Aristotle unquestionably changed the discipline of philosophy. As an undergrad, I remember one of my professors telling me that, if time constraints were no object, he would make semester long courses on Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Hegel, and Nietzsche a requirement for all philosophy majors. While I do not specialize in Ancient Philosophy, my studies have thus far confirmed those assessments. Many of the fundamental ideas we take for granted, like looking to the natural world for true knowledge, were established by Aristotle, as were many of the categories we still use today (e.g. metaphysic). Armand Marie Leroi’s book The Lagoon: How Aristotle Invented Science describes this in detail.
After Aristotle’ death there was much to dissect and sort through. Some focused on his ethics, and multiple Hellenistic schools (like the Epicureans and Stoics) elaborated on several of the virtues he discussed. Others, like Islamic philosopher Avicenna and medieval philosopher Aquinas, brought some of Aristotle’s theories in line with religious doctrines while expanding on topics they felt he left incomplete. Given the breadth of topics taken up after Aristotle, I thought it would make for an excellent topic for this, the third RTF-APA Blog partnership column. Please check out the following papers on post-Aristotelian philosophy and, if you’re interested in learning more, visit the RTF-APA page (the link is below) to look at the books they have at discounted prices for APA members.
- William Carroll, “Thomas Aquinas on Creation and Science: An Invitation for China, and not only for China,” Modern Age, Fall 2016.
- Kristen Beard, “To Avoid Pain or Die Trying: A Philosophical interpretation of Epicureanism,” Pursuit: The Journal of Undergraduate Research at the University of Tennessee, 2015.
- Ian Leask, “Stoicism unbound: Cicero’s Academica in Toland’s Pantheisticon,” British Journal for the History of Philosophy, March 2017.
- Saloua Chatti, “Avicenna on Possibility and Necessity,” History & Philosophy of Logic, November 2014.
- Kara Richardson, “Avicenna’s Conception of the Efficient Cause,” British Journal for the History of Philosophy, March 2013.
See the Routledge APA member page for more books on post-Aristotelian philosophy. APA members get a 20% discount on all books.