Studies in the History of Philosophy of Mind

Apprehension and Argument

Ancient Theories of Starting Points for Knowledge

Authors: Tuominen, Miira

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About this book

If we know something, do we always know it through something else? Does this mean that the chain of knowledge should continue infinitely? Or, rather, should we abandon this approach and ask how we acquire knowledge? Irrespective of the fact that very basic questions concerning human knowledge have been formulated in various ways in different historical and philosophical contexts, philosophers have been surprisingly unanimous concerning the point that structures of knowledge should not be infinite. In order for there to be knowledge, there must be at least some primary elements which may be called ‘starting points’.

This book offers the first synoptic study of how the primary elements in knowledge structures were analysed in antiquity from Plato to late ancient commentaries, the main emphasis being on the Platonic-Aristotelian tradition. It argues that, in the Platonic-Aristotelian tradition, the question of starting points was treated from two distinct points of view: from the first perspective, as a question of how we acquire basic knowledge; and from the second perspective, as a question of the premises we may immediately accept in the line of argumentation. It was assumed that we acquire some general truths rather naturally and that these function as starting points for inquiry. In the Hellenistic period, an alternative approach was endorsed: the very possibility of knowledge became a central issue when sceptics began demanding that true claims should always be distinguishable from false ones.

Reviews

"[...] provides some extraordinary insights into classical philosophy, insights that may prove to be useful to scholars who are willing to put the effort into pursuing them. [...] a valuable book for scholars of argument and rhetoric who are motivated enough to cross disciplinary lines." (David Hoffman, CUNY Baruch College, in Argumentation and Advocacy 47:1, 2010)

Table of contents (2 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $209.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-4020-5043-5
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $269.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-4020-5042-8
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $269.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-90-481-7263-4
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Apprehension and Argument
Book Subtitle
Ancient Theories of Starting Points for Knowledge
Authors
Series Title
Studies in the History of Philosophy of Mind
Series Volume
3
Copyright
2007
Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright Holder
Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
eBook ISBN
978-1-4020-5043-5
DOI
10.1007/978-1-4020-5043-5
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-4020-5042-8
Softcover ISBN
978-90-481-7263-4
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIV, 328
Topics