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Dr. Christopher Shields, Chair, Philosophy Faculty Board, Professor of Classical Philosophy and Fellow of Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford

 

"Fractured Goodness: the Summum Bonum in Aristotle "

Aristotle criticizes Plato’s Form of the Good by insisting that goodness is not ‘something common, universal, and one’ (κοινόν τι καθόλου καὶ ἕν; EN 1096a28).  Still, he is happy to insist in his own right that there is some  ‘highest (or best) good’ (τγαθν κα τὸ ἄριστον; EN 1094a17-21), namely, eudaimonia, under which all subordinate human goods are ordered.  Indeed, he insists that if there were no such overarching good, all action would ultimately be in vain.  Although perfectly consistent with one another, these remarks do introduce a genuine tension into Aristotle’s approach to the commensurability of good things—a tension whose exploration points toward some further difficulties in his metaphysics of goodness. 

 

Friday, January 24, 2014

3:30 p.m.

Cathedral of Learning Room 244A

 

 

Aristotle's Bust

 

 

 

 

 

 

CPAS READING GROUP Meeting  for Spring Semester will be announced

 

 



Detail of the School of Athens by Michaelangelo

Allan Stanley Gotthelf 1942-2013

It is with deep sadness that we report the passing of our friend and former colleague Allan Gotthelf on August 30th, 2013 at his home in Philadelphia. After taking early retirement from The College of New Jersey, Allan spent a year visiting at University of Texas, Austin and then, supported by a fellowship from the Anthem Foundation for the Study of Objectivism, he became a Visiting Professor of History and Philosophy of Science here in 2003, a position he held until 2012, when he was appointed Anthem Foundation Distinguished Fellow in the Department of Philosophy at Rutgers University, the position he held at the time of his death. While in Pittsburgh he taught or co-taught many graduate seminars on Aristotle, served on a number of doctoral committees, played a central role as a member of the Classics, Philosophy and Ancient Science Program and organized a wide variety of workshops and conferences focused on Ancient Philosophy and Science and Epistemology. He will be missed as a scholar, teacher and organizer, but no less as a warm, enthusiastic and generous colleague and friend. An obituary for Allan can be found here.

 

 

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Selected Publications

cover of Being Nature, and Life In Aristotle by James Lennox

Being, Nature, and Life In Aristotle

by James G. Lennox (Editor), Robert Bolton (Editor)

This volume of essays explores major connected themes in Aristotle's metaphysics, philosophy of nature, and ethics, especially themes related to essence, definition, teleology, activity, potentiality, and the highest good. The volume is united by the belief that all aspects of Aristotle's work need to be studied together if any one of the areas of thought is to be fully understood. Many of the papers were contributions to a conference at the University of Pittsburgh entitled 'Being, Nature, and Life in Aristotle', to honor Professor Allan Gotthelf's many contributions to the field of ancient philosophy; a few are contributions from those who were invited but could not attend. The contributors, all longstanding friends of Professor Gotthelf, are among the most accomplished scholars in the field of ancient philosophy today.

 

 

Book cover, Inference from Signs

Inference from Signs: Ancient Debates about the Nature of Evidence

By James Allen

Original and penetrating, this book investigates of the notion of inference from signs, which played a central role in ancient philosophical and scientific method. It examines an important chapter in ancient epistemology: the debates about the nature of evidence and of the inferences based on it—or signs and sign-inferences as they were called in antiquity. Read more.

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Program Application

  • Students do not apply directly to the CPAS Program
  • Instead, students should apply to one of the cooperating departments (Classics, HPS, or Philosophy) and indicate their interest in the program on their application
  • Requirements: BA in Classics or equivalent