Monday, June 02, 2008


Sorry for the thin posting recently. Today is a brief bit of breathing space in-between last week's May Week seminar on Aristotle De anima 1 (on which below) and the serious business of marking end of year exams. We do the latter in quite a rush so that all the results can be out and agreed by the beginning of July. And since in Classics we still manage double blind-marking it makes the whole process rather intense. Still, I'd rather be marking them than taking them. But all the same, spare me a thought this weekend as I collapse under a pile of scripts...

Last week's seminar was really good. I don't think I'd sat and read DA 1 carefully through as a unit before and it is surprising what it looks like if you do. By the end of the week, I think it's fair to say that there were lots of unanswered questions. For example, isn't it a bit odd for a work On the soul which says it deals with the various views of Aristotle's predecessors not once to mention the Phaedo? We wondered whether that dialogue might be at the back of A.'s mind here and there (and must surely be part of the background of the refutations of the harmonia-theory) but it gets no direct and clear treatment on its own. Did Aristotle think it was not a work of natural philosophy of the soul in the right manner?

Besides generating perplexity, the week was as usual an excellent chance for us on the home team to benefit from having a number of visitors come along and share their thoughts. They are usually much better prepared and informed about the text than we are but I hope they get something out of it as well.

And I've found something that should help out with the post-marking evenings. I've given up trying to compete with my family's scores at Wii bowling (for which my three year-old appears to have some uncanny talent) and have instead discovered this. (Note that the video contains 'Cartoon violence' and 'Comic mischief'. This is not a joke... The website explains: 'Cartoon Violence - Violent actions involving cartoon-like situations and characters. May include violence where a character is unharmed after the action has been inflicted; Comic Mischief - Depictions or dialogue involving slapstick or suggestive humor' . Good grief.)

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