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Abstract

In this paper I explore the ways in which Alexander of Aphrodisias employs and develops so-called ‘common notions’ as reliable starting points of deductive arguments. He combines contemporary developments in the Stoic and Epicurean use of common notions with Aristotelian dialectic, and axioms. This more comprehensive concept of common notions can be extracted from Alexander’s commentary on Metaphysics A 1–2. Alexander puts Aristotle’s claim that ‘all human beings by nature desire to know’ in a larger deductive framework, and adds weight to Aristotle’s use of the common understanding of the notion of ‘wisdom’. Finally I will indicate how these upgraded common notions are meant to play an important role in the general framework of metaphysics as a science.

Open Access
In: History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis
Author: Marije Martijn

Abstract

In late antiquity, logic developed into what Ebbesen calls the LAS, the Late Ancient Standard. This paper discusses the Neoplatonic use of LAS, as informed by epistemological and metaphysical concerns. It demonstrates this through an analysis of the late ancient debate about hypothetical and categorical logic as manifest in the practice of syllogizing Platonic dialogues. After an introduction of the Middle Platonist view on Platonic syllogistic as present in Alcinous, this paper presents an overview of its application in the syllogizing practice of Proclus and others. That overview shows that the two types were considered two sides of the same coin, to be used for the appropriate occasions, and both relying on the methods of dialectic as revealing the structure of knowledge and reality. Pragmatics, dialectic, and didactic choices determine which type or combination is selected in syllogizing Plato. So even though there is no specific Neoplatonic logic, there is a specific Neoplatonic use of LAS.

Open Access
In: History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis
In: Im Auftrag der Wahrheit
In: Im Auftrag der Wahrheit
In: Im Auftrag der Wahrheit
In: Im Auftrag der Wahrheit
In: Im Auftrag der Wahrheit
In: Im Auftrag der Wahrheit
Author: Jessica Leech

Abstract

One of Kant’s categories—a priori concepts the possession and applicability of which are necessary conditions of possible experience—is a concept of necessity. But it is unclear why the concept of necessity, as Kant defines it, should be a category thus understood. My aim is to offer a reading of Kant that fills this lacuna: the category of necessity is required to make necessity as it features in the world of experience understandable: a concept that the understanding can grasp and employ in cognition of objects. Kant’s view has potential wider significance for accounts of the function of necessity judgments.

Open Access
In: History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis

Abstract

This paper draws out and connects two neglected issues in Kant’s conception of a priori knowledge. Both concern topics that have been central to contemporary epistemology and to formal epistemology in particular: knowability and luminosity. Does Kant commit to some form of knowability principle according to which certain necessary truths are in principle knowable to beings like us? Does Kant commit to some form of luminosity principle according to which, if a subject knows a priori, then they can know that they know a priori? I defend affirmative answers to both of these questions, and by considering the special kind of modality involved in Kant’s conceptions of possible experience and the essential completability of metaphysics, I argue that his combination of knowability and luminosity principles leads Kant into difficulty.

Open Access
In: History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis