Being and Existence

7 - The Road Less Traveled: Parmenides

Posted on 16 January 2011

Peter  discusses the "father of metaphysics," Parmenides, and his argument that all being is one.

 
42 comments
38 - Down to Earth: Aristotle on Substance

Posted on 18 June 2011

Aristotle rejects Plato's Forms, holding that ordinary things are primary substances. But what happens when we divide such substances into matter and form?

11 comments
139 - By the Time I Get to Phoenix: Avicenna on Existence

Posted on 28 July 2013

Avicenna revolutionizes metaphysics with groundbreaking ideas about necessity and contingency, and his new distinction between essence and existence.

16 comments
177 - To Be or Not to Be: Debating Avicenna’s Metaphysics

Posted on 25 May 2014

Avicenna’s distinction between essence and existence triggers a running debate among philosophers and theologians.

11 comments
186 - To Be, Continued: Mullā Ṣadrā on Existence

Posted on 27 July 2014

Mullā Ṣadrā, the greatest thinker of early modern Iran, unveils a radical new understanding of existence.

14 comments
194 - Iran So Far: After Ṣadrā

Posted on 19 October 2014

From Sabzawārī in the 19th century to Seyyed Hossein Nasr today, Iranian thinkers promote and respond to the thought of Mullā Ṣadrā.

26 comments
202. Philosophers Anonymous: the Roots of Scholasticism

Posted on 13 December 2014

Little-known authors prepare the way for scholasticism with glosses on logic, metaphysical debate, and a poem about a cat.

5 comments
228. It's All Good: The Transcendentals

Posted on 13 June 2015

Philip the Chancellor introduces the transcendentals, a key idea in medieval metaphysics and aesthetics.

6 comments
241. The Shadow Knows: Albert the Great's Metaphysics

Posted on 22 November 2015

Albert the Great’s theory of being and his attempt to explain what changes in the human mind when we come to see God in the afterlife.

2 comments
256. Frequently Asked Questions: Henry of Ghent

Posted on 19 June 2016

Henry of Ghent, now little known but a leading scholastic in the late 13th century, makes influential proposals on all the debates of his time.

10 comments
260. Once and for All: Scotus on Being

Posted on 10 September 2016

Duns Scotus attacks the proposal of Aquinas and Henry of Ghent that being is subject to analogy.

15 comments
44. It All Depends: Nagarjuna on Emptiness

Posted on 11 June 2017

Nāgārjuna founds the Mādhyamaka (“middle way”) Buddhist tradition by “relinquishing all views” and arguing that everything is “empty.”

2 comments
47. Jan Westerhoff on Nāgārjuna

Posted on 23 July 2017

A discussion with Jan Westerhoff, an expert on the great Buddhist thinker Nāgārjuna, dealing with the notion of emptiness, the tetralemma, and Nāgārjuna's reception in India and Tibet.

4 comments
287. Down to the Ground: Meister Eckhart

Posted on 22 October 2017

The scholastic and mystic Meister Eckhart sets out his daring speculations about God and humankind in both Latin and German.

7 comments
288. Men in Black: the German Dominicans

Posted on 5 November 2017

Dietrich of Freiberg, Berthold of Moosburg, John Tauler and Henry Suso explore Neoplatonism and mysticism.

4 comments
323. Through His Works You Shall Know Him: Palamas and Hesychasm

Posted on 21 April 2019

Gregory Palamas and the controversy over his teaching that we can go beyond human reason by grasping God through his activities or “energies”.

7 comments
325. Platonic Love: Gemistos Plethon

Posted on 19 May 2019

Was Gemistos Plethon, the last great thinker of the Byzantine tradition, a secret pagan or just a Christian with an unusual enthusiasm for Platonism?

8 comments
326. Istanbul (Not Constantinople): the Later Orthodox Tradition

Posted on 2 June 2019

When the Byzantine empire ended in 1453, philosophy in Greek did not end with it. In this episode we bring the story up to the 20th century.

8 comments
344. The Count of Concord: Pico della Mirandola

Posted on 8 March 2020

Pico della Mirandola argues for the harmony of the ancient authorities, draws on Jewish mysticism, and questions the value of humanist rhetoric.

4 comments