Time For Aristotle

Back in January, I posted a quick note on a new book – Time for Aristotle by Ursula Coope – I came across the PDF of this book online and I would like to post it here, if there are any objections to this, please email me and I will take it down. Here‘s a review of the book from 2006:

Time for Aristotle is a beautifully concise and clear study of an exceedingly difficult section of the Physics: Aristotle’s discussion of time (Physics IV 10-14). Ursula Coope not only explicates Aristotle’s obscure and often elliptical account of time; she also forcefully defends this account by showing how it depends ultimately on Aristotle’s idiosyncratic conception of the natural world. Aristotle is concerned with problems and questions that are different from those that may motivate the investigation of a modern philosopher. But this does not mean that we cannot learn from Aristotle’s discussion of time. Quite the contrary: Coope thinks that we can learn a lot about the theoretical concerns that motivate our investigation of time if only we approach Aristotle’s text with the right frame of mind. It is indeed time for Aristotle if we are open to the possibilities of his philosophy and don’t foreclose any of them by assuming that he has to provide an answer to our questions.

8 thoughts on “Time For Aristotle

  1. Mikhail,

    Please feel free to erase this post, as it has nothing to do with the thread.

    I’m reading Heidegger seriously for the first time (only having gotten him second hand through people like Dreyfus, Noe, and Wheeler and conversations with people, including my co-writer Mark Silcox) and have posted two questions on my blog ( http://drjon.typepad.com/jon_cogburns_blog/2009/04/a-serious-plea-for-help-about-heidegger.html ). I realize that they are both probably incredibly naive, any input from you or the other good people here would be helpful even just to clear up the naivete.

    If this is bad blog etiquette, feel free to let me know. Then we can post posts about posting unrelated posts in other people’s posts. If I were to decry that right here then we’d have a cool performative contradiction.



  2. Jon, that’s totally fine, of course – if you don’t mind, I’ll repost your comment as an actual post to see if there’s interest among all seven of our readers.

    I know it’s probably a bad etiquette move as well, but since you’re the only serious analytical tradition philosopher I know, I might have some questions about the tradition in general as I’m discovering some of the classics of “your people”…

  3. Mikhail,

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

    Yeah, following the great stuff on this blog is part of me unlearning some bad habits (which are of course still unfortunately manifest in some of my blog snarkiness). Actually reading original sources as well as situating them historically is the next step. So getting some philosophical input and advice about where to go both with Heidegger and beyond Kisiel’s historical work will be invaluable.

    Anyhow, the whole breach-of-etiquette thing would have worked better if I’d actually committed the performative contradiction. That would have been fun for the whole family, like Disneyland except without the teenagers in giant animal suits being gawked at by prepubescents. And no stucco castles either.


  4. If I understand correctly “let’s meet after the coral spawn” would give us sequentiality and simultaneity without necessarily chronos. “Let’s meet after the next coral spawn” gives us chronos because at least two coral spawns have been counted.

    Do you reckon Aristotle would have regarded kairos as a kind of time because it is measured, or as not a kind of time because it is not measured quantitatively?

    I skipped to the final chapter of Coope’s book. Maybe she addresses this question?

  5. Fido, I’m slowly working my way through the book as I have other projects, so I don’t know the answer yet – skipping to the final chapters of philosophical book is sort of cheating, isn’t it? 🙂

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