•  15
    Ptolemy and the meta-helikôn
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 40 (4): 344-351. 2009.
    In his Harmonics, Ptolemy constructs a complex set of theoretically ‘correct’ forms of musical scale, represented as sequences of ratios, on the basis of mathematical principles and reasoning. But he insists that their credentials will not have been established until they have been submitted to the judgement of the ear. They cannot be audibly instantiated with the necessary accuracy without the help of specially designed instruments, which Ptolemy describes in detail, discussing the uses to whic…Read more
  •  14
    An Introduction to the Philosophy of Science
    Philosophical Studies 18 (n/a): 228-231. 1969.
    Many ‘Introductions’ give the impression of standing aloof from the battle which they describe, of surveying the field with lofty impartiality from above. Often this apparent lack of involvement is misleading: even when it is not it may trivialise the subject by lending an atmosphere of pointlessness to the whole disputation. Dr Theobald, however, is plainly down there in the thick of it, and has written a book which not only makes an excellent introduction to the philosophy of science, but also…Read more
  •  1
    Porphyry's Commentary, the only surviving ancient commentary on a technical text, is not merely a study of Ptolemy's Harmonics. It includes virtually free-standing philosophical essays on epistemology, metaphysics, scientific methodology, aspects of the Aristotelian categories and the relations between Aristotle's views and Plato's, and a host of briefer comments on other matters of wide philosophical interest. For musicologists it is widely recognised as a treasury of quotations from earlier tr…Read more
  •  1
    Reviews (review)
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 36 (4): 465-469. 1985.
  • Scientific Method in Ptolemy's Harmonics
    Cambridge University Press. 2001.
    The science called 'harmonics' was one of the major intellectual enterprises of Greek antiquity. Ptolemy's treatise seeks to invest it with new scientific rigour; its consistently sophisticated procedural self-awareness marks it as a key text in the history of science. This book is a sustained methodological exploration of Ptolemy's project. After an analysis of his explicit pronouncements on the science's aims and the methods appropriate to it, it examines Ptolemy's conduct of his investigation…Read more