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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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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, Contributed by:

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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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.

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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, Contributed by:

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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Osborne, Catherine, , . Eros Unveiled: Plato and the God of Love
1994, Oxford University Press.
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Added by: Laura Jimenez, Contributed by:

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.

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Sherman, Nancy, , . Stoic Warriors: The Ancient Philosophy Behind the Military Mind
2005, New York: Oxford University Press.
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Added by: John Baldari, Contributed by:

Publisher: While few soldiers may have read the works of Epictetus or Marcus Aurelius, it is undoubtedly true that the ancient philosophy known as Stoicism guides the actions of many in the military. Soldiers and seamen learn early in their training “to suck it up,” to endure, to put aside their feelings and to get on with the mission. Stoic Warriors is the first book to delve deeply into the ancient legacy of this relationship, exploring what the Stoic philosophy actually is, the role it plays in the character of the military (both ancient and modern), and its powerful value as a philosophy of life. Marshalling anecdotes from military history–ranging from ancient Greek wars to World War II, Vietnam, and Iraq–Nancy Sherman illuminates the military mind and uses it as a window on the virtues of the Stoic philosophy, which are far richer and more interesting than our popularized notions. Sherman–a respected philosopher who taught at the US Naval Academy–explores the deep, lasting value that Stoicism can yield, in issues of military leadership and character; in the Stoic conception of anger and its control (does a warrior need anger to go to battle?); and in Stoic thinking about fear and resilience, grief and mourning, and the value of camaraderie and brotherhood. Sherman concludes by recommending a moderate Stoicism, where the task for the individual, both civilian and military, youth and adult, is to temper control with forgiveness, and warrior drive and achievement with humility and humor. Here then is a perceptive investigation of what makes Stoicism so compelling not only as a guiding principle for the military, but as a philosophy for anyone facing the hardships of life.

Comment: This book offers an opportunity to engage military philosophy from a modernized Stoic perspective. It is best used in conjunction with other Ancient philosophical work on warfare.

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Sherman, Nancy, , . The Fabric of Character: Aristotle’s Theory of Virtue
1989, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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Added by: John Baldari, Contributed by:

Publisher: Most traditional accounts of Aristotle’s theory of ethical education neglect its cognitive aspects. This book asserts that, in Aristotle’s view, excellence of character comprises both the sentiments and practical reason. Sherman focuses particularly on four aspects of practical reason as they relate to character: moral perception, choicemaking, collaboration, and the development of those capacities in moral education. Throughout the book, she is sensitive to contemporary moral debates, and indicates the extent to which Aristotle’s account of practical reason provides an alternative to theories of impartial reason.

Comment: This book is useful for ethics curriculum that focus on virtue or Aristotelian focused ethics courses.

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Sherman, Nancy, , . The Look and Feel of Virtue
2005, In Christopher Gill (ed.), Virtue, Norms, and Objectivity: Issues in Ancient and Modern Ethics. Clarendon Press
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Added by: John Baldari, Contributed by:

Abstract: For much of the twentieth century it was common to contrast the characteristic forms and preoccupations of modern ethical theory with those of the ancient world. However, the last few decades have seen a growing recognition that contemporary moral philosophy now has much in common with its ancient incarnation, in areas as diverse as virtue ethics and ethical epistemology. Christopher Gill has assembled an international team to conduct a fascinating exploration of the relationship between the two fields, exploring key issues in ancient ethics in a way that highlights their conceptual significance for the study of ethics more generally. Virtue, Norms, and Objectivity will be as interesting and relevant to modern moral philosophers, therefore, as it will be to specialists in ancient thought.

Comment: This chapter is recommended additional reading for in-depth studies on Virtue Theory specifically.
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Worth, Sarah E., , . Fictional spaces
2004, Philosophical Forum 35 (4):439-455.
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Added by: Chris Blake-Turner, Contributed by: Christy Mag Uidhir

Abstract: Plato claims that representational art is dangerous because of its deceptive nature. He thinks that those who indulge too much in imitation will eventually have problems differentiating between imitation and reality. Aristotle, on the other hand, believes that indulging oneself in imitation (specifically theatrical tragedy) is healthy if the experience produces a catharsis – which would help one function better in real life. There has been a long-standing debate between these two positions on representation, both of them still having different strengths even when applied to contemporary situations. Ancient theories often hold special value when they continue to help us understand current issues, but what would Plato make of an IMAX film? Would Aristotle claim the same kind of catharsis could result from virtual reality, as a tragedy presented on the stage in ancient Greece? In what follows, I will use the theories of Plato and Aristotle as a foundation, and then move on to describe the changing nature of representation in order to explain how different kinds of media can affect our understanding of representation and our responses to it. Plato and Aristotle introduced the difficult moral and epistemological questions that result from the differentiation between reality and mimesis, or representation. Although there are still problems in explaining our real reactions to represented events, one aspect of the problem has changed significantly in the 20thcentury: the media through which the fictions or representations are presented. The changing nature of the media of fictional discourse calls for a reexamination of the theory we employ in understanding these experiences. In order to understand what effect the changing nature of the media has on these experiences, I will explore two other topics that will help clarify both the problems and the solutions. First, the changing concepts of what count as ‘mimetic’ and what count as ‘fictional’ need to be clarified in order that we know the kinds of discourses with which we are dealing. The Greek term mimesis, however, needs to be unpacked into the current terminology to account for the different aspects of representation, narrative, and fiction. Second, I will provide a general explanation of how fiction affects its readers according to current aesthetic theory as compared to ancient theory. Having dealt with these preliminary concerns, I will then argue that the changing nature of the media of representation changes the explanations of our experiences of fiction, which have been accounted for by earlier theory. I will argue further that these responses may in fact be more dependent upon the quality of the narrative structure of the fiction than the mode or media through which it is presented.

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