•  66
    Within The Guide of the Perplexed Maimonides presents an argument that is intended to render probable the temporal creation of the cosmos. In one of these arguments Maimonides adopts the Kalamic strategy of arguing for the necessity of there being a “particularizing” agent. Maimonides argues that even one who grants Aristotelian science can still ask why the heavenly realm is as it is, to which there is no reply forthcoming but “God so willed it.” The argument is effective against the Arabic Neo…Read more
  •  51
    Atoms, complexes, and demonstration: Posterior analytics 96b15-25
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 35 (4): 707-727. 2004.
    There is agreement neither concerning the point that is being made in Posterior analytics 96b15–25 nor the issue Aristotle intends to address. There are two major lines of interpretation of this passage. According to one, sketched by Themistius and developed by Philoponus and Eustratius, Aristotle is primarily concerned with determining the definitions of the infimae species that fall under a certain genus. They understand Aristotle as arguing that this requires collating definitional prediction…Read more
  •  46
    Circular Justification and Explanation in Aristotle
    Phronesis 58 (3): 195-214. 2013.
    Aristotle’s account of epistēmē is foundationalist. In contrast, the web of dialectical argumentation that constitutes justification for scientific principles is coherentist. Aristotle’s account of explanation is structurally parallel to the argument for a foundationalist account of justification. He accepts the first argument but his coherentist accounts of justification indicate that he would not accept the second. Where is the disanalogy? For Aristotle, the intelligibility of a demonstrative …Read more
  •  43
    Inference from Signs
    Ancient Philosophy 23 (2): 452-459. 2003.
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  •  36
    Explaining an Eclipse: Aristotle’s Posterior Analytics 2.1-10
    Philosophical Review 107 (1): 149. 1998.
    In Explaining an Eclipse, Owen Goldin provides a book-length treatment of the first ten chapters of book 2 of the Posterior Analytics. Goldin’s aim is to answer one question: how can an Aristotelian demonstration show anything of scientific interest if all the premises are definitions? To this question Goldin gives his undivided attention.
  •  35
    Tamir, Rawls and the Temple Mount
    Journal of Applied Philosophy 22 (3). 2005.
    abstract What gives ethical and political validity to a state? This is to ask what a state is for and to provide a means to determine whether or not a constitution is just. In this paper I compare the account given by Tamir in Liberal Nationalism with that of Rawls, in order to clarify the decisive differences. Although both recognize the importance of particular associations and the moral imperative to be fair, Tamir places priority on the first and Rawls on the second. I explore their practica…Read more
  •  32
    Aristotle, the Pythagoreans, and Structural Realism
    Review of Metaphysics 69 (4): 687-707. 2016.
    Aristotle’s main objection to Pythagorean number ontology is that it posits as a basic subject what can exist only as inherent in a subject. The author then shows how contemporary structural realists posit an ontology much like that of Aristotle’s Pythagoreans. Both take the objects of knowledge to be structure, not the subject of structure. He discusses both how pancomputationalists such as Edward Fredkin approach the Pythagorean account insofar as on their account all reality can in principle …Read more
  •  31
    Aristotle’s On Generation and Corruption I (review)
    International Philosophical Quarterly 46 (1): 132-133. 2006.
  •  29
    Aristotle on Definition
    Ancient Philosophy 29 (2): 427-431. 2009.
  •  29
    Aristotle as Teacher: His Introduction to a Philosophical Science by Christopher Bruell
    Journal of the History of Philosophy 54 (1): 154-155. 2016.
    This commentary on Aristotle’s Metaphysics is in a style familiar from the writings of Leo Strauss and his students. The reader is presented with a paraphrase of the whole of Aristotle’s text, marked by seemingly odd omissions, emphases, and offhand remarks. One soon sees that the book is written in code. Only as the book progresses is the author more explicit concerning what he takes to be the main lines of Aristotle’s esoteric teaching, which is as follows.Aristotle writes the Metaphysics for …Read more
  •  28
    Heraclitean Satiety and Aristotelian Actuality
    The Monist 74 (4): 568-578. 1991.
    It is now a commonplace that Aristotle and Theophrastus systematically misunderstood Heraclitus in interpreting fire as an ἀρχή of the kind posited by the Milesians. While air in the thought of Anaxamines and the ἄπειρον in the thought of Anaximander can be considered to play the role of the Aristotelian material substrate without too much distortion, this is not so for fire in the thought of Heraclitus. As Cherniss has indicated, while a substrate of the kind posited by the Milesians is a perma…Read more
  •  26
    The Chain of Change: A Study of Aristotle’s Physics VII (review)
    Ancient Philosophy 13 (1): 189. 1993.
  •  26
    Principles and Proofs: Aristotle’s Theory (review)
    International Studies in Philosophy 29 (2): 137-138. 1997.
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    Aristotle described the scientific explanation of universal or general facts as deducing them through scientific demonstrations, that is, through syllogisms that met requirements he first formulated of logical validity and explanatoriness. In Chapters 19-23, he adds arguments for the further logical restrictions that scientific demonstrations can neither be indefinitely long nor infinitely extendible through the interposition of new middle terms. Chapters 24-26 argue for the superiority of unive…Read more
  •  24
    At Metaphysics A 5 986a22-b2, Aristotle refers to a Pythagorean table, with two columns of paired opposites. I argue that 1) although Burkert and Zhmud have argued otherwise, there is sufficient textual evidence to indicate that the table, or one much like it, is indeed of Pythagorean origin; 2) research in structural anthropology indicates that the tables are a formalization of arrays of “symbolic classification” which express a pre-scientific world view with social and ethical implications, ac…Read more
  •  21
    Tamir, Rawls and the Temple Mount
    Journal of Applied Philosophy 22 (3): 289-298. 2005.
    abstract What gives ethical and political validity to a state? This is to ask what a state is for and to provide a means to determine whether or not a constitution is just. In this paper I compare the account given by Tamir in Liberal Nationalism with that of Rawls, in order to clarify the decisive differences. Although both recognize the importance of particular associations and the moral imperative to be fair, Tamir places priority on the first and Rawls on the second. I explore their practica…Read more
  •  21
    Truth, etc
    Ancient Philosophy 29 (2): 432-437. 2009.
  •  20
    Forms in Plato's Philebus (review)
    Review of Metaphysics 44 (3): 617-618. 1991.
    This book is an attempt to meet the arguments of scholars who have denied that within the Philebus, generally recognized as a late dialogue, the theory of Forms of the middle dialogues is advocated or plays an important role. Accordingly, instead of a commentary on the argument of the Philebus as a whole, Benitez presents a painstaking analysis of those passages that promise to shed light on Plato's metaphysical and epistemological views at the time of the writing of the Philebus. The result is …Read more
  •  16
    Porphyry, Nature, and Community
    History of Philosophy Quarterly 18 (4). 2001.
    Within the third book of Porphyry's On Abstinence from Animal Food, an ethic of community is developed in order to provide the basis of an account of our ethical obligations to animals. I argue that in spite of Porphyry's rejection of this account, it constitutes a coherent and comprehensive nonanthropocentric ethical theory. It conforms with ethical intuitions insofar as it grants that animals are moral subjects, but does not demand impartiality. By appealing to Theophrastus's notion of to oike…Read more