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Aristotle contemporary perspectives on his Thought

ارسال کننده : سرکار خانم زهرا رحیمی
سطح فعالیت : نویسنده
ایمیل : NJIRAN33[@]GMAIL.COM
تاریخ ارسال : ۲ دی ۱۳۹۹
دفعات بازدید : 90
زبان نوشتاری : فارسی
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Preface

This collection of twenty essays by leading Aristotle scholars worldwide includes a thorough investigation of a wide range of themes on the Stage reites work in philosophy and the sciences. The themes spread from Physics, Biology, Psychology, Meteorology to Ethics, Politics, Rhetoric, Poetics, Ontology, Theology, Epistemology and Aristotelian Tradition. Through a variety of approaches and thorough analyses, the contributors provide an in-depth exploration of the issues

tigated, suggesting at the same time new perspectives on the study of Aristotle.

Earlier versions of these essays were presented at the Plenary and Invited Speakers Sessions of the World Congress "Aristotle 2400 Years," which was organized by the "Interdisciplinary Centre for Aristotle Studies" (DI.K.A.M.), of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (A.U.Th.), on May 23-28, 2016, in cele bration of the 2400th anniversary of Aristotles birth. The aim of the Congress was to advance scholarship on all aspects of Aristotles work, which had a unique impact in the history of human thought for more than two millennia and continues to be present in our intellectual lives; a work which spreads over the broadest range of topics, covering all major branches of Philosophy and extending in an impressive way into areas related to all fundamental fields of Science.

In the 62 years Aristotle lived (384-322 B.C.) he wrote more than 200 treatises, only one-fifth of which have survived. His teachings in areas, such as Logic, Metaphysics, Ontology, Political and Moral Philosophy, Rhetoric, Poetics, have put an everlasting seal on the Hellenistic and Graeco-Roman world, on Byzantine scholarly tradition, on the Arab world, on the Medieval and Modem thought of Europe. For all this, already in the Late Middle Ages, Dante characterized him as "the master of those who know."

Indeed, Aristotle was the first in the history of mankind to provide the laws of the human mind. His Logic was the basic instrument of Medieval Philosophy, under the general name of Opyavov, and dominated unchanged the intellectual life of the Eastern and the Westem world until at least the 17 century. Aristotles Npárn Diogopa was embraced by the Hellenistic world, the Arabs, the Byzantines, the European-Westem Philosophers, the Modern Westem World and left an indelible mark on Metaphysics. His writings on the question of ovnov (being qμα being), and his concepts of ουσία (substance), είδος (eidos), μορφή (form), γένος (spedes), δύναμις (dynamis), ενέργεια (actuality), εντελέχεια (entelechy), that he was first to use and analyse, remain the most significant contribution to Metaphysics. His philosophy, due to the prestige that it acquired by the work of St. Thomas Aquinas, laid the foundations for the education of the European Universities until the 17- century.

Aristotles contribution to moral and political philosophy is a diachronically worthy treasure. His ideas of nuo patía (democracy) and hotela (polity) are some of the debts of the Western world to the Stageirite. His views on the best, or most preferable, state (áplotn Toh Tela), based on democratic principles, laid the foundations for most of the Westem democracies in Europe and the United States of America. In his Politics, Aristotle highlights the significance of Tabela (paideia) for the development of opóvyos and ayaós (good and wise) citizen and suggests for the first time in the history of education that be public, statutory and compulsory. Aristotles treatise lepi montirs (Poetics) has been the emblematic text on the theory of Arts and his definition of Tpayw bla, stands as an inexhaustible source of inspiration through the centuries.

ندارد

For the Stage irite philosopher, both politics and ethics are directly related to Law and Society. In the center is always o avepw TOC. defined by Aristotle as "Púoel Coov Aoyek v TOATEKOV" ("animal by nature rational and political"), thus expressing the philosophers strong belief that o av partoç is by nature gov. emed by logic and acquires its meaning only within the community. Concepts, such as apeth (virtue), Eubavovía (eudemonia), pegórns (mean, middle),

povnois (practical wisdom), quia (friendship), are fundamental, both to his moral and political theory. Aristotle teaches us, that apetń (virtue) should dominate our impulses and instincts, so that we can be able to achieve étpov (mea. sure), between the two ends: unepBon and Manis (excess and deficiency). To accomplish the άγαθόν and finally ευδαιμονία, passions must be in reasonable control, and in agreement with Aoyos (reason). This can be achieved by an exercise of opóvngiç, practical wisdom. Finally, friendship is even more important than justice for the achievement of Opovola (amity) in the city-state.

Aristotles contribution to Logic, Metaphysics, Political and Moral Philosophy, Rhetoric, Arts, Poetry and Drama has, undoubtedly, been the most appreciated part of his work through the centuries. However, the Stageirite was not only a philosophical mind, but also a scientific one, a nave IOTÓWW quodopos. His contribution to Natural Science and scientific thinking is enormous. His work covers an impressive number of scientific disciplines, such as Physics, Biology, Marine Biology, Zoology, Embryology, Teratology, Developmental Biology, Botany, Taxonomy, Psychology, Medicine, Agriculture, Mathematics, Chemistry, Meteorology, Astronomy, Geology and Mechanics. The incredible wealth of his observations in all areas of Philosophy of Nature and the number and kind of researches conducted during his stay in Assos, in Asia Minor, in Lesbos and in Macedonia, during the period that he was a tutor of Alexander (347-335 B.C.), reveal that Aristotle was a great observer of nature and a research scientist. For him, as opposed to his teacher Plato, "all realms of nature are marvelous" (Part. An. 645a16).

In his Zoological and Biological treatises, Aristotle shows an amazing passion for the observation of animals "without omitting ... any member of the king dom, however ignoble" (Part. An. 645a5-6). He gives us remarkable descriptions of terrestrial and marine animals, their parts and organs, the different ways in which they reproduce, their diet, the environment they live in. His scientific curiosity also led him to observe and record such cases as the stages of the development of the chicken embryo in the egg, or the function of one of the eight tentacles of the male octopus when it copulates with the male. He also gives reports of the internal anatomy of approximately one hundred and ten different kinds of animals, probably thirty-five of which must have been dissected by Aristotle him. self. Thanks to all these, Aristotle is considered as the father of Biology and Taxonomy and as the most significant Biologist of antiquity. His contribution to Psychology has played a similar role in the history of this discipline. His treatise lepi vuxns (De anima) laid the foundations of Psychology and survived without any significant change until the advent of Brentano in the 19th century. His definition of the yuxń (soul), in terms of ÉV TEMéxela and cidos, combined

with his views on reproduction in his Περί ζώων γενέσεως (Generation of animals), provides highly suggestive ideas for our understanding of basic issues in contemporary Biology and Genetics.

Aristotles Merewpoloyixá (Meteorologica), written around 340 B.C., is the first broad and comprehensive book on the explanation of weather and astronomical phenomena. In his treatise Tepi oúpavou (De caelo), Aristotle reports that he observed (£wpákalev) the occultation of the planet Mars by the Moon (see Cael. II. 12, 292a3-5), an event which has now been tested for its liability and has been calculated to have happened precisely on May 4, 357 B.C. Aristotles Astronomical work has been read and commented by the great scientists of the Renaissance, Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, and later by Newton. What makes Aristotles enormous contribution to science even more valua ble and timeless is the fact that he set up the very concept of étioth . He thus contributed to the birth of science as a particular way of knowing (ylyvoKelv), by showing that what makes eToThun is the knowledge of bà tí (propter quid), rather than the knowledge of oti (quid). Aristotle was also the first to introduce and discuss a great number of concepts, such as un (matter) and popapń /eidos (form/species form), púois (nature), aitia (cause), kívngis (motion), aneupov (infinite), συνέχεια (continuity), δύναμις (potentiality), τόπος (space) and χρόνος (time), concepts which no discussion in the fields of Philosophy and of Science can ignore. Although his system of Physical Science has been considered, since the Renaissance and almost up to our days, as the least valuable part of his thought-with the exception of Biology until the advent of Darwins theory of evolution today there is a growing interest in approaching problems of Philosophy of Science by an appeal to Aristotle. Especially in the fields of Biology and Physics, it is now becoming all the more evident that in order to comprehend the processes which take place in the physical world, we have to abandon the basic schemes of Classical Physics and turn for inspiration to some of Aristotles highly illuminating and suggestive insights.

The twenty essays of this volume provide penetrating analyses of central issues in Aristotles multitudinous and multifarious work, suggesting at the same time contemporary perspectives on his thought. The issues are treated under six general topics, which follow the pattern of the thematic areas of the World Congress "Aristotle 2400 Years."

The World Congress "Aristotle 2400 Years" was organized by the "Interdisciplinary Centre for Aristotle Studies" of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki on May 23-28, 2016. The Congress was under the auspices of the President of the Hellenic Republic; it also had the full support of the International Federation of Philosophical Societies (FISP), the Academy of Athens and the Hellenic National Commission for UNESCO.

The aim of the Congress was to advance scholarship on all aspects of Aristotles work, a work that deserves to be studied not only for its long-standing influence, but also for its relevance for the 21st century and for its potential to lead us to a deeper understanding of concepts, ideas and problems of our own era; a work that can also offer the paradigm par excellence for an interdisciplinary approach of knowledge.

The proclamation by UNESCO of 2016 as the "Aristotle Anniversary Year" provided the opportunity for the organization of a series of events in Greece and around the world, to honour the great Stageirite philosopher. The World Congress "Aristotle 2400 Years," was the high spot of all these events for several reasons: it had the unique privilege to be held not only at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, that bears the philosophers name, but also in ancient Stageira and in ancient Mieza. It also had the honour to host 22 outstanding experts on Aristotles philosophy as Invited Speakers and in addition the impressive number of 250 Aristotle scholars from 42 countries from the five Continents, and from a rich diversity of philosophical and cultural traditions. During the six days that it lasted, the total number of Participants/Attendees approached the number of 600.

The Congress programme spread over a wide range of topics covering the following major branches of Aristotles work in Philosophy and the Sciences: I. Philosophy of Nature: Physics, Biology, Psychology, Astronomy, Meteorology. II. Philosophy of Human Action: Ethics, Politics, Rhetoric, Poetics. III. First Philosophy: Ontology, Cosmology, Theology. IV. Theory of Thinking: Logic, Epistemology, Methods of Inquiry. V. Aristotles works: Transmission, Edition, Authenticity. VI. Aristotle in the History of Philosophy: Predecessors, Contemporaries, Aristote. lian Tradition. VII. Aristotle and Contemporary Thought. A big proportion of the contributed papers will appear in the Proceedings of the World Congress "Aristotle 2400 Years" (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, forthcoming, 2018).

The Congress turned out to be a unique, intellectually exciting event to be remembered for a lifetime. The fact that it took place in the homeland of Aristotle, and gave the opportunity to the participants to walk and exchange ideas in ancient Stageira, the very place where Aristotle spent the first years of his life, and in ancient Mieza, the place that the Stageirite taught Alexander the Great, offered a thrilling, once in a lifetime experience. On the other hand, the excel lence of talks of renowned Aristotle scholars, who participated as Invited Speakers, the number and the high quality of the contributed papers presented, and the global recognition of the Stageirite philosopher, made the Congress a point of reference worldwide and proved that the teachings of Aristotle have much of value to offer us today.

As President of the Congress, I take this opportunity, to thank once again all those who contributed with their presence and their work to the success of the Congress. I also wish to express my sincere thanks to the Rector of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and Honorary President of the Congress, Perikles Mitkas, and the Vice-Rectors, especially Nikolaos Varsakelis and Theodore Laopoulos, for their support in every possible way. My most sincere thanks are due to the distinguished invited speakers for their valuable contribution to the World Congress "Aristotle 2400 Year"; to the members of the Honorary Academic Com. mittee, the International Scientific Committee, the Finance and the Organizing

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