What are some major contemporary issues in Plato and Aristotle scholarship in recent years?

  • I'm not an ancient guy (so I'm not too up to speed on what the contemporary debates are in ancient philosophy), but this question as worded seems rather broad. Can you narrow this significantly?
    – virmaior
    Commented Mar 12, 2016 at 12:32
  • Also, it might even be best to ask separately about Aristotle and Plato ...
    – virmaior
    Commented Mar 13, 2016 at 0:29

3 Answers 3


For Aristotle scholarship, one of the big live issues is how to piece together the parts of Metaphysics. It is largely believed that what we have is incomplete and possibly out of sequence. At the center of this is Book Lambda.

(As an aside Aquinas has an amazing ability to piece together and explain the terse lecture note like text we have from Aristotle).

  • interesting! if you have any papers you can point to, i would be really interested! Commented Mar 13, 2016 at 2:21

Perhaps one should use some google statistics to find what is hot currently, but some general remarks can also be made.

2400 Years of Aristotle are celebrated under Unesco this year (that is 2400=2016-(-384)), so everything about Aristotle is a really hot: at every level ( from department to world) there will be dozens of conferences, and almost anything could be pushed somewhere. So. Aristotle is hotter than Plato just now.

An other point is that in the last 50 years or so there has been a consensus that ethics and politics as understood and discussed by ancient greek thinkers are rather politically incorrect. Historical perspectives on both A and P being are really demanding work, the interest is shifted mostly towards science and logic.

For Plato, a yearly “Bibliographie platonicienne” is published by les Etudes platoniciennes and scanning through the last two or three issues allows one to get an idea what is hot. The Timaeus and 'mathematics' are obvious evergreens. Personally I am fascinated by the debate about the so called 'intermediates', a notion A invented in order to explain P.


A permanent hot topic concerning Plato is the discussion whether an unwritten doctrine of Plato exists and if yes, how it relates to his written doctrine.

See How much is known about Plato's "unwritten doctrines"?

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