Aristotle by Otfried Höffe

By Otfried Höffe

This is often an English translation of Otfried Hoffe's research, initially in German, proposing the existence and works of Aristotle, revealing him as a contemporary, forward-thinking thinker. topics of ethics, politics, metaphysics, psychology, biology and rhetoric are all mentioned and Aristotle can also be in comparison to more than a few different philosophers, particularly these of German beginning. Hoffe has been a number one contributor to debates on ethical, criminal, political and philosophical matters for nearly thirty years.

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In brief: idealist metaphysics is replaced by realism and empiricism. The same model of interpretation has been used on Plato by K. F. Hermann (Geschichte und System der Platonischen Philosophie, Heidelberg 1839). E. and the philosopher, and commentator of Aristotle, Porphyry. The basic idea is not so new, then. In any case, among philologists nowadays there is “a broad consensus that Jaeger’s results are to be considered erroneous in their overall conception as well as in many details” (Flashar 1983, 177).

Besides, the modern age has never discovered a true art of invention either, that is, one that can be taught and learnt. In the following, we shall choose some examples from the wealth of Aristotelian thought; chapter 12 will add some explanations about his ethics. 3 . 2 A N E PI S T E M I C H I E R A RC H Y The Metaphysics (I 1–2; cf. APo. II 19) opens with a gradation of epistemic abilities which, with its clear delimitations at both ends, is reminiscent of Hegel’s 26 ARISTOTLE Phänomenologie des Geistes.

The topos provides the appropriate premise for a given conclusion. Where it consists in an endoxon, it can be presented to the opponent. If he acknowledges it, one can deduce the conclusions, again with the assistance of the topos, that is, of the procedure mentioned in it. While book I of the Topics expounds the relevant basic concepts—the task, the procedure, the use, and the tools (prothesis, methodos, chrêsimon, organa)—and book VIII gives practical advice, the main part of the Topics, books II–VII, consist in a catalogue or reference work of the schemes of argumentation that allow the defendant to plan his defense and the opponent his attack.

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