Cosmology

2 - Infinity and Beyond: Anaximander and Anaximenes

Posted on 23 December 2010

Peter discusses two very early Greek philosophers, both from Miletus: Anaximander and Anaximenes.

24 comments
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.

 
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30 - A Likely Story: Plato's Timaeus

Posted on 23 April 2011

Peter looks at Plato's Timaeus, focusing on the divine craftsman or demiurge, the receptacle, and the geometrical atomism of Plato's elemental theory.

15 comments
40 - Let's Get Physical: Aristotle's Natural Philosophy

Posted on 3 July 2011

Before Isaac Newton (and Olivia Newton John), there was Aristotle. Peter looks at his Physics, focusing on the notions of actuality and potentiality and how they help to explain such concepts as time and motion.

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55 - The Constant Gardener: Epicurus and his Principles

Posted on 20 November 2011

Peter begins to examine the philosophy of Epicurus, focusing on his empiricist theory of knowledge and his atomic physics.

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62 - We Didn’t Start the Fire: the Stoics on Nature

Posted on 8 January 2012

Peter looks at the Stoic idea of god, a providential fire that pervades nature, and considers their idea of a deterministic and eternally recurring cosmos.

20 comments
78 - Middle Men: the Platonic Revival

Posted on 29 April 2012

Pioneering thinkers Eudorus, Alcinous, and Numenius fuse Pythagoreanism with Platonism and pave the way for Plotinus.

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103 - Fall and Rise: Origen

Posted on 18 November 2012

Origen, greatest of the Greek Church Fathers, sets out a stunning theory of human redemption as he marries philosophical rigor to theological speculation.

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126 - High Five: al-Rāzī

Posted on 28 April 2013

The doctor and philosopher Abū Bakr al-Rāzī sets out a daring philosophical theory involving five eternal principles: God, soul, matter, time and place.

14 comments
129 - The Second Master: al-Fārābī

Posted on 19 May 2013

Peter begins to look at the systematic rethinking of Hellenic philosophy offered by al-Fārābī, focusing on his logic and metaphysics.

7 comments
155 - Matter over Mind: Ibn Gabirol

Posted on 22 December 2013

Neoplatonism returns in Ibn Gabirol (known in Latin as Avicebron), who controversially holds that everything apart from God has both matter and form.

17 comments
165 - Neither the Time Nor the Place: Hasdai Crescas

Posted on 2 March 2014

Ḥasdai Crescas shows Aristotelian physics who’s boss, by defending alternative conceptions of time, place and infinity.

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199. Much Ado About Nothing: Eriugena's Periphyseon

Posted on 21 November 2014

Eriugena delves into the Greek tradition to produce his masterpiece of metaphysics and theology, the Periphyseon.

10 comments
213. On the Shoulders of Giants: Philosophy at Chartres

Posted on 28 February 2015

The controversial role of Chartres in the philosophical Renaissance of the twelfth century.

1 comments
27. The Theory of Evolution: Īśvarakṛṣṇa’s Sāṃkhya-kārikā

Posted on 15 October 2016

The oldest treatise of Sāṃkhya enumerates the principles of the cosmos and of the human mind.

8 comments
280. Get to the Point: Fourteenth Century Physics

Posted on 18 June 2017

Ockham, Buridan, Oresme and Francis of Marchia explore cosmology, atomism, and the impetus involved in motion.

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289. A Wing and a Prayer: Angels in Medieval Philosophy

Posted on 19 November 2017

Be surprised by how many philosophical problems arise in connection with angels (how many can dance on the head of a pin is not one of them).

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3. Fertile Ground: Philosophy in Ancient Mesopotamia

Posted on 29 April 2018

Do the cuneiform writings of Babylonian culture show that it had its own philosophy?

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4. Pyramid Schemes: Philosophy in Ancient Egypt

Posted on 13 May 2018

Ancient Egyptian figures and writings including the Pyramid Texts, Imhotep, and the "first monotheist" Akhenaten reflect on the nature of things and questions of morality.

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25. Wise Guys: Sage Philosophy

Posted on 31 March 2019

Henry Odera Oruka’s new method for exploring philosophy in Africa, based on interviews with wise individuals.

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356. I’d Like to Thank the Lyceum: Aristotle in Renaissance Italy

Posted on 27 September 2020

Aristotle’s works are edited, printed, and translated, leading to new assessments of his thought among both humanists and scholastics.

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365. Spirits in the Material World: Telesio and Campanella on Nature

Posted on 31 January 2021

Was the anti-Aristotelian natural philosophy of Bernardino Telesio and Tommaso Campanella the first modern physical theory?

7 comments
393. The World Doesn’t Revolve Around You: Copernicus

Posted on 27 March 2022

How revolutionary was the Copernican Revolution?

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394. Best of Both Worlds: Tycho Brahe

Posted on 10 April 2022

Responses to Copernicus in the 16th century, culminating with the master of astral observation Tycho Brahe.

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395. Music of the Spheres: Johannes Kepler

Posted on 24 April 2022

Kepler combines Brahe's observations, Copernicus' astronomy, and Platonist metaphysics.

4 comments