Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics

JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY Vol. 37, No. 4, October 1999

Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics

JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY Vol. 37, No. 4, October 1999

Article excerpt

Aristotle and the Appearances, PAUL NIEUWENBURG

Adherents of the orthodox interpretation of Aristotle's ethical method (expounded in EN 114562-7) claim that G.E.L. Owen, in his article Tithenai ta phainomena, has definitively shown that phainomena ("the appearances") and endoxa ("common beliefs") are co-extensive terms: in ethics, one should "present the phainomena" and remove the inconsistencies they show up, so as to leave all, or most of the endoxa standing. Owen's argument, however, fails. This reintroduces the indeterminacy the text presents us with. A plea is made for a modified version of the traditional interpretation (that of Ross in the Oxford translation): phainomena are observed facts, and serve as constraints on the catalogue of endoxa which is in fact presented by Aristotle. The expression tithenai ta phainomena does not mean "to present a catalogue of common beliefs," but rather "to assume the observed facts" and let these serve as constraint upon the identification of endoxa.--Correspondence to: nieuwenburg@fsw.leidenuniv.nl

Transitions to a Modern Cosmology: Meister Eckhart and Nicholas of Cusa on the Intensive Infinite, ELIZABETH BRIENT

The process of the "infinitization" of the cosmos that occurs in the transition to the modern age must be understood intensively as well as extensively. Nature is thought not only as infinitely extended in space, but also as exhibiting an infinite richness in all of its parts. This infinitization of the real leads to an infinitization of the knowable--the radical shift in ontology grounds a corresponding shift in epistemology--so that the progress of human knowledge is understood as an unending project infinitely extended over time. …

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