Sextus Empiricus and Ancient Physics

Sextus Empiricus and Ancient Physics


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The two books of Sextus Empiricus' Against the Physicists have not received much attention in their own right, as sustained and methodical specimens of sceptical philosophy. This volume redresses the balance by offering a series of in-depth studies on them, focusing in particular on their overall argumentative structure and on the various ways in which their formal features relate to their contents, showing how Sextus' procedures vary from one section to the other, and throwing new light on the way he was using his sources. It follows Sextus' own division of these two books into nine successive topics, namely god, cause, wholes and parts, body, place, motion, time, number, coming-to-be and passing-away. These nine chapters are preceded by an introduction which discusses a number of general features of Sextus' scepticism and links the conclusions of this volume to some recent discussions on the scope of ancient scepticism.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781108729994
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 01/24/2019
Pages: 447
Product dimensions: 5.91(w) x 8.94(h) x 0.98(d)

About the Author

Keimpe Algra is Professor of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy at Universiteit Utrecht, The Netherlands. He has published widely on ancient philosophy, in particular on Hellenistic philosophy and ancient science. He co-edited The Cambridge History of Hellenistic Philosophy (1999, with Jonathan Barnes, Jaap Mansfeld and Malcolm Schofield) and was managing editor of the international journal Phronesis. His most recent book is Philoponus: On Aristotle Physics 4.1-5 (2012), published in the series The Ancient Commentators on Aristotle (with Johannes van Ophuijsen). His current research focuses on the relation between physics and mathematics in ancient thought and on Stoic theology.

Katerina Ierodiakonou is Professor of Ancient Philosophy at the University of Athens and Assistant Professor of Ancient Philosophy at Université de Genève. She has published extensively on ancient and Byzantine philosophy, especially in the areas of epistemology and logic. She is currently working on a monograph about ancient theories of colour, as well as on an edition, translation and commentary of Theophrastus' De sensibus and of Michael Psellos' paraphrasis of Aristotle's De interpretatione.

Table of Contents

Introduction Keimpe Algra and Katerina Ierodiakonou; 1. God: M 9.13–194 Richard Bett; 2. Cause: M 9.195–330 Michael J. White; 3. Wholes and parts: M 9.331–358 Katerina Ierodiakonou; 4. Body: M 9.359–440 Gábor Betegh; 5. Place: M 10.1–36 Keimpe Algra; 6. Motion: M 10.37–168 R. J. Hankinson; 7. Time: M 10.169–247 Susanne Bobzien; 8. Number: M 10.248–309 Tad Brennan; 9. Coming-to-be and passing-away: M 10.310–351 James Warren.

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