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Greek philosopher who defended the philosophy of Plato against the criticism of Aristotle. As head of the Academy in the fourth century, Xenocrates held forth the quasi-Pythagorean view that the Platonic Forms, including even the individual human soul, are all numbers.
Presocratic philosopher. He criticized the militarism and anthropomorphism of traditional Greek morality and religion, arguing that fundamental truth about the world is difficult to achieve. His opposition to conventional notions earned him the respect of later, more completely skeptical thinkers. Parmenides and Zeno studied with Xenophanes in Sicily before establishing their own school at Elea.
Recommended Reading: Xenophanes of Colophon: Fragments, tr. by J. H. Lesher (Toronto, 1992).
Greek historian. Xenophon's dialogues, especially the Απολογημα (Apology) and Memorabilia, offer an account of the philosophical career of Socrates through more practical, worldly eyes than do the dialogues of Plato.
Recommended Reading: Xenophon: Memorabilia, Oeconomicus, Symposium, Apologia, tr. by E. C. Marchant and O. J. Todd (Harvard, 1923); Xenophon, Conversations of Socrates, tr. by Hugh Tredennick (Penguin, 1990); and Leo Strauss, Xenophon's Socrates (St. Augustine, 1997).
German term for time; thus die Zeitgeist, or "Spirit of the Age" is the set of conceptions characteristic of the thinkers of a particular era.
Greek philosopher. An early exponent of stoic philosophy, he devised its characteristic separation of logic, natural science, and ethics. According to Zeno, only acceptance of objective reality permits human beings to overcome their subjective passions.
Recommended Reading: Edwyn Bevan, Stoics and Skeptics (Ares, 1980).
Follower of Parmenides whose work is known to us only through fragmentary reports from other philosophers. Zeno was the presocratic philosopher who devised clever paradoxes to show that motion of any kind is impossible and that reality must be unitary and unchanging.
Recommended Reading: J. A. Farris, The Paradoxes of Zeno (Avebury, 1996) and Zeno's Paradoxes, ed. by Wesley C. Salmon (Hackett, 2001).
German mathematician who developed the first systematic axiomatization of set theory. This achievement drew attention to the importance of the axiom of choice.
Recommended Reading: Gregory H. Moore, Zermelo's Axiom of Choice: Its Origins, Development, and Influence (Springer Verlag, 1988).
In contemporary discussions of the philosophy of mind, a hypothetical being whose appearance, behavior, and speech is indistinguishible from that of a normal human being despite its total lack of conscious experience in any form.
Recommended Reading: Daniel C. Dennett, Consciousness Explained (Little, Brown, 1992) and The Nature of Consciousness: Philosophical Debates, ed. by Ned Block and Owen Flanagan (MIT, 1997).