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Monte Johnson
University of California, San Diego
  1. Early Pyrrhonism as a Sect of Buddhism? A Case Study in the Methodology of Comparative Philosophy.Monte Ransome Johnson & Brett Shults - 2018 - Comparative Philosophy 9 (2):1-40.
    We offer a sceptical examination of a thesis recently advanced in a monograph published by Princeton University Press, entitled Greek Buddha: Pyrrho’s Encounter with Early Buddhism in Central Asia. In this dense and probing work, Christopher I. Beckwith, a professor of Central Eurasian studies at Indiana University, Bloomington, argues that Pyrrho of Elis adopted a form of early Buddhism during his years in Bactria and Gandhāra, and that early Pyrrhonism must be understood as a sect of early Buddhism. In making (...)
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  2. The Medical Background of Aristotle’s Theory of Nature and Spontaneity.Monte Ransome Johnson - 2012 - Proceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium of Ancient Philosophy 27 (1):105-152.
    Abstract: An appreciation of the "more philosophical" aspects of ancient medical writings casts considerable light on Aristotle's concept of nature, and how he understands nature to differ from art, on the one hand, and spontaneity or luck, on the other. The account of nature, and its comparison with art and spontaneity in Physics II is developed with continual reference to the medical art. The notion of spontaneous remission of disease (without the aid of the medical art) was a controversial subject (...)
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  3. Authenticating Aristotle's Protrepticus.Monte Ransome Johnson & D. S. Hutchinson - 2005 - Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 29:193-294.
    Authenticates approximately 500 lines of Aristotle's lost work the Protrepticus (Exhortation to Philosophy) contained in the circa third century AD work by Iamblichus of Chalcis entitled Protrepticus epi philosophian. Includes a complete English translation of the authenticated material.
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  4. Lucretius and the History of Science.Monte Ransome Johnson & Catherine Wilson - 2007 - In Stuart Gillespie & Philip R. Hardie (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Lucretius. Cambridge University Press.
    An overview of the influence of Lucretius poem On the Nature of Things (De Rerum Natura) on the renaissance and scientific revolution of the seventeenth century, and an examination of its continuing influence over physical atomism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
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  5.  59
    Was Gassendi an Epicurean?Monte Ransome Johnson - 2003 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 20 (4):339 - 360.
    Pierre Gassendi was a major factor in the revival of Epicureanism in early modern philosophy, not only through his contribution to the restoration and criticism of Epicurean texts, but also by his adaptation of Epicurean ideas in his own philosophy, which was itself influential on such important figures of early modern philosophy as Hobbes, Locke, Newton, and Boyle (to name just a few). Despite his vigorous defense of certain Epicurean ideas and ancient atomism, Gassendi goes to great lengths to differentiate (...)
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  6.  49
    Aristotle’s Empiricism: Experience and Mechanics in the 4th Century BC by Jean De Groot. [REVIEW]Monte Ransome Johnson - 2015 - Ancient Philosophy 35 (1):220-230.
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  7.  93
    Sources for the Philosophy of Archytas.Monte Ransome Johnson - 2008 - Ancient Philosophy 28 (1):173-199.
    A review of Carl Huffman's new edition of the fragments of Archytas of Tarentum. Praises the extensive commentary on four fragments, but argues that at least two dubious works not included in the edition ("On Law and Justice" and "On Wisdom") deserve further consideration and contain important information for the interpretation of Archytas. Provides a complete translation for the fragments of those works.
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  8.  3
    Colloquium 4: The Medical Background of Aristotle’s Theory of Nature and Spontaneity.Monte Ransome Johnson - 2012 - Proceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium of Ancient Philosophy 27 (1):105-152.
    An appreciation of the "more philosophical" aspects of ancient medical writings casts considerable light on Aristotle's concept of nature, and how he understands nature to differ from art, on the one hand, and spontaneity or luck, on the other. The account of nature, and its comparison with art and spontaneity in Physics II is developed with continual reference to the medical art. The notion of spontaneous remission of disease (without the aid of the medical art) was a controversial subject in (...)
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  9.  69
    Spontaneity, Democritean Causality and Freedom.Monte Ransome Johnson - 2009 - Elenchos 30 (1):5-52.
    Critics have alleged that Democritus’ ethical prescriptions (“gnomai”) are incompatible with his physics, since his atomism seems committed to necessity or chance (or an awkward combination of both) as a universal cause of everything, leaving no room for personal responsibility. I argue that Democritus’ critics, both ancient and contemporary, have misunderstood a fundamental concept of his causality: a cause called “spontaneity”, which Democritus evidently considered a necessary (not chance) cause, compatible with human freedom, of both atomic motion and human actions. (...)
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  10.  45
    Nature, Spontaneity, and Voluntary Action in Lucretius.Monte Ransome Johnson - 2013 - In Daryn Lehoux, A. D. Morrison & Alison Sharrock (eds.), Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science. Oxford University Press.
    In twenty important passages located throughout De rerum natura, Lucretius refers to natural things happening spontaneously (sponte sua; the Greek term is automaton). The most important of these uses include his discussion of the causes of: nature, matter, and the cosmos in general; the generation and adaptation of plants and animals; the formation of images and thoughts; and the behavior of human beings and the development of human culture. In this paper I examine the way spontaneity functions as a cause (...)
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  11.  49
    The Aristotelian Explanation of the Halo.Monte Ransome Johnson - 2009 - Apeiron 42 (4):325-357.
    For an Aristotelian observer, the halo is a puzzling phenomenon since it is apparently sublunary, and yet perfectly circular. This paper studies Aristotle's explanation of the halo in Meteorology III 2-3 as an optical illusion, as opposed to a substantial thing (like a cloud), as was thought by his predecessors and even many successors. Aristotle's explanation follows the method of explanation of the Posterior Analytics for "subordinate" or "mixed" mathematical-physical sciences. The accompanying diagram described by Aristotle is one of the (...)
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  12. Protrepticus. Aristotle, Monte Ransome Johnson & D. S. Hutchinson - manuscript
    A new translation and edition of Aristotle's Protrepticus (with critical comments on the fragments) -/- Welcome -/- The Protrepticus was an early work of Aristotle, written while he was still a member of Plato's Academy, but it soon became one of the most famous works in the whole history of philosophy. Unfortunately it was not directly copied in the middle ages and so did not survive in its own manuscript tradition. But substantial fragments of it have been preserved in several (...)
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