would Plato make of Google, and of the idea that knowledge can be crowdsourced rather than reasoned out by experts? Plato at the Googleplex is acclaimed thinker Rebecca Newberger Goldstein's dazzling investigation of these conundra. With a philosopher's depth and erudition and a novelist's imagination and wit, Goldstein probes the deepest issues confronting us by allowing us to eavesdrop on Plato as he takes on the modern world; it is a stunningly original plunge into the drama of philosophy, revealing its hidden role in today's debates on religion, morality, politics and science.

Comment: Useful in a general intro to philosophy course. This is partcularly suited for a general introduction course because it touches on a number of disparate parts of philosophy, and because it provides arguments for the continued value of philosophy.

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Harte, Verity. Plato on Parts and Wholes: The Metaphysics of Structure
2002, Oxford University Press
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, Contributed by: Quentin Pharr
Publisher’s Note: This book is an examination of Plato's treatment of the relation between a whole and its parts in a group of Plato's later works: the Theaetetus, Parmenides, Sophist, Philebus, and Timaeus. Plato's discussions of part and whole in these texts fall into two distinct groups: a problematic one in which he explores, without endorsing, a model of composition as identity; and another in which he develops an alternative to this rejected model. Each model is concerned with the nature of composition of a whole from its parts, such that a whole is an individual, rather than a mere collection or heap. According to the problematic model of composition, a whole is identical to its many parts, that is, the relation of many parts to one whole is just the relation of identity. This model is shown to have the paradoxical consequence that the same thing(s) is (or are) both one thing and many things, and for this reason, amongst others, it cannot support an adequate account of composition. According to the alternative model of composition, wholes of parts are contentful structures (or, instances of such structures), whose parts get their identity only in the context of the whole they compose. Plato presents the structure of such wholes as the proper objects of Platonic science: essentially irreducible, intelligible, and normative in character.

Comment: This text is perfect for advanced students studying either mereology or ancient philosophical metaphysics. It connects ancient debates on the relations between parts and wholes to modern debates - but, it does not do so at the cost of deviating too much from Plato's texts or the ancient philosophical context. Prior readings of several of Plato's texts are advised, as well as some understanding of recent mereological debates, in order to fully engage with Harte's work.

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Ivanova, Milena. Did Perrin’s Experiments Convert Poincare to Scientific Realism?
2013, Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 3 (1):1-19.
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Added by: Chris Blake-Turner, Contributed by: Milena Ivanova
Abstract: In this paper I argue that Poincare's acceptance of the atom does not indicate a shift from instrumentalism to scientific realism. I examine the implications of Poincare's acceptance of the existence of the atom for our current understanding of his philosophy of science. Specifically, how can we understand Poincare's acceptance of the atom in structural realist terms? I examine his 1912 paper carefully and suggest that it does not entail scientific realism in the sense of acceptance of the fundamental existence of atoms but rather, argues against fundamental entities. I argue that Poincare's paper motivates a non-fundamentalist view about the world, and that this is compatible with his structuralism.

Comment: [This is a stub entry. Please add your comments to help us expand it]

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Li, Chenyang. The Confucian Philosophy of Harmony
2014, Routledge Studies in Asian Religion and Philosophy
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, Contributed by: Quentin Pharr
Publisher’s Note: Harmony is a concept essential to Confucianism and to the way of life of past and present people in East Asia. Integrating methods of textual exegesis, historical investigation, comparative analysis, and philosophical argumentation, this book presents a comprehensive treatment of the Confucian philosophy of harmony. The book traces the roots of the concept to antiquity, examines its subsequent development, and explicates its theoretical and practical significance for the contemporary world. It argues that, contrary to a common view in the West, Confucian harmony is not mere agreement but has to be achieved and maintained with creative tension. Under the influence of a Weberian reading of Confucianism as "adjustment" to a world with an underlying fixed cosmic order, Confucian harmony has been systematically misinterpreted in the West as presupposing an invariable grand scheme of things that pre-exists in the world to which humanity has to conform. The book shows that Confucian harmony is a dynamic, generative process, which seeks to balance and reconcile differences and conflicts through creativity. Illuminating one of the most important concepts in Chinese philosophy and intellectual history, this book is of interest to students of Chinese studies, history and philosophy in general and eastern philosophy in particular.

Comment: This text is the single best introduction and overview of the Confucian conception of harmony (hē), and how it compares with ancient Roman and Greek conceptions of the same. This text is best read with some familiarity of various Confucian texts and commentators. But, the author is quite generous to readers in explaining the background of whatever is under discussion. In general, this text is probably best as a further reading for students who are also reading Confucian texts, but it also stands up as an introductory and specialized overview of its subject matter as well.

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Nussbaum, Martha, Rosalind Hursthouse. Plato on Commensurability and Desire
1984, Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 58: 55-96.
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Added by: Simon Fokt
Diversifying Syllabi: Plato’s belief in the commensurability of values (shared by modern utilitarians) ultimately “cuts very deep: taken seriously, it will transform our passions as well as our decision-making, giving emotions such as love, fear, grief, and hence the ethical problems that are connected with them, an altogether different character” (56). The upshot is that “certain proposals in ethics and social choice theory that present themselves as innocuous extensions of ordinary belief and practice could actually lead, followed and lived with severity and rigor, to the end of human life as we currently know it” (56).

Comment: The text is useful in teaching ethics, especially as a critique of utilitarianism. It can also be used as a reading in history of philosophy classes focusing on ancient ethics. It is rather long, but can be used in excerpts. The paper is largely reprinted in Nussbaum's Fragility of Goodness.

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Obdrzalek, Suzanne. Moral transformation and the love of beauty in Plato’s symposium
2010, Journal of the History of Philosophy 48(4): 415-444
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Added by: Simon Fokt, Contributed by: Anonymous
Abstract:

This paper defends an intellectualist interpretation of Diotima’s speech in Plato’s Symposium. I argue that Diotima’s purpose, in discussing the lower lovers, is to critique their erōs as aimed at a goal it can never secure, immortality, and as focused on an inferior object, themselves. By contrast, in loving the form of beauty, the philosopher gains a mortal sort of completion; in turning outside of himself, he also ceases to be preoccupied by his own incompleteness.

Comment: On Eros in the Symposium. Would be great in any course that has a unit on this.

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Oluwole, Sophie. Socrates and Ọ̀rúnmìlà: Two Patron Saints of Classical Philosophy
2014, Ark Publishers.
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Added by: Rebecca Buxton
Publisher’s Note: Oluwole's teachings and works are generally attributed to the Yoruba school of philosophical thought, which was ingrained in the cultural and religious beliefs (Ifá) of the various regions of Yorubaland. According to Oluwole, this branch of philosophy predates the Western tradition, as the ancient African philosopher Orunmila predates Socrates by her estimate. These two thinkers, representing the values of the African and Western traditions, are two of Oluwole's biggest influences, and she compares the two in her book Socrates and Orunmila.

Comment: This book compares Socrates to Ọ̀rúnmìlà, an 'Orisha' or an important sprit in Yoruba. Both Socrates and Orunmila undertook their philosophy orally and passed their teachings and thinking onto students. Oluwole therefore challenges the western assumption that African philosophy does not have a long-standing on deep tradition.

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Osborne, Catherine. Eros Unveiled: Plato and the God of Love
1994, Oxford University Press.
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Added by: Laura Jimenez
Publisher's note: This unique book challenges the traditional distinction between eros, the love found in Greek thought, and agape, the love characteristic of Christianity. Focusing on a number of classic texts, including Plato's Symposium and Lysis, Aristotle's Ethics and Metaphysics, and famous passages in Gregory of Nyssa, Origen, Dionysius the Areopagite, Plotinus, Augustine, and Thomas Aquinas, the author shows that Plato's account of eros is not founded on self-interest. In this way, she restores the place of erotic love as a Christian motif, and unravels some longstanding confusions in philosophical discussions of love.

Comment: The author’s view represents a new approach to ancient views on eros and its place in the Christian tradition. It is suitable for undergraduate or postgraduate courses on Ethics and Ancient Philosophy. Perfect as a secondary reading for students working on Plato's Symposium and Lysis, or Aristotle's Ethics and Metaphysics.

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Pomeroy, Sarah B.. The Pythagorean Women: Their History and Writings
2013, The Johns Hopkins University Press
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Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa, Contributed by: Bart Schultz
Publisher's Note: In Pythagorean Women, classical scholar Sarah B. Pomeroy discusses the groundbreaking principles that Pythagoras established for family life in Archaic Greece, such as constituting a single standard of sexual conduct for women and men. Among the Pythagoreans, women played an important role and participated actively in the philosophical life. While Pythagoras encouraged women to be submissive to men, his reasoning was based on the desire to preserve harmony in the home. Pythagorean Women provides English translations of all the earliest extant examples of literary Greek prose by Neopythagorean women, shedding light on their attitudes about marriage, the home, music, and the cosmos. Pomeroy sets the Pythagorean and Neopythagorean women vividly in their historical, ecological, and intellectual contexts, illustrated with original photographs of sites and artifacts known to these women.

Comment: Great work demonstrating how ancient Pythagorean philosophy welcomedwomen philosophers.

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Pomeroy, Sarah B.. The study of women in antiquity: Past, present, and future
1991, American Journal of Philology 112 (2).
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Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa, Contributed by: Clotilde Torregrossa
Abstract: The publication of Arethusa 6 in 1973 inaugurated the serious study of women in antiquity in our time. Classics was one of many disciplines to begin developing a subfield of women's studies in the early 1970s. Since then, has the study of women in antiquity become part of the "mainstream"? In order to answer this question I decided to examine articles and reviews published in current periodicals. I spent one day (October 1, 1990) skimming through the journals on display racks at the Ashmolean and Bodleian Libraries, assuming that they constituted a random sample. I looked at all the journals in Classics, Archaeology, and Ancient History that could conceivably have some material on women in antiquity. I checked only the titles listed in the main index of each journal; book reviews that were not listed in such an index were not noted. My criterion for including an article or review was that it could be of special value to someone teaching a specialised course or doing research on women in antiquity as well as to readers with a more casual interest in the subject. I do not claim any statistical significance for this survey. Nor is it intended to alert readers to a dearth of articles and reviews on ancient women in particular journals; for example, Arethusa frequently publishes work in this field, but I happened to examine a special issue on pastoral. I looked at forty-five journals. Of these, twenty-two did not have an article or review relevant to the study of ancient women. Twenty-three journals contained at least one title and of these Helios had devoted an entire issue to Feminist scholars, including those who are not specialists in classical antiquity, would probably be particularly interested in some of the articles in Helios and in Larissa Bonfante's study of nudity. The vast majority of the publications are traditional historical or literary studies. But I doubt that they would have been so numerous without the inspiration of feminism, however remote from the mind of some of the authors. This little survey confirmed my sense that the study of women has, indeed, become part, albeit a very small part, of the mainstream of Classical Studies.

Comment: [This is a stub entry. Please add your comments to help us expand it]

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