CSMBR | Aristotle’s Theory of Knowledge & Hellenistic Epistemologies

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Center for the Study of Medicine and the Body in the Renaissance (CSMBR)
@ 10:00 am - 11:00 am
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“Aristotle’s Theory of Knowledge and Hellenistic Epistemologies: The Principles of Demonstration in the Ancient Commentary Tradition”
Orna Harari
6 June 2023 – 5:00 PM (CEST) | Virtual Lecture

The account of the principles of demonstration found in the Greek commentary tradition on Aristotle’s Posterior Analytics is significantly different from Aristotle’s own account. Whereas Aristotle classifies the principles mainly according to their intrinsic characteristics as propositions, the commentators do so by appealing to the knower’s cognitive attitude towards them.
In my lecture I explain this difference, arguing that it reflects the commentators’ adaptation of Aristotle’s theory of demonstration to the epistemological theories originated in the Hellenistic era, specifically to the view that the intellect and perception are criteria of truth.
This explanation brings to light the considerations underlying the commentators understanding of the principles of demonstrations, and clarifies why they held that the knowledge of the axioms and the knowledge of the other principles are derived from different sources.