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www. Robert Todd's annotated translation of Themistius' commentary on.nl Phronesis L13 .' T. by noting that there are some occasions where Themistius does side with contemporary Neoplatonism. 4-19) con- ' Themistius On Aristotle's Physics 4. In a separate preface Sorabji more or less qualifies Blumenthal's characterization of Themistius as a (or in fact: the last) 'Peripatetic commentator'. Todd (series The Ancient Commentatorson Aristotle). Ithaca NY (Cornell University Press) 2003. $ 62. is dedicated to the memory of Henry Blumenthal. both directed against Galen's attacks on Aristotle.50. In the commentary on Physics IV we find two examples of this procedure. although he sometimes includes digressions offering material that does not correspond with anything in Aristotle's text. x + 150 pp. One (149. such occasions are few and far between. and as pitched at a level somewhere between strictly elementary expositions on the one hand and more expansive commentaries of the kind written by Alexander of Aphrodisias on the other.brill. In his introduction he characterizes Themistius' paraphrases as targeted at readers who wished to revisit Aristotelian treatises with which they were already familiar. translated by Robert B. published in Richard Sorabji's series 'The Ancient Commentators on Aristotle'. ? KoninklijkeBrill NV. In general Themistius stays pretty close to Aristotle. as in his commentary on the DA where he rejects Aristotle's empiricist account of concept formation.. Aristotle's Physics IV. ISBN 0 8014 4103 X. and I shall start with these.Book Notes Aristotle and the Aristotelian Tradition KEIMPEALGRA This will be my last set of booknotes on 'Aristotle': I am handing over this task to Ben Morison. medieval and modern) rather than Aristotle himself. Four of the books which I kept for this occasion concern aspects of the Aristotelian tradition (ancient. to whose careful scholarship on the Aristotelian commentators we owe so much. or rather interpretative paraphrase of. 2005 Also available online . True though this may be. Leiden.'s translation appears to be clear and reliable and his explanatory notes are brief (in accordance with the general format of the series) but generally adequate.
viz. p. ISBN0 8132 13479. What are we to suppose will be left between its extremities? According to Themistius. he claims that Galen's thought experiment ignores a fundamental principle of physics. It is good to have this part of it available in translation. In his Corollary on Place (576. But of course in the history of ideas lack of originality does not entail insignificance. As for the significance of Themistius in general. Themistius himself. who is known to have attacked Galen's views on place and time. brings in his own presuppositions: 'eliminating the mutual replacement of bodies is no different from completely eliminating body'. there is a strong possibility that these anti-Galenic passages go back to Alexander of Aphrodisias..) Philoponus will later claim that Galen is not assuming any such thing. in Latin translations.. edited by Riccardo pozzo. by the way. for example. The Impact of Aristotelianismon Modern Philosophy (Studies in Philosophy and the History of Philosophy. the theory of antiperistasis. In the 15th century Nicoletto Vernia's Padovan lectures on Aristotle's Posterior Analytics made constantreferenceto Themistius. but that he is just exploring the consequences of the assumption that no other body flows in.50.). 7-12) discusses a thought experiment adduced by Galen to prove the existence of a self-subsistent three-dimensional space. Imagine a vessel with its contents removed and no other body flowing in. and instead of desperately looking for traces of originality we may simply value Themistius' commentary on the Physics for what it is: a clear and intelligent survey which constituted an important link in the transmission of Aristotle's ideas. played an importantrole in the late medieval debate on the immortality of the individual intellect. Washington D.in the Aristoteliantraditionin the later Middle Ages and the early modern period. his paraphrasesenjoyed great popularity among the Aristotelian commentatorsof late antiquity and.C. but only some of the articles actually address this theme. .2 The book presents the papers of a 1999 conference on the Rezeptionsgeschichteof Aristotle's conception of the intellectual virtues. vii) 'originality' need not be the correct term. (The Catholic of America University Press)2003.BOOKNOTES 251 cerns the alleged circularity of Aristotle's attempt to define time. ?50. His commentary on the De Anima. Pozzo (ed. The other (114. xvi + 336 pp. So even here (pace Sorabji's introduction. vol. 12 ff. In other words. One of these is Stanley 2 R. Galen is begging the question by just assuming the existence of the void space which he is supposed to prove. and claimed that no one could be found who was more learned: 'proinde adorate verba Themistii'. As Todd suggests in his notes ad loc. I owe this reference to EdwardMahoney's contribution ('Aristotle and Some Late Medieval and Renaissance Philosophers') to the volume The Impact of Aristotelianismon Modern Philosophy. 39).
however brilliant. but I have no doubt it is right. 216: 'poiesis understood as action') a curious claim which to my mind gets insufficient support from the juxtaposition of Doric dran and him Attic prattein and poiein in Poet. while actually 'transforming both into poetry' (thus Rosen. which focuses on Heidegger's 1924/5 Marburglectures on Plato's Sophistes and on how they misinterpret or adapt (the difference is not always clear in Heidegger) Aristotle's conception of phronesis by taking it as 'der Ernst der bestimmten Entscheidung' and as the silent call of Gewissen (consciousness). in fact. can bring nothing to human affairs but blindness' (p. that phronesis comes in . 1048b1-2. The upshot of D.'s defense seems to be that the Poetics is not just about poiesis in the sense of 'making poetry'. With Michael Davis' 'defense' of Aristotle against Nietzsche on tragedy ('Tragedy in the Philosophic Age of the Greeks: Aristotle's Reply to Nietzsche') we move away from the main topic. Heidegger shifts the focus of applicationof phronesis from the practicalto the ontological level and by doing so rather blurs the Aristotelian distinction between theory and practice. Gadamer's Wahrheit und Methode as well as his 1998 commentary on NE VI remained much more faithful to Aristotle's text and intentions. for one. concludes. In fact the general incompatibilitybetween the two theories makes one wonder why Heidegger insisted on building on Aristotle in the first place. but. shows us how the action on stage (even when irrational)can figure as somehow exemplary. though Gadamer appears to have over-emphasized the practical element in Aristotle's ethics. while playing down the role of theoria. I am not sure whether this interpretation succesfully res- . and the terror of its obliteration (Angst vom Tode). as Enrico Berti shows in his essay 'The Reception of Aristotle's Intellectual Virtues in Gadamer and the Hermeneutic Philosophy'. and perhaps because of its very brilliance. concludes that when compared to Aristotle's conception of phronesis with its orientation towards everyday life. centered on Aristotle's rationalizingand cognitivist approachto tragedy. 226). And what. Hans-GeorgGadamerhappens to have been among those who attended Heidegger's lectures on the Sophist. is the net result? Rosen.an odd appearance. on p.It is here. as is well known. I am not quite sure I understandwhat this means. 265). in so far as it is about action. 258).if one takes into considerationthat Aristotle instead emphasizes the possibility of leading a suprahuman life and that for him eudaimoniaratherthanAngst is the centraltheme. D.252 BOOK NOTES Rosen's 'Phronesis or Ontology: Aristotle and Heidegger'. to which man may respondby deciding to act 'authentically'. but also directly about human behaviour (p. And of course this ontology derives all significance of human life from its finitude. Nietzsche's critique. 'Heidegger's existential ontology. that the Poetics. if I understand correctly. so that in this respect 'Nietzsche does seem to have erred in underestimating Aristotle's grasp of the intimacy of the relation between the rational and the irrational'(p. in the end.
Schmitt's classic study Aristotle in the Renaissance.though it provides some room for the irrational. introducesa crucial innovation in linking the examen of this intermediatestage to attestationby the senses and to experiment (periculum). This is what Zabarella calls a mentale ipsius causae examen. RichardL. Between the two stages there is a reflective pause which should allow one to determine that the cause found is really the one that is true and necessarily bound to the effect. who in his Introduction (p. Imagination. ChristiaMercer.it still appears to do this in some sort of moralizing context. Richard Cobb-Stevens. 'Speech. Also the solid contributions of Antonino Poppi (on 'Zabarella or Aristotelianism as a Rigorous Science') and William A. It is clear.BOOKNOTES 253 cues Aristotle from Nietzsche's critique. the combination of analysis (starting from the effects. however. . 'Kant on the Five Intellectual Virtues'. and supplying knowledge propter quid). 'Leibniz. Riccardo Pozzo. Velkley.the exact oppositeof what the above quotationseems to say. 'better known to us'. on which the conception of regressus was based. that both Zabarella and Galileo thought of the doctrine of the Posterior Analytics. Zabarellaratherseems to have thought of something like mathematicalanalysis. Wallace ('The Influence of Galileo's Logic and Its Use in His Science') basically take up and summarize earlier work by the same authors. who remains committed to the overall framework of the Aristotelian regressus.3 I Other contributions:John P. But perhapsI missed something. 'The Presence of Aristotelian Nous in Husserl's Philosophy'. Aristotle and Ethical Knowledge'. arriving at a mere approximateor hypothetical discovery of principles and supplying knowledge quia) and synthesis (moving from principles to the effects deriving from those principles. but all of them well worth reading. as in fact did the editor. Origins: Rousseau and the Political Animal'. Doyle. 'Wrestlingwith a Wraith:Andre Semery. Galileo. They demonstrate a common ground between Zabarella and Galileo in their use of the Aristotelian regressus i. (1630-1717) on Aristotle's Goat-Stag and Knowing the Unknowable'. I would maintain that in Aristotle's own works this role is being played by dialectical scrutiny. already referred to above. and the irrational' I single out three furthercontributionsall of them broadening their scope beyond the issue of the intellectual virtues. 'Hegel's Appropriation of the Aristotelian Intellect'. S. 'points out that Nietzsche is right [my italics] in minimizing Aristotle's grasp of the intimacy of the relation between the rational . of course without breaking much new ground for those acquainted with the author's own earlier work and with Charles B. as offering essentially a methodusfor scientific investigations (on which more below). offers a selective but informative overview of the reception of Aristotle and his ancient commentators in medieval and renaissance philosophy. Mahoney's article 'Aristotle and Some Late Medieval and Renaissance Philosophers'.e. xiv) claims that D. J.AlfredoFerrarin.
? 35..and espe- I R. Stone on 'The Debate on the Soul in the Second Half of the ThirteenthCentury' (which in passing has valuable things to say about the origin and limitations of the notion of 'Aristotelianism'). Lang. and generally for matters concerning division and proof'. 'the five words' (on the history of these terms.] and also for the presentationof definitions.254 BOOKNOTES A similarvolume. 6 Porphyry'sIntroduction. vol. 491-498).5 My next book could in principle have been covered in the book notes on Neoplatonism as well.. W. xxvi + 415 pp. ratherthan as just an introduction to the Categories (the view of many earlier commentators. species. Aldershot (Ashgate) 2001. but may be better at home here. was itself generally regardedas an introductionto philosophy). Whose Aristotle? Whose Aristotelianism?. property. Leiden/Boston/Koln2002.). 'Aquinas on Aristotle on Immortality'. accident) which later became known as the praedicabilia or the pente phonai or quinque voces. De Rijk. i..with introductionand extensive commentary(288 pages on 19 pages of translatedtext) by Jonathan Barnes. Aristotle. For many centuries Porphyry'sIntroduction(Eisagoge) played a key role in the philosophicalcurriculum.editedby Bob Sharples. andby EnricoBertion Brentano's Jonathan of Aristotle's metaphysics and theology ('Brentano influential interpretations and Aristotle's Metaphysics')..the first one to be publishedin English . Sharples (ed. among other contriis Whose Aristotle? Whose Aristotelianism?4 butions. this little treatise discusses five items (genus.00. edited by Jonathan Barnes. knowing what these items are is necessary 'even for a schooling in Aristotle's predications[. including his views on katharsis. ix + 181 pp. 1. is probably right in characterizingthis text as an introduction to logic. Ahmed Hasnawi. fine essays by M.Oxford(ClarendonPress)2003.by Barneson 'Locke andthe Syllogism'. and hence to philosophy in general. 'Topics and Analysis: the Arabic Tradition'. see furtherL.00. M. It features.and his negative view of Aristotelian ethics as the ethics of 'Aristotle and everyone'. The Platonist Porphyryclaims thathe has takenhis materialfrom 'the old masters. . B. that not too much is at stake here. According to Porphyry's preface. William Charlton.6 As is well known. 'Philoponus' Aristotle: The Extension of Place'. note.e. s Other contributions: Helen S. published in the Clarendon Later Ancient Philosophers series. Monique Dixsaut ('Is There Such a Thing as Nietzsche's Aristotle?') offers a clear and systematic survey of Nietszche's reaction(s) to Aristotle's Poetics. however. which appeareda few years earlier. although nowadays it is no longer among the favourites of students of ancient philosophy.there are also responses by Franqois de Gandt to the contributionsof JonathanBarnes and Monique Dixsaut. Semantics and Ontology. such as Ammonius. F. the role of the chorus and the importanceof dramaticperformance. ISBN 0 19 9246149. We are fortunateto have a translation. ? 50. ISBN 0 7546 1362 3. since the Cat. W. difference.
. what remains is a short and rather bland elementary text. and by guiding us throughthe various ways in which these matterswere discussed by later ancient philosophers. ends his Introduction (p. ix + 158 pp. Not only is the text itself at times crabbed and obscure.these matters I shall decline to discuss.itself declines to deal with this question. another offering a welcome survey of the various possible references of the term 'the old masters' (hoi palaioi or hoi archaioi). whether if they actually subsist andwhetherthey are separableor are in perceptible they are bodies or incorporeal items and subsist about them . viewed as conceptualization.whetherthey subsist. such as Alexander.Knowledgeand Demonstration. whether they actually depend on bare thoughts alone. within the constraints set by I Orna Harari. Dordrecht (Kluwer Academic Publishers) 2004. Dexippus.one of them succesfully defusing claims concerningStoic influenceon the Introduction. B. Marius Victorinus. Galen. but as an attempt to articulate a general notion of knowledge. for all its brevity. In the end.7Her main claim is that we should view the Posterior Analytics not as an attemptto analyse the structureand methods of scientific practice (on which see the remarks above on Zabarella and other early modern thinkers). Ammonius.BOOK NOTES 255 cially the Peripatetics among them'.which became the startingpoint for all medieval discussions of the 'problemof universals'. xxiv) by expressing the hope that 'anyone who reads this commentarywill be half persuaded that Porphyryrepays the ride'.the Introduction. but then again the relevant Peripatetic material had by this time become part of the philosophical koine. ontology and semantics which are raised by it. and paradoxically. e 90. He thus offers a marvellously rich and engaging context . This would be wrong. and deeper metaphysical issues are left undiscussed. however.'s commentary takeson a similarguidingrole vis-a-vishis readers. raises importantand wide-ranging philosophical questions. On both accounts ancient students were no doubt helped by the fact that they were supposed to study this text under the guidance of a teacher.. Aristotle's Posterior Analytics.He managesto putPorphyry's text in perspective by explaining the many issues of Aristotelian logic. who makes the ride worth while. which hardly deserves a commentaryof a few hundredpages. It might be thought that with such general philosophical questions out of the way. B. From Porphyrywe move back to Aristotle.a context which is in many respects more interesting than Porphyry's actual text.00. The book winds up with some very useful 'Additional Notes' . Accordingly. it is surely B. it also. Orna Harari'sbook Knowledge and Demonstrationre-examines the role of syllogistic logic in Aristotle's theory of demonstrativeknowledge. such a subject being very deep and demanding another and larger investigation'. ISBN 1 4020 2787 7.As Porphyry puts it in his preface: 'about genera and species . Boethius and Simplicius.
understanding (i. Just as induction (i. Another book which focuses on the relation between Aristotle's metaphysics and the Posterior Analytics' conception of scientific knowledge approachingit.is Ian Bell's Metaphysics as an Aristotelian Science. Sankt Augustin (Academia Verlag) 2004.e. because what the APo has to offer is now no longer regardedas a method. connects the distinction between 'knowing that' and 'knowing the reason why' on the with the distinction between what she labels 'perceptualunderstanding' one hand and 'conceptual understanding'on the other. On the other hand. methodological interpretation Apart from having the merit of emphasising the link between the theory of demonstrative knowledge on the one hand and Aristotle's ontology and offers some sort of a solution to the semantics on the other.Against this backgroundH. for example. .50. H. But even if questions and doubts remain. the absence of Patrick Byrne's Analysis and Science in Aristotle (1997).e. Back's Aristotle's Theoryof Predication (2000). ISBN 3 89665 292 3. e 4. Metaphysics as an Aristotelian Science (InternationalAristotle Studies vol. 2). from the otherdirection. does which in passing has some valuable obseroffer a challenging interpretation vations to make on such subjects as the ambiguity of the term arche or the natureof epagoge. On the other hand this in itself does not make it any easier to see how then the APo should be related to actual scientific practices. 19. the 'Select Bibliography' and the coverage of rival scholarly views in the text (and the footnotes) are arguably a bit too selective. I noticed. In her view it is the fact that Aristotle conceives all objects of knowledge as quasi-substances thatdetermines the formof reasoning. In fact what is arguably the most interestingchapterof the book is designed to show that even Aristotle's formalizationsof mathematicalproofs (which surely are meant to examplify his general theory of apodeixis) do not match the practice of Euclidean geometry (where proofs are conceived as the results of construction).256 BOOKNOTES Aristotle's metaphysicaltheory and his conception of substance in particular.. induction as presented at APo II. and A. of the hoti) to conceptual understanding thus in a sense covering both ways of what renaissancephilosophers(in their of the same material) called regressus. of the dihoti). 261 pp. distinguishes from the 'argumentative' conception of inductionwhich Aristotle employs in dialectical conwith the materialmanifold texts) involves moving fromthe sensualacquaintance to an apprehensionof the form (essence). apodeixis leads from perceptual (i.e.8 It is basically an attemptto show that Aristotle's account of the science of being as developed in what he calls the 'method- ' Ian Bell. which H. so to speak. this interpretation familiar problem that the extant works of Aristotle do not exhibit the method allegedly presentedby the APo.focusingon the relations subsisting between subject and predicate of demonstrative conclusions which underliesthe theory of demonstration.
Aristotle has a double project: he aims to identify the various sources of false but 'apparent' reasoning. and have even often regarded the arguments 'outside of language' as basically reducible to 9 Scott G. Here there is no hint of a conflict between theory and practice.). conceived of as dealing with separate. Commentators have tended to regard this distinction (and the way in which Aristotle assigns examples to the various sub-classes) as arbitrary. IncidentallyB.9 In the S.50 (hc. dealing with principlesof being qua being. The Sophistical Refutations is certainly not among the most studied works in the corpus aristotelicum.B. goes on to show that his interpretationof the 'methodological' books. In addition. which allows us to conceive of metaphysics as a true 'science' of being (rather than as a kind of second-order inquiry into the conditions for the possibility of first-ordersciences).or elsewhere in the book.Ari. 4. and 6) is influenced by the conception of scientific knowledge outlined in the APo.) / $ 22. New York (SUNY Press) 2003.stotle on False Reasoning. susbstantiality in the sense required by the APo (even if a truly generic account of the principles of substance is impossible. 3.BOOK NOTES 257 ological' books of the Metaphysics (books 1. ratherthan on their investigative procedure. also throws light on the conclusions of the so-called 'central' books. presumablybecause B. ISBN 0 7914 5659 5 (hc. . or even that 'the Metaphysics represents an attempt to construct a science of being along the rigorous lines proposed in the Posterior Analytics' (p. eternal and unmoved entities as causally prior to. focuses on the explanatory framework underlying these books of the Metaphysics. Whether we needed anotherattemptto map this rough but nevertheless much travelled territory is a question I do not dare to answer. forces him to follow Ross and Owens in excluding Metaphysics Lambda from the earlier ten-books version of the work. $ 68. I hope I am not just being cantankerous if I say that I missed such an overview in the Introduction.95 (pbk. Yet I do think that. he claims it helps us clarify the relation between the conception of a science of being qua being and the conception of first philosophy.. given the enormous numberof existing interpretations. given the fact that there is no genus of substance). and explanatory of. His analysis is based on a distinction between false reasoning 'due to language' (para ten lexin) and false reasoning 'outside of language' (exo tes lexeos). xv + 243 pp.'s conception of metaphysics as a 'science' in the sense of the APo.). 241).) / 0 7914 5660 9 (pbk. Reason enough to welcome Scott Schreiber's Ar-istotle on False Reasoning which appearsto be the first modernbook-length study in English of this text. and then to provide the means to resolve the resultant confusion. any book on this subject should at least attempt to position itself systematically against the backgroundof the status quaestionis. Language and the Worlld in the Sophistical Refutations. because (in his view) it does not present god as a principle of the being of things.E. Schreiber.
at all costs: he also shows. covering not only Aristotle's criticism of the theory of the Forms. the student of Plato. All in all. e 18.258 BOOKNOTES arguments 'due to language'. the third part ('Le philosophe de l'intelligence') focuses on the two intellectualvirtues that are most crucial for human happiness: 'sagacite' (phronesis) and 'sagesse' (sophia) and on the more or less correspondingdisciplines of practical philosophy and metaphysics or first philosophy. Paris (Vrin) 2002. . rhetoric. requires a properontology. dsavoir. but rather work out three key aspects of Aristotle the philosopher:the studentof nature. in other words. the promoter of the complete life. the second part ('Le Platonicien') charts the continuityand discontinuitybetween Plato and Aristotle.E.'s main aim in this clearly written and well organized book is to argue against this reductionist view and to show that most types of false reasoning (including all those 'due to language' that are based on 'double meaning') derive their persuasiveness from some sort of extralinguistic misconception. I move on to the new general introductionto Aristotle's philosophy by It think it is fair to say that it tries to distinguishitself from RichardBode'us. for example. rightly stressing that this area representsthe main focus of Aristotle's philosophical activity (something which modern exegesis. by not distinguishing between semantic multivocity in the strict sense and multivocity which is due to the same signifier making reference to multiple individuals under one universal). however. defends Aristotle's approachin the S. All in all. This is not to say that S. Une philosophic en que dte 267 pp. Centralquestions are: what is the nature of the corpus aristotelicum. as not being metaphysicallyneutral.between the various partsof philosophy). Aristote. logic and scientific method (one misses a treatmentof the Poetics). what we get here is a very decent and historically accurateintroductionto Aristotle. Proper reasoning.or lack of it .The book consists of three partswhich do not correspond to any of the traditionalways of carving up Aristotle's philosophy.00. The first part ('l'Asclepiade') deals with Aristotle's physics and biology. S. focusing on what was at stake for Aristotle himself in doing philosophy. ISBN 2 7116 1564 2. but also dialectic.E. 't RichardBodeus.e.. this book offers a clear and overall persuasiveaccount of the logic of the S. that Aristotle's account of multivocity is confused in failing to see the multivocity of "multivocity"(i. and the 'bibliographieselective' contains some odd choices.'0 most existing introductionsby a slightly more historical approach. with its predilection for the problems of 'first philosophy' tends to forget). Because of its unorthodox structure the book may be a bit inaccessible as a primer. how did Aristotle work and how did he see his philosophical project (a question which also involves the issue of the interrelation.
It just claims that such a motivation is not unthinkable. 2'. Book 1. Sarah Broadie. 'On Generation and Corruption I. 4: Distinguishing Alteration'. as the Editor's Introduction (p. 61-66).BOOKNOTES 259 B. 8'. 'On Generation and Corruption I.probablyin line with his general tendency to keep his discussion of Aristotle as free as possible from modern philosophical and exegetical preoccupations.'2 and that the problem of prime matter figures prominently .in three of the contributions(Algra. 'On Generation and Corruption I. 'On Generation and Corr-uption I. pointing out that it is 'un concept relatif' and signalling the difference between 'matiere prochaine' and 'matiere lointaine'. 'On Generation and Corruption I. Cooper. includes a fairly extensive discussion of Aristotle's concept of matter (pp. 'On Generationand CorruptionI. Oxford (Oxford University Press) 2004.he does not even allude to the recent debate on the feasibility of the very notion of materia prima.'3 " Frans de Haas & Jaap Mansfeld (eds.Alan Code. Those interested in this problem and in recent attemptsto deal with it may be especially interestedin the volume Aristotle's On Generation and Corruption. John M." Since I am myself among the contributors.and is treated in different ways ..). David Sedley. 7: Aristotle on poiein and paschein. David Charles. 'Simple Genesis and Prime Matter'. Burnyeat. 13 Perhaps I may add a small correction:Algra's contributiondoes not claim that Aristotle did have a 'philosophical motivation to posit prime matter'. edited by Frans de Haas and Jaap Mansfeld. and an additional note on Aristotle on mixture by John Cooper. 'Aristotle on the Foundationsof Sublunary Physics'. 'A Note on Aristotle on Mixture'. ? 45. Michel Crubellier. 9'. 'On Generation and Corruption 1. held in Deurne (The Netherlands)in August 1999. as well as an introductorychapter by Myles Burnyeat. viii + 347 pp. which it claims should be treated as an empirical question.which containsthe proceedingsof the XVth SymposiumAristotelicum. Carlo Natali. 10: On Mixture and Mixables'.I refrain from discussing its contents here in any detail. 1: A False Start?'. 'On Generation and Corruption I. Jacques Brunschwig.Book I.for the rest it suspends judgement on the general issue. 3: Substantial Change and the Problem of Not-Being'. 12 Contents: M. Yet he has no qualms in speaking of 'matiere premiere' and . 5'. Edward Hussey. Christian Wildberg. From the point of view of the earlier Aristotelian traditionthis may be defensible. 'On Generation and Corruption I. and it should be said that modern discussions of the problem are sometimes irritatinglypedantic as if it is clear to any objective observer what Aristotle himself actually believed and as if the whole ancient and medieval tradition consisted of fools who didn't realize that they were saddling Aristotle with a basically incoherent notion. 'On Generation and Corruption 1. ratherthan as a matter of principle. Broadie and Charles). Aristotle On Generationand Corruption. Dorothea Frede. 6'. Let me just signal that the book contains a chapter-by-chapter discussion of the whole of GC I. ISBN 0 19 924292 5.00. F. Keimpe Algra. 3) seems to suggest. .
or inert matter) and that the arguHe also argues that Aristotle's claim ments used by Aristotle are non-arbitary. contraryto what many critics suggest. Thus he shows that in entomology Aristotle is open-minded ratherthanjust intent to show male superiority(against (1)).'s starting point. in a slightly modified form. Aristotle may have had the wrong reasons for his beliefs.e. in trying to salvage Aristotle. that the female is 'as it were a mutilated male' is supportedby evidence of sorts (i. making ample room for popularlyheld beliefs. crucially depends on Aristotle's conviction that the brain is supposed to cool the pericardialblood. which after all are located in the heart). As for embryology. claims on women being softer and 'less spirited' (which. but that these reasons were not ideologically biased (the claim about smaller brains. Chicago (The University of Chicago Press) 2004. convincingly argues that Aristotle allows for a specific contributionof the female in the according formation of the foetus (defusing the rathercommon interpretation to which she merely offers a receptacle. goes on to show that also in the area of anatomy.'4 It is a small book . and (2) if it either (a) rests upon arbitraryor implausible assumptionsor unusually bad arguments. ISBN 0 226 51200 2. I turn to Robert Mayhew's The Female in Aristotle's Biology. And of course Aristotle's philosophical method. even to Aristotle is not necessarily a bad thing) are to be explained not by reference to any particular gender bias on Aristotle's part. for example.Armed with this of Aristotle's biolitmus test M.. Finally. According to this test we are entitled to interpreta certain claim as ideologically biased if (1) it does in fact tend to promotea certain ideological agenda or justify particularsocial interests. $ 28.260 BOOKNOTES Finally. where we encountersome notorious views (for example that women have smaller brains and fewer teeth). x + 136 pp. is an 'ideology test' which he takes over. M. attacks a variety of feminist interpretations logical works.actually in a sense more of a pamphlet. ratherthan based on mere bias. M. Part of the book apparentlygrew out of an article on entomology ('King-bees and Mother-wasps:a Note on Ideology and Genderin Aristotle's Entomology') publishedin this journal in 1999. on traditional views and common names (against (2a)). for he relies. arguablydid not foster a particularlycritical attitude on his part in this respect. 1' Robert Mayhew. but by the boring fact that contemporaryGreek culture as a whole tended to view women in this way. M. it is nowhere connected with a difference in cognitive capacities. coupled with the claim that in the male the region around the heart is more sanguine and hotter than in the female. The Female in Aristotle's Biology.00. as he so often does. from an article by Charles Kahn. by the way. .or (b) conflicts with other fundamentalprinciples held by the same thinker. and that his arguments are not unusually bad. by the kind of evidence Aristotle is in general preparedto admit in biology).designed to deflate the often repeatedclaim that Aristotle's biological works are thoroughlycontaminated by misogynist prejudice.
whom he might easily have taken as evidence for his original position'. concerning their ability to be scientists or philosophers) after one conversation with a female scientist or philosopher. It is just funny and actually rather to the point (given the fact that in other cases Aristotle the biologist does appear to be capable of the kind of straightforward and careful observation Russell had in mind). winds up his concluding chapterby claiming that Aristotle 'would have changed his mind about the capabilities of women (e. whereas his concept of 'evidence' was broader than what we would be willing to accept.though not with some of his harshest feminist critics. He is probably right on both accounts. 81) is hardly a mark of 'breathtakingarrogance' (M. and even if he is sometimes a shade too apologetic on Aristotle'spart.Thus. by the simple device of asking Mrs.. .'s argument is not always elegant (we hardly need the repeated assertion that Aristotle and his contemporaries lacked the microscope). I thinkBertrand Russell's famousremarkthat 'Aristotle could have avoided the mistake of thinking that women have fewer teeth than men. Aristotle to keep her mouth open while he counted' (quoted on p. Anyway. M.BOOK NOTES 261 All this seems pretty sound. ibidem).g. the bottomline of the story seems to be that Aristotle lived and worked in a different era and in a different culture. even if M.