Archives for February 2015

Professor Ambuel Publishes New Translation and Commentary of Plato’s Theaetetus

David Ambuel recently published Turtles All the Way Down: On Plato’s Theaetetus, a Translation and Commentary.  Academia Verlag published the book in January, 2015. The Theaetetus is subtitled peri epistemes, on knowledge, and peirastikos, tentative. Theaetetus' three attempted definitions of knowledge, each ventured only to fail, are structured in a cascading reduction. This regress functions both negatively, as an indirect demonstration that knowledge is not definable in term of opinion or judgment, that is, knowledge is not "opinion plus," but also positively, as the ill-fated definitions build upon one another to delineate the elements necessary for a possible theory of judgment. The themes of knowledge and judgment never resolve, yet, through the multiple peirastic beginnings that perish struggling to say something lasting about knowledge, this main theme ties together the dialogue's many subthemes-wisdom and character; sophistry and its relation to philosophy; Socrates' trial; … [Read more...]

Professor Aminrazavi co-edits Volume 5 of the Anthology of Philosophy in Persia

An Anthology of Philosophy in Persia, Vol.5. Ed. S.H. Nasr & M. Aminrazavi, London: I.B. Tauris, 2015. pp. 544.The fifth and final volume of An Anthology of Philosophy in Persia deals with some seven centuries of Islamic thought stretching from the era following the Mongol invasion to the end of the Qajar period early in the 20th Century. Organized around the cities which became the main centers of philosophical activity during this long period, the volume is divided into three parts: ‘The School of Shiraz’, whose importance not only for Persia but also for Ottoman Turkey and Muslim India is only now being recognized; ‘The School of Isfahan’, which marks the integration of some eight centuries of Islamic thought and culminates with Mulla Sadra; and finally ‘The School of Tehran’, where traditional philosophy first encountered modern thought in Persia. To check out the entire series on I. B. Tauris Press, go here. … [Read more...]

Professor Aminrazavi edits new book on Sufism & American Literary Masters

In a newly edited book, Professor Aminrazavi explores the influence of Sufism on nineteenth- and early twentieth-century writers.This book reveals the rich, but generally unknown, influence of Sufism on nineteenth- and early twentieth-century American literature. The translation of Persian poets such as Hafiz and Sa’di into English and the ongoing popularity of Omar Khayyam offered intriguing new spiritual perspectives to some of the major American literary figures. As editor Mehdi Aminrazavi notes, these Sufi influences have often been subsumed into a notion of “Eastern,” chiefly Indian, thought and not acknowledged as having Islamic roots. This work pays considerable attention to two giants of American literature, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Walt Whitman, who found much inspiration from the Sufi ideas they encountered. Other canonical figures are also discussed, including Mark Twain, Herman Melville, Henry David Thoreau, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, along with literary contemporaries … [Read more...]

Professor Aminrazavi delivers lecture series at St. Joseph College in NYC

After 9/11, Dr. & Mrs. Khatib, longtime residents of NY, endowed a Chair in Comparative Religious Studies at St. Joseph College.  Every year, the position is given to a different scholar to do something creative such as teaching a course, give lecture series, etc. Last year, our own Professor Aminrazavi was the Khatib Chair and was asked to give a weekly lecture series on SHI`ISM IN IRAN with two keynote speeches. The picture is from one of his keynote lectures.   … [Read more...]

Future UMW Classics Students are Beneficiaries of a Generous Gift from Rick J. Hayes, Jr.

The gift, which will one day fund several four-year scholarships to UMW students majoring in Classics, was publicly announced in the UMW faculty-staff newsletter, the Eagle Eye, and in a recent article in the Free Lance Star.  The department was very pleased by the announcement and the flattering article by Lindley Estes. There appears to have been a misunderstanding, however, about the possible consequences for the Classics program as a result of a recent reallocation report.  For the sake of clarity, we reprint the text of the FLS article here in full with an italicized correction following what, again, we believe to be a misunderstanding.  Questions about the accuracy of the article may be addressed to the chair of the department, Professor Craig Vasey (540-654-1342). revised 7/15/14 5:45 pm July 11th, 2014, 5:56 pm   Attorney pledges $1.5 million to UMW classics department BY LINDLEY ESTES / THE FREE LANCE–STAR Maine lawyer Rick J. Hayes Jr. never attended the … [Read more...]