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PHRONESIS: Vol. 62, No. 4, 2017.

The Arrangement of the Platonic Corpus in the Newly Published Compendiosa Expositio Attributed to Apuleius of Madaura, JASON G. RHEINS

The Middle Platonist Compendiosa Expositio gives dialogue-by-dialogue summaries of doctrines allegedly expounded in Plato's works. According to Justin Stover, the principle of division used by the work for arranging Plato's dialogues is the dominant philosophical influence in each case. The author argues that there is no principle of division, and that the dialogues are arranged, not on the basis of influence, but according to their main speaker. One thing this allows, he suggests, is for the author of the Compendiosa Expositio to assert the dependence of the Stoics on Plato.

A Battle Against Pain? Aristotle, Theophrastus and the Physiologoi in Aspasius, On Nicomachean Ethics 156.14-20, WEI CHANG

Aristotle's soul is a first principle (an efficient cause) of every vital change in an animal, in the way that a craft is a cause of its product's coming-to-be. This paper argues that the soul's causal efficacy cannot therefore be reduced to the formal constitution of vital phenomena, or to discrete interventions into independently constituted processes, but involves the exercise of vital powers. This reading does better justice to Aristotle's conception of craft as a rational productive disposition; and it captures the soul's continuous causal role as that which brings about all forms of vital change and underwrites their unity.

The Philosophical Justification for the Equant in Ptolemy's Almagest, JAMES L. ZAINALDIN

This paper offers a close reading of Ptolemy's philosophical defense of the equant in Almagest 9.2. The author identifies the challenge to the equant that his defense is supposed to meet, characterizing it as a dispute concerning the origin and authority of the astronomer's first principles (aQxcu). He argues that the equant could be taken to violate a principle fundamental to the Almagest's astronomical project, namely, that the heavenly bodies move only in uniform circular motions. He shows that Ptolemy is not unaware of this potential objection, and explore two ways in which he seeks to fend it off.

Priscian on Perception, MARK ELI KALDERON

An aporia posed by Theophrastus prompts Priscian to describe the process by which perception formally assimilates to its object as a progressive perfection. The author presents an interpretation of Priscian's account of perception's progressive perfection, and considers a dilemma for the general class of accounts to which Priscian's belongs based on related problems raised by Plotinus and Aquinas. Doing so reveals the explanatory structure of Priscian's account and the limitations of the general class of accounts to which Priscian's belongs.

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Publication:The Review of Metaphysics
Article Type:Abstract
Date:Dec 1, 2017
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