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The Journal of the History of Philosophy: Vol. 52, No. 3, July 2014.

Void and Space in Stoic Ontology, NATHAN M. POWERS

The Stoics claim that the cosmos is a finite plenum containing all substance within itself, but also that it is surrounded by something: namely, an infinite expanse of void. The standard scholarly view has been that the latter claim is forced upon the Stoics by their own physical theory (in particular, their view that the cosmos will eventually expand in size). The author argues that the claim is rather the consequence of a Stoic commitment to absolute space, the unoccupied "part" of which is void. He then considers how this commitment fits in with (or at least fails to undermine) the Stoics' corporealist ontology.

Ibn Sina and the Early History of Thought Experiments, TANELI KUKKONEN

The early history of philosophical thought experiments remains largely unwritten. This article argues for the importance of Ibn Sina (the Latin Avicenna, 980-1037) for understanding the gradual systematization of Aristotelian thought experiments and their methodology. Through a close examination of Avicenna's novel take on Aristotle's refutation of self-motion, the author develops a case for Ibn Sina being possibly the first Peripatetic to have a reflected view of what thought experiments are and how they function. Important here is Ibn Sina's theory of the inner senses, especially his distinction between the faculties of imagination and estimation, which allows him to set apart idealized abstractions from imaginative feats. Ibn Sina's case demonstrates how in the Aristotelian tradition, a naturalized basis can be postulated that will underwrite the dependability of (properly conducted) philosophical thought experiments, something to which more modern thinkers no longer have access.

Hobbes's and Zabarella's Methods: A Missing Link, HELEN HATTAB

A common point of departure for interpreting Hobbes's philosophical/scientific method is Jacopo Zabarella's regressus which lies squarely in the Aristotelian Posterior Analytics tradition developed at the University of Padua in the sixteenth century. This paper argues that the Paduan reading of Hobbes relies on an overly narrow understanding of Zabarella's method and tends to identify his scientific method with one small component, the regressus. Zabarella's writings on method, broadly speaking, influence subsequent philosophers, most notably Protestant logicians relevant to Hobbes's context, who take up and develop Zabarella's discussion of method as order. The author shows that interpreting Hobbes's method within this fuller context has three distinct advantages over the Paduan reading. Firstly, it saves Hobbes from the charge of being inconsistent to his stated method in his particular explanations of natural and political phenomena. Secondly, it advances our understanding of the sense in which his method would have been regarded as "mathematical" although it remains nonquantitative. Thirdly, the author's approach illuminates Hobbes's odd combination of Aristotelian and geometrical elements within his philosophical system.

Descartes's Argument for the Existence of the Idea of an Infinite Being, ANAT SCHECHTMAN

Descartes's Third Meditation presents an alleged proof for the existence of God that proceeds from the existence of an idea of an infinite being, God--an idea with infinite objective reality--to the existence of God himself. There is a tendency to understand the meditator as simply assuming the premise that he has an idea with infinite objective reality, or alternatively, as drawing it from the reach of introspection and the transparency of thought. Either way, readers of the Meditations often find the premise unmotivated, and do not take Descartes to provide any argument for it. This paper aims to show that Descartes does provide an argument for the premise. The author's interpretation focuses on the meditator's evolving conception of his idea of an infinite being in the Third Meditation. In so doing, the interpretation highlights a way in which epistemic progress is achieved in the Meditations, namely, through a process of correcting misconceptions.

Spinoza's Language, MOGENS LAERKE

This article analyzes Spinoza's philosophical language use. Arguing against David Savan, according to whom Spinoza's own conception of language sits so uncomfortably with his epistemology that he bars himself from putting his philosophy into words, the author studies the basic conditions under which Spinoza thinks that there can be any such thing as a successful philosophical language, what conceptual resources Spinoza's philosophy make available to him for constructing such a language, and the systematic role the geometrical method has to play in this regard.

Does Kant Demand Explanations for All Synthetic A Priori Claims? COLIN MARSHALL

Kant's philosophy promises to explain various synthetic a priori claims. Yet, as several of his commentators have noted, it is hard to see how these explanations could work unless they themselves rested on unexplained synthetic a priori claims. Since Kant appears to demand explanations for all synthetic a priori claims, it would seem that his project fails on its own terms. This paper argues, however, that Kant holds that explanations are required only for synthetic a priori claims about (purportedly) experience-independent entities, and that his project rests on a rationalist method of reflection that justifies certain basic synthetic a priori claims.

Collingwood's "Reformed Metaphysics" and the Radical Conversion Hypothesis, GUIDO VANHEESWIJCK

Collingwood scholars have always been divided concerning his so-called radical conversion regarding the role of metaphysics. In particular, the radical conversion hypothesis refers to two alleged changes in Collingwood's thought after 1936: first, Collingwood no longer made a distinction between philosophy and history and, second, he no longer believed in metaphysics as a study of "the One, the True, and the Good." This article tries to expose the untenability of the radical conversion hypothesis by showing the incorrect character of three objections, raised against his so-called later concept of metaphysics. In order to do that, two things are necessary. First, the relevant passages from his work after 1936 must be situated in the context of his complete work, including his unpublished manuscripts. Second, a reconstruction of the philosophical climate in which Collingwood was working during the second half of the 1930s is necessary.
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Title Annotation:PHILOSOPHICAL ABSTRACT
Publication:The Review of Metaphysics
Article Type:Abstract
Date:Jun 1, 2014
Words:969
Previous Article:The Journal of Philosophy: Vol. 111, No. 2, February 2014.
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