Philosophy 290-1

Fall 2008

Number Title Instructor Days/time Room
290-1 Graduate Seminar: Aristotle’s Posterior Analytics Frede M 4-6 121 Wheeler

The Posterior Analytics builds on Aristotle’s logic as developed in the Prior Analytics by focusing on demonstrative proofs. But Aristotle is here no longer concerned with the structure of proofs, rather than with the conditions of proof. There is therefore little use made of the theory of the syllogism, instead Aristotle discusses the starting points of all sciences: definitions, existential assumptions, general axioms. Thus the Posterior Analytics contains Aristotle’s philosophy of science because he is sorting out the different kinds of starting points and points out the various problems of ascertaining them. Given the density and complexity of the text the seminar will not cover the entire work, but focus on what is most important about the Aristotelian conception of an exact science. For readers of Greek there will be an extra hour of study of the Greek text.