We are delighted to announce the publications of another new volume this month, bringing our total to 92 volumes. Details at Amazon.
Description: Simplicius' greatest contribution in his commentary on Aristotle on Physics 1.5-9 lies in his treatment of matter. He starts with a valuable elucidation of what Aristotle means by 'principle' and 'element' in Physics. Simplicius' own conception of matter is of a quantity that is utterly diffuse because of its extreme distance from its source, the Neoplatonic One, and he tries to find this conception both in Plato's account of space and in a stray remark of Aristotle's. Finally, he rejects the Manichaean view that matter is evil and answers a Christian objection that to make matter imperishable is to put it on a level with God.
The latest volume in the series to be published is Victor Caston's translation of the first part of Alexander of Aphrodisias' On the Soul. This is the 91st volume in the series and is another step towards 100 volumes published by the end of 2012. Details at Amazon.
Description: Around 200 AD, the greatest defender and interpreter of Aristotle within his school, Alexander of Aphrodisias, composed his own book 'On the Soul', partly following the pattern of Aristotle's. In the first half, translated in Part I, he discusses the soul as the form of the body, and the idea of parts or powers that constitute the soul of living things, including the two lowest powers: nutrition and perception. In the second half, to be translated in Part II, he discusses perception, representation, desire, understanding and - a Stoic term - the governing part of the soul. He takes the soul to consist of these powers, which supervene on the mixture of the body's elemental ingredients, just as inanimate powers like buoyancy or lightness can supervene on other qualities. The supervening powers are newly emergent and the soul's powers do not belong to the constituent ingredients of the body. Through his notion of supervenience, he seeks to steer between the Platonic dualism of soul and body and the materialism of his Stoic rivals.
Cambridge University Press have recently published a new book on Proclus, by Radek Chlup. Full details here. There is also a Google preview here.
Richard Sorabji, in his role as Gresham Professor of Rhetoric, has given a number of public lectures on ancient philosophy, many of which touch on the ancient commentators. Transcripts, audio, and video of these are available online, and there is a full list here. These include 'Some Great Philosophers Waiting to be Rediscovered' and 'The Half Dozen Most Seminal Philosophy Books'.
There is a very nice tribute to Ian Mueller (1938-2010) by Stephen Menn published in the online journal Aestimatio, available here. Ian was a prolific contributor to the Ancient Commentators project and is sadly missed.
Spring 2012 saw the publication of the 90th volume in the Ancient Commentators series.
This volume, by Richard McKirahan, presents part of Philoponus' commentary on Aristotle's Posterior Analytics. In this part of the Posterior Analytics Aristotle elaborates his assessment of how universal truths of science can be scientifically explained as inevitable in demonstrative proofs. Philoponus takes these issues further.