•  189
    Freshman Seminar Film Courses
    Teaching Philosophy 28 (4): 351-365. 2005.
    The aim of this paper is to explain how to design and teach a course that meets the special requirements of Freshman Seminar programs by using feature films to examine philosophical themes. Two such courses are discussed. By organizing each course around a theme, the teacher can use the films to illustrate and, sometimes, critique philosophical positions that she elaborates. Discussing the films, the students develop analytical and interpretive skills important for more rigorous philosophy cours…Read more
  •  75
    The Idealism of Hegel’s System
    The Owl of Minerva 34 (1): 19-58. 2002.
    This paper aims to show Hegel’s system to be a self-generating and conceptually closed system and, therefore, an idealism. Many readers have agreed that Hegel intends his logic to be a self-generating, closed system, but they assume that the two branches of Realphilosophie, Nature and Spirit, must involve the application of logical categories to some non-conceptual reality external to them. This paper argues that Nature emerges from logic by the reapplication of the opening logical categories to…Read more
  •  70
    Humor, Dialectic, and Human Nature in Plato
    Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy 15 (2): 319-330. 2011.
    Drawing principally on the Symposium, this paper argues that humor in Plato’s dialogues serves two serious purposes. First, Plato uses puns and other devices to disarm the reader’s defenses and thereby allow her to consider philosophical ideas that she would otherwise dismiss. Second, insofar as human beings can only be understood through unchanging forms that we fail to attain, our lives are discontinuous and only partly intelligible. Since, though, the discontinuity between expectation and act…Read more
  •  67
    Spinoza on the Political Value of Freedom of Religion
    History of Philosophy Quarterly 21 (2): 167-182. 2004.
    The last chapter of Spinoza's Theological-Political Treatise (TTP) is a brief for freedom of religion. In our enthusiasm for Spinoza's conclusion it is easy to overlook the blatant contradiction between this thesis and the central claim of the immediately preceding chapter that "right over matters of religion is vested entirely in the sovereign." There Spinoza emphasizes the necessity that there be but one sovereign in the state and the threat that autonomous religious authorities would pose to …Read more
  •  66
    Aristotle on Knowledge of Nature
    Review of Metaphysics 37 (4). 1984.
    IT IS well-known that Plato and Aristotle disagree on the possibility of knowledge of nature. Plato maintains that knowledge, in contrast with belief, is never mistaken, that the objects of knowledge are always the same and never becoming, and that what we sense is always becoming. He concludes that knowledge is possible only of objects that are unchanging and separate from sensibles, i.e., the forms. Aristotle rejects this conclusion and recognizes knowledge of sensibles. Surprisingly, though, …Read more
  •  64
    Aristotle’s Rethinking of Philosophy
    Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 2 107-114. 2008.
    For Aristotle and other Greek thinkers, philosophy is itself a rethinking. There are other branches of knowledge, like medicine and mathematics, that each grasp some particular subject matter. Since philosophy or, as it has come to be called, metaphysics is the highest science, its job is to grasp somehow all the other sciences and all their subjects. If the science of a subject requires a type of thinking proper to the subject, then the science of that science requires a rethinking of this and …Read more
  •  63
    Sachs, Joe. Aristotle's Physics: A Guided Study
    Review of Metaphysics 50 (3): 687-689. 1997.
  •  55
    Ackrill, Aristotle and Analytic Philosophy
    Ancient Philosophy 2 (2): 142-151. 1982.
  •  52
    Aristotle's Solution to the Problem of Sensible Substance
    Journal of Philosophy 84 (11): 666-672. 1987.
  •  51
  •  49
    Klein on Aristotle on Number
    New Yearbook for Phenomenology and Phenomenological Philosophy 11 271-281. 2011.
    Jacob Klein raises two important questions about Aristotle’s account of number: (1) How does the intellect come to grasp a sensible as an intelligible unit? (2) What makes a collection of these intelligible units into one number? His answer to both questions is “abstraction.” First, we abstract (or, better, disregard) a thing’s sensible characteristics to grasp it as a noetic unit. Second, after counting like things, we again disregard their other characteristics and grasp the group as a noetic …Read more
  •  48
    Hegel’s Family Values
    Review of Metaphysics 54 (4). 2001.
    FEW PHILOSOPHERS, NONE APPROACHING HIS STATURE, would agree with Hegel’s claim that we have an ethical duty to marry. More commonly, philosophers sanction marriage as ethically permissible, as Kant does, or even, at least in recent years, reject marriage as ethically illegitimate. Hegel’s view reflects his understanding of the family as a moral institution, that is, an institution in which mere participation is a moral act and, therefore, obligatory. The notion that the family is or, at least, i…Read more
  •  43
    Metaphysics Z 4-5: An Argument from Addition
    Ancient Philosophy 6 (n/a): 91-122. 1986.
  •  41
    Primary Ousia: An Essay on Aristotle's Metaphysics Z and H
    Review of Metaphysics 46 (3): 625-627. 1993.
    Loux sets the stage with a discussion of ousia in the Categories. There, he claims, Aristotle maintained that "basic subjects" are ontologically fundamental, and the essence of each such subject is its species. Loux thinks that Aristotle was tacitly committed to the "intersection" of these two, which he terms the "unanalyzability principle": An ousia's falling under its species is a "primitive... fact about it... not susceptible of further ontological analysis".
  •  40
    Review of Metaphysics 57 (2): 383-385. 2003.
  •  32
    Aristotle on the Convertibility of One and Being
    New Scholasticism 59 (2): 213-227. 1985.
  •  32
    Aristotle’s Gradations of Being in Metaphysics E–Z (review)
    American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 83 (4): 625-630. 2009.
  •  31
    Der unbewegte beweger Des aristoteles
    Ancient Philosophy 11 (2): 439-444. 1991.
  •  30
    Aristotle on the Extension of Non-Contradiction
    History of Philosophy Quarterly 1 (4). 1984.
  •  29
    Is creativity good?
    British Journal of Aesthetics 29 (1): 47-56. 1989.
  •  27
    Colloquium 2 The Metaphysics of the Syllogism
    Proceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium of Ancient Philosophy 33 (1): 31-60. 2018.
    This paper addresses a central metaphysical issue that has not been recognized: what kind of entity is a syllogism? I argue that the syllogism cannot be merely a mental entity. Some counterpart must exist in nature. A careful examination of the Posterior Analytics’s distinction between the syllogism of the fact and the syllogism of the reasoned fact shows that we must set aside contemporary logic to appreciate Aristotle’s logic, enables us to understand the validity of the scientific syllogism t…Read more
  •  26
    Kritik über Jedan (2000): Willensfreiheit bei Aristoteles?
    Bochumer Philosophisches Jahrbuch Fur Antike Und Mittelalter 7 (1): 243-249. 2002.
  •  26
    Maimonides’ claim, in Guide of the Perplexed I.68, that our intellect, like God’s, becomes one with the object it knows would seem to be at odds with his injunction to his readers to set their “thought to work on the first intelligible” and to “rejoice in what [it] apprehends”. The former passage supposes that we grasp individual essences by themselves, whereas the latter supposes that such essences are known only through their first cause. Since we cannot grasp the first cause, God, we cannot, …Read more
  •  24
    The Rationality of Being
    Review of Metaphysics 68 (3): 487-520. 2015.
    This paper explores two issues: how our thought about nature could reflect natural processes, and how our thoughts about nature are connected with each other. It argues, first, that the standard ways philosophers try to make sense of the notion that thought is separate from nature cannot be made intelligible and, second, that the conceptual schemes used to grasp nature fall broadly into two groups each of which presupposes the other, even though the two are incompatible. Although these conclusio…Read more
  •  23
    Aristotle and the Philosophy of Friendship
    Review of Metaphysics 57 (2): 430-432. 2003.
    Pangle’s thesis is that Aristotle’s account of friendship in Nicomachean Ethics 8 and 9 addresses multiple audiences. For his ostensible audience, statesmen and other men of action, Aristotle paints an enticing picture of friendship that is based on moral virtue and issues in acts of benevolence. However, he embeds within this analysis subtle “tensions” designed to signal to thoughtful readers the limits of moral virtue and so to provoke them to pursue a philosophical life as well as to provide …Read more