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Aristotle (1955): Parva Naturalia — A Revised Text with Introduction and Commentary by Sir David Ross. Clarendon Press, Oxford Aristotle Parva Naturalia — A Revised Text with Introduction

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Character, meaning a full personality, seems to be naturally connected to action in modern thought. In contrast, Aristotle dissociates these concepts inasmuch that he accepts the possibility of action without character, as well as texts representing character without action. Action and character can nonetheless be linked through the concept of proairesis, a concept that is also useful for clarifying the possibility of a tragedy without character, in spite of the fundamental connection between action and character. At the end of the paper the modern concept of ordeal is also discussed since this concept appears to be a useful general approach and one also related to Aristotle's concept of proairesis.

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A re-examination of the question why, in the revival of interest, in the first century BC in Aristotle’s esoteric works, as opposed to his doctrines, the work Categories played so large a part. The answers suggested are that the work aroused interest just because it did not easily fit into the standard Hellenistic divisions of philosophy and their usual agendas, and that, more than Aristotle’s other works with the possible exception of the Metaphysics , it revealed aspects of Aristotle’s thought that had become unfamiliar during the Hellenistic period.

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In the article the manuscript of the first Arabic prose work is being investigated. The author comes to the conclusion that it was written originally in Greek by somebody who was attached to one of the rhetoric schools in Syria. The Greek work contains the alleged correspondence between Aristotle and Alexander the Great. The Greek version of the novel in letters must be dated back to the sixth century A.D., thus the work is one of the last documents of the classical Greek literature. Through this novel one can get a better insight into the activity of the schools of rhetoric in the late Antiquity and the question of Pseudo-Aristotle's treatises.

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After the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215 settled the question in the West whether or not the world exists from eternity, a new debate arose concerning the demonstrability of the temporal creation of the world. Thomas Aquinas, of course, also joined in the controversy, and while accepting on faith the constitution of the council, argued for the logical possibility of the eternity of the world. In doing so, he had to refute all the counter-arguments provided against the possibility of an eternally created world.

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Abstract  

Aristotle's Poetics has a special prestige. Its statements are rarely rejected, but usually reinterpreted to harmonize with recent views. It is, however, not at all insignificant how just or justifiable the strategies are one uses in one's argumentation. After discussing shortly Frye's concepts of dianoia, melos, and opsis as an example rather easy to catch of manipulating with Aristotle's authority, I will analyse Ricoeur's comments on metaphor and Genette's critique of the theory of literary genres. Both of them base their criticism of rival theories on the criticism of their reading of Aristotle, as if disproving the reading meant also disproving the theory behind it by showing that the theory has no continuous existence from the very beginning. They do not, however, simply refute the argument of authority, but attempt to take over the supreme authority. Ricoeur operates with the implications against Aristotle's explicit definitions, which seems to be a strange method of analysis, especially when its aim is not the critique of the conception, but its apology. Genette's method is based on the argumentatio e silentio. Elements of the explicit definitions which play no role in the following analysis he regards as being retrospectively excluded from the conception. It is hard to admit that argumentatio e silentio, which is a dubious argumentative method in general, can be applied to the modification of an inclusive system based on rigorous logical principles.

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According to Hermeneutics ch. 4, the analysis of non-assertive sentences such as wishes, commands, etc. belongs to rhetoric or poetics. They are, however, examined neither in the Rhetoric, nor in the Poetics, where in ch. 20 their treatment is explicitly excluded from the art of poetry and referred to that of delivery or performance. In this paper an explanation is given for this discrepancy, based on an interpretation of Aristotle's rejection of Protagoras' criticism of Homer.

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The note discusses Aristotle's arguments concerning continuity of circular motion and shows that, first, they are philosophical in nature and, second, continuity of rectilinear motion can be proven in Aristotelian physics.

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The Aristotelian tradition knows the dichotomy of his works into exoteric and esoteric groups. The interpretation of the two terms, however, changed in the course of time. According to the later, perhaps Hellenistic interpretation of the terms, the group of “exoteric” works included all the works which have been written in schools of rhetoric, and later ascribed to Aristotle. The well-known treatise De mundo should not be considered as a genuin work of school-philosophy, because it belongs to Pseudo-Aristotle’s works written in a school of rhetoric and ranged amond his “exoteric” works.

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A new translation of Aristotle's Poetics was recently published with an extensive commentary. The translator and the commentator are not the same person, therefore they can have different views on the meaning of the text. The paper discusses some passages from the translation, especially highlighting the method of quoting after certain words the original Greek word in parentheses. This method calls attention to the original identity of different words. The method, however was not applied consistently. The same Greek word in some places appears in parentheses after its Hungarian version; in other places it does not. There are too many misprints in the book, but the commentary helps the reader, since it sometimes refers to better versions of the translation than the actually printed ones. The commentary must have been written to a previous version of the translation, which did not yet contain the misprints. After the discussion of some problematic passages of the commentary the last part of the paper contains some remarks on the section headings the commentator supplied. They can help orient the reader, but they are not distinguished from the body of the text clearly enough. On the other hand, a section heading determines a reading strategy for the following passage, and a reader can hardly avoid this influence.

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