The Aporetic Tradition in Ancient Philosophy

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George Karamanolis, Vasilis Politis
Cambridge University Press, Dec 28, 2017 - Philosophy - 326 pages
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Ancient philosophers from an otherwise diverse range of traditions were connected by their shared use of aporia - translated as puzzlement rooted in conflicts of reasons - as a core tool in philosophical enquiry. The essays in this volume provide the first comprehensive study of aporetic methodology among numerous major figures and influential schools, including the Presocratics, Plato, Aristotle, Plutarch, Alexander of Aphrodisias, Academic sceptics, Pyrrhonian sceptics, Plotinus and Damascius. They explore the differences and similarities in these philosophers' approaches to the source, structure, and aim of aporia, their views on its function and value, and ideas about the proper means of generating such a state among thinkers who were often otherwise opposed in their overall philosophical orientation. Discussing issues of method, dialectic, and knowledge, the volume will appeal to those interested in ancient philosophy and in philosophical enquiry more generally.
 

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Contents

Socrates and the Benefits of Puzzlement
29
Aporia and Sceptical Argument in Platos Early Dialogues
48
Aporia in Platos Parmenides
67
Aporia in Platos Theaetetus and Sophist
91
Aporia and Dialectical Method in Aristotle
112
Aporia in Aristotles Metaphysics Beta
137
Uses of Aporiai in Aristotles Generation of Animals
155
Aporia and the New Academy
172
Aporia and Enquiry in Ancient Pyrrhonism
205
Alexander of Aphrodisias
228
The Aporetic Character of Plotinus Philosophy
248
Aporia and the Limits of Reason and of Language
269
Bibliography
285
Index Locorum
300
Subject Index
313
Copyright

Aporetic Elements in Plutarchs Philosophy
192

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About the author (2017)

George Karamanolis is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Vienna. His publications include Plato and Aristotle in Agreement? Platonists on Aristotle from Antiochus to Porphyry (2006) and The Philosophy of Early Christianity (2013).

Vasilis Politis is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Trinity College Dublin. He is the author of The Structure of Enquiry in Plato's Early Dialogues (Cambridge, 2015) as well as of numerous journal articles on philosophical enquiry.

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