Dr. Kostelecky - Philosophy 249 - 21

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University of Alberta
Matthew Kostelecky

PHILOSOPHY 249 BOETHEUS he translates the logical works of aristotle from greek into latin killed by emperor theodoric around 525. spent most of his life as a christian. wrote the "consolation of philosophy" becomes master of offices in western Roman Empire. like cheif of staff for the president of the usa. he saw his two sons both become roman consuls themselves (above senators). he was trying to root out corruption from the senate, and he fell out of favor. as he awaits death he composes the "consolation of philosophy" from memory. he was going to translate all of plato and all of aristotle to show that they do not conflict. he only gets to the categories, and also porphyry's isogogue, and two commentaries on it. it was thought that you could use aristotle to come to know the forms, so aristotle was the epistemology, and plato was the metaphysics. boetheus' commentary on porphyry's commentary on aristotle's 'categories' In paragraph 23 he mentions Alexander (of Aphrodisias) who commented on Aristotle's theory of 'intellect' ARISTOTLE on how understanding occurs - aristotle invented the theory of abstraction abstraction: some capacity internal* to the human being that can see the universal in a particular. *here's where the debate is you can abstract the notion of something like a bunch of individual humans >>> humanity. in plato, it is all recollection. abstraction is not that different: it is our mind being jogged. rather than remembering the forms that are in me (a passive act), i actively do something to cause me to see the universal. so throughout this reading there is a two-fold implicit expectation that you know De Anima III, 6. - aristotle says there is a two fold operation of the intellect/understanding. 1. simple and infallible, or just call it "abstraction" -you can't help but get to the truth in some sense by just observing. "triangularity" 2. composing/dividing, this is where you can mix and match things. this is where falsity really lays. "this triangle can be bisected. or: this is a trian
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