By Miira Tuominen
This ebook bargains the 1st synoptic examine of the way the first components in wisdom constructions have been analysed in antiquity from Plato to overdue old commentaries. It argues that, within the Platonic-Aristotelian culture, the query of beginning issues was once taken care of from specific issues of view: as a query of the way we collect easy wisdom; and as a question of the premises we may well instantly settle for within the line of argumentation.
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Extra resources for Apprehension and Argument: Ancient Theories of Starting Points for Knowledge (Studies in the History of Philosophy of Mind)
The Sophist and the Timaeus) is that these general notions cannot be acquired from experience but are presupposed by any meaningful general experience: it is impossible to group together observations without these general notions. Like the method of hypothesis, the method of collection and division is so loose that one might wish it to be more rigorous. 4a) of the Philebus are introduced in order to meet this wish. 43 Aristotle will later on make this point explicitly. Also in the Phaedrus, however, Plato assumes that there is a limit to distinctions.
Explanatory power is taken to be based on relations of objective priority among the things involved. The explanans is ontologically prior to the explanandum because the existence of the former is necessary for the existence of the latter. Also the conceptual analysis called collection and division presupposes two directions, towards what is more general and towards what is more particular. Eventually, the explanatory chains constructed and evaluated by the method of hypothesis can be attached to an unhypothetical principle that cannot be reduced to anything prior.
Secondly, we have pointed out that Plato’s discussion of the method of hypothesis involves the idea that inquiry aims at finding explanatory structures which are intrinsically directed, and that the direction is determined objectively. The further upwards we go in the structure, the greater the explanatory power. Explanatory power is taken to be based on relations of objective priority among the things involved. The explanans is ontologically prior to the explanandum because the existence of the former is necessary for the existence of the latter.