The power of Semen. Aristotle and some Galen's Fallacies
In this paper, I try to demonstrate how critical empiricism and philosophical reasoning intertwine with each other and affected the development of medicine. It is a case study considering the problems of generation and semen in the writings of Aristotle and Galen via relationship between such concepts as matter, form, movement, change, causes and some others. The main question addressed in the paper is the reason of Galen’s return to Hippocratic paradigm of two-semina (male and female). I argue that the reason is two-fold: 1) Different philosophical reasoning and erroneous understanding of some aspects of Aristotle’s embryological model by Galen. 2) Empirical discoveries, which proved to be wrong. I demonstrate that Galen’s understanding of form/matter relationship, and his view on matter as an underling principle conditioned his understanding of the notion of physical change, that allowed him to speak about conception only as quantitative mixture between equal substrata. Finally, I show that Galen’s view on teleology and his limited understanding of formal/final vs efficient causes and their relationship forced him to claim the inadequacy of Aristotle’s biology and necessitated Galen to introduce emendations in definitions of seminal faculties of genders and reproductive fluids.
The well-known sixth definition of the sophist in the homonymous dialogue contains a discussion of the elenchus (230b4-e3) which is often referred to as a manifestation of the late Plato’s attitude towards this method of argumentation. It is generally assumed that the definition of the sophist ‘of noble lineage’ given here should be attributed to Socrates as represented in earlier Plato’s dialogues. Since the elenchus is associated mainly with Socrates, little, if any, attention has been paid to the elenchus in the Sophist itself. This is only partly due to the fact that Socrates is not a leading character in the dialogue; more significantly, ever since Robinson the elenchus has been believed to be an essential preliminary — but a preliminary only — to the constructive search of knowledge. The Sophist, on the contrary, pursues a rather positive task of defining the sophist and, moreover, seems to complete this task successfully — not by means of the elenchus, but by means of the diairesis. The scope of this paper is to demonstrate that the mention of the elenchus at 230b4-e3 is not merely retrospective, and to draw attention to the elenctic dimension of the whole dialogue.
There were two tendencies in ancient philosophy: according to the first one, our universe is unique (the Eleatics, Plato, Aristoteles), while according to the other, there are several universes, similar or totally dissimilar to ours (the Pythagoreans, the Atomists). Proponents of the first theory diverged in their opinion on the universe’s eternity though. Supporters of the second one argued over the similarity of another universes as well as the question if those universes co-exist or replace each other over time. These questions didn’t stop being actual in medieval Christian philosophy. But if there were no doubts about the question of an actual existence of our universe as being the only and unique, the question if God created only our universe was yet to be answered. St. Thomas Aquinas provides several evidences of the uniqueness of the universe – two from the ‘authority’ and three from himself.
It turns out, however, that in spite of one basic difference there runs between these two systems a deep and striking parallelism. This parallelism is so close indeed that it makes possible the construction of a vocabulary which would transform characteristic propositions of Wittgenstein's ontology into Aristotelian ones, and conversely. To show in some detail the workings of that transformation will be the subject of this paper.
The Body Multiple is an extraordinary ethnography of an ordinary disease. Drawing on fieldwork in a Dutch university hospital, Annemarie Mol looks at the day-to-day diagnosis and treatment of atherosclerosis. A patient information leaflet might describe atherosclerosis as the gradual obstruction of the arteries, but in hospital practice, this one medical condition appears to be many other things. From one moment, place, apparatus, specialty, or treatment, to the next, a slightly different “atherosclerosis” is being discussed, measured, observed, or stripped away. This multiplicity does not imply fragmentation; instead, the disease is made to cohere through a range of tactics including transporting forms and files, making images, holding case conferences, and conducting doctor-patient conversations.
The Body Multiple juxtaposes two distinct texts. Alongside Mol’s analysis of her ethnographic material—interviews with doctors and patients and observations of medical examinations, consultations, and operations—runs a parallel text in which she reflects on the relevant literature. Mol draws on medical anthropology, sociology, feminist theory, philosophy, and science and technology studies to reframe such issues as the disease-illness distinction, subject-object relations, boundaries, difference, situatedness, and ontology. In dialogue with one another, Mol’s two texts meditate on the multiplicity of reality-in-practice.
Presenting philosophical reflections on the body and medical practice through vivid storytelling, The Body Multiple will be important to those in medical anthropology, philosophy, and the social study of science, technology, and medicine.
In the article the analysis of the genesis and existence of the term esoterics is given: from antiquity through the Middle Ages and New time to to the present. Variants of its use and terms substitutes (occultism, esotericism) are considered. The basic modern academic concepts of esoterics and research prospects of esotericism as phenomenon within the limits of religious studies are described.
The description of the elenctic method in the Sophist (230a–e) is often believed to be merely retrospective. However, some parallels with Aristotle’s Sophistical refutations suggest that the dialogue as a whole has a clear elenctic dimension. Having faced an apparent refutation (falsehood paradox), the interlocutors find themselves in an impasse. According to Aristotle, to solve such aporiai one must eliminate ambiguity and homonymy by making distinctions, i.e. recur to the diairesis. The same tactics is applied by the Stranger and Theaetetus.
The article considers the Views of L. N. Tolstoy not only as a representative, but also as a accomplisher of the Enlightenment. A comparison of his philosophy with the ideas of Spinoza and Diderot made it possible to clarify some aspects of the transition to the unique Tolstoy’s religious and philosophical doctrine. The comparison of General and specific features of the three philosophers was subjected to a special analysis. Special attention is paid to the way of thinking, the relation to science and the specifics of the worldview by Tolstoy and Diderot. An important aspect is researched the contradiction between the way of thinking and the way of life of the three philosophers.
Tolstoy's transition from rational perception of life to its religious and existential bases is shown. Tolstoy gradually moves away from the idea of a natural man to the idea of a man, who living the commandments of Christ. Starting from the educational worldview, Tolstoy ended by creation of religious and philosophical doctrine, which were relevant for the 20th century.
This important new book offers the first full-length interpretation of the thought of Martin Heidegger with respect to irony. In a radical reading of Heidegger's major works (from Being and Time through the ‘Rector's Address' and the ‘Letter on Humanism' to ‘The Origin of the Work of Art' and the Spiegel interview), Andrew Haas does not claim that Heidegger is simply being ironic. Rather he argues that Heidegger's writings make such an interpretation possible - perhaps even necessary.
Heidegger begins Being and Time with a quote from Plato, a thinker famous for his insistence upon Socratic irony. The Irony of Heidegger takes seriously the apparently curious decision to introduce the threat of irony even as philosophy begins in earnest to raise the question of the meaning of being. Through a detailed and thorough reading of Heidegger's major texts and the fundamental questions they raise, Haas reveals that one of the most important philosophers of the 20th century can be read with as much irony as earnestness. The Irony of Heidegger attempts to show that the essence of this irony lies in uncertainty, and that the entire project of onto-heno-chrono-phenomenology, therefore needs to be called into question.
The article is concerned with the notions of technology in essays of Ernst and Friedrich Georg Jünger. The special problem of the connection between technology and freedom is discussed in the broader context of the criticism of culture and technocracy discussion in the German intellectual history of the first half of the 20th century.