26

Logic means something different now than what it once did. In classical philosophy one primary branch of philosophy investigated the cosmos, one investigated human life, and a third investigated the forms of reasoning used in the other two: physikē, ethikē, logikē (See Diog. Laert. for variants on this schema.) When an older writer (or a modern classicist) ...


23

Aristotle's solution was largely accepted until the end of 19th century when Cantor and Dedekind formalized the notion of continuum in terms of set theory. Under their interpretation time is in fact composed of indivisible nows, just like a line is composed of points, and any other magnitude is composed of indivisible elements as well. It does not mean that ...


19

Rovelli claims that time is an illusion, deriving from the incompleteness of knowledge. Since that incompleteness of knowledge is a permanent (and necessary) state of affairs, his hypothesis does us no good at all-- we are still firmly stuck inside of time, illusory as it may be, with no hope of escape. And thus, for us trapped within the illusion, Zeno's ...


17

Well, to begin with, that's a terrible misquotation of Aristotle. What he actually wrote was the following: But at present we are studying the best constitution, and this is the constitution under which the state would be most happy, and it has been stated before that happiness cannot be forthcoming without virtue; it is therefore clear from these ...


16

There are a number of good books about Aristotle that will greatly, greatly aide you in your quest to read Aristotle. The best single volume introduction to Aristotle's thought currently available in English is Christopher Shields' book Aristotle published by Routledge. Even better, the book is arranged thematically, which will allow you to read one of the ...


15

We must first distinguish between what is physically possible — what it is possible to actually occur — and what is imaginable, or logically possible under certain premisses. Remarks about the logically possible Initial approaches Logic itself — which I will take to mean classical propositional logic — has very little to say about ...


15

No, Aristotle's logic has not been rendered obsolete or disproved; "modern works still reference/use his logic frequently" (courtesy: V2Blast). See, for example: Łukasiewicz, Jan. 1957. Aristotle's syllogistic from the standpoint of modern formal logic. Oxford: Clarendon Press.&Thomas Greenwood. “The Unity of Logic,” Thomist: A Speculative Quarterly ...


13

Kind of. The obvious As animal sociale is the Latin, especially Scholastic translation of zoon politikon, just as animal rationale is the translation of ζῷον λόγον ἔχον, zōon logon ekhon, he in this sense of course wrote about animal rationale. Texts where he discusses this term, translated accordingly, are e.g. De Partibus Animalium, 686a27ff., as ...


12

The difference between the Law of Non-Contradiction and the Law of the Excluded Middle is subtle; fortunately, it's also irrelevant to most purposes. The distinction becomes most evident if we contrast classical logic to the Indian Catuṣkoṭi, where four positions are available: P Not P Both P and Not P Neither P Nor Not P These can be conveniently recast ...


12

The history of ideas and the history of philosophy is a world riddled with boogeymen versions of certain philosophers. Some of the more common historical boogeymen are "Plato", "Aristotle", "scholasticism" / "Medieval philosophy" , "Descartes", "Kant", "Hegel", "Nietzsche", and "Kierkegaard" . You may notice two things about this list: (1) every name is in ...


11

I think Russell is fairly clear in this passage --his gripe is not so much with Aristotle, but with how (in his opinion) Aristotelian thought continued to dominate the fields of science, philosophy, and logic long after it had outlived its usefulness. In particular, he saw the field of logic as having ossified for thousands of years after Aristotle's death....


11

Terminology changed somewhat, and much of what used to be called "logic" as late as early 20th century is now called epistemology, for more details see What are the differences between philosophies presupposing one Logic versus many logics? Posterior Analytics covers mostly that epistemological part of logic. What Aristotle describes is what later was coined ...


10

Shane's answer is great overall on what to read, but reading your title and question body again... you asked what to skip. Skip his Biology in its entirety. There's quite a few texts in there. Mostly interesting only on an anecdotal level (nearly all the primary texts here http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/aristotle-biology/). I'm not saying that it's ...


8

This is best understood in contrast to Plato's theories. For Aristotle, the passage is saying, only bare particulars exist, and not universals. This means, for example, that there are individual cows which actually exist, but the abstraction of cow-ness does not exist. This is quite different than Plato, who claims not only that Cow-ness exists (as a ...


8

Aristotle classified states according to two variables: who holds power? And: in whose interest is it exercised? There are three politically possible answers to the first question (one, some and all:the kingship, aristocracy, and politeia), and two politically possible answers to the second (the holder of power, and everyone). Aristotle treats kingship and ...


8

Most physicists don't accept infinities for a very obvious reason: such infinite physical objects are not quantifiable! That is, we can't measure them or even prove that they are infinite. Through the history of physics, infinities were raised in formulas, and usually in these cases the formulas were thrown away, considered as incomplete, or they kept ...


8

The context is human action and its "rationality": [ 1113b.1 ] The activities in which the virtues are exercised deal with means. Therefore virtue also depends on ourselves. And so also does vice. [...] if it is in our power to do and to refrain from doing right and wrong, and if, as we saw, being good or bad is doing right or wrong, it consequently ...


7

Empiricism and its opposite Rationalism are positions about the nature and origin of knowledge. Empiricists say that knowledge comes from experience. (Empeirea is the Greek word for experience.) Rationalism on the other hand says that we have at least some knowledge innately, i.e. prior to experience. In this sense Aristotle is definitely an empiricist. He ...


7

Given the efforts Aristotle made to support his argument for an eternal universe, it would appear that he was quite certain of the belief. He establishes multiple principles and arguments in making his case for an eternal universe (many of which creationists have gone to some lengths to either reconcile with creationism, or refute). Thus, many of those who ...


7

1 is not a number because 1 happens to be the (a?) unit. And a number, by definition, is a multitude of units. So clearly then, the two are distinct. See Metaphysics 1052b35, Posterior Analytics 72a22, and Topics 108b30. To see why, for example, 2 is a number whereas 1 is a unit, see Metaphysics 1039a15.


7

Strictly speaking there are no absolute necessities in physics. But strictly speaking there are no absolute necessities in mathematics and logic either. Mathematical theories have axioms, necessity of conclusions is relative to them, and to logic used. The law of excluded middle is rejected by intuitionists, the law of non-contradiction by dialetheists (see ...


7

There are several notions of intuitionistic continuum, the closest ones to Aristotle's are Brouwer's "fluid continuum", and especially late Weyl’s version of it since On the New Foundational Crisis of Mathematics (1921). We have to keep in mind, however, that Brouwer and Weyl received their view through a major intermediary, Kant. Although Aristotle’s and ...


7

Aristotle, 'In the case of objects which involve no matter, what thinks and what is thought are identical' ('De Anima', III, 430a, 3-4). (J.A. Smith tr., Oxford.)


7

The paper General Theory of Natural Equivalences by Eilenberg and Mac Lane (1945), where the terminology is first introduced, mentions neither Aristotle, nor Kant, nor even Carnap, who was still alive. The motivation given was: "In a metamathematical sense our theory provides general concepts applicable to all branches of mathematics, and so ...


7

That's not quite right for the parsing. What you're seeing is BOOK Chapter and Bekker notation. Your example: Met. I.3 983b6–18 = Metaphysics Book I Chapter 3 Bekker page 983 column b lines 6-18. So 6-18 is not the paragraph numbers but rather the line numbers in the Bekker edition. This is the standard scholarly way to cite Aristotle. You can also ...


7

Aristotle, Aristotle's Categories and De Interpretatione, Published by Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1963. Translated with notes by J.L.Ackrill. Ackrill was a fine scholar and I still find this book reliable. Jonathan Barnes is a principal expert on Aristotle and the relevant part of his Aristotle: A Very Short Introduction, ISBN 10: 0192854089 / ISBN 13: ...


7

Given that you have about a month and a half to prepare, in which you estimate you can read two or three books, I would not recommend starting with Aristotle to understand Being and Time. Instead, I might focus on the skills necessary to grasp Cartesian Meditations and also to understand the sort of problems Being and Time is dealing with. Neither of these ...


7

The efficient cause is not numerically identical with the effect because the "things" involved into the "production process" are different individials : the father of John generates John but he is a different individual : the father is not numerically identical with the son. But the father, in order to produce a man must be himself a man, i.e. he must ...


7

Thomists affirm theism, but God would be a counterexample to your proposition as stated: God is something "that exists" in Himself; He does not "exist by something [else]". Thomists' principle of sufficient reason (PSR) A more accurate statement of Thomists' version of PSR is (Philosophical Axiom 7.1): Everything has sufficient reason of being either in ...


6

The canonical reference in these matters is Thomas McEvilley's brilliant The Shape of Ancient Thought (he has a teaser video summarizing some of the findings here.) The short version is: there is considerable evidence of the communication of philosophical ideas between the classical Greek and Indian worlds, in both directions; in terms of Buddhism, this can ...


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