Dr. Peter Simpson is a professor of ancient philosophy at The City University of New York, and I met him at the Philosophy of Time Society session on the first night of the American Philosophical Association Easter Meeting 2019 in New York City. I interviewed Dr. Simpson about the Ancient Philosophy perspectives on time, perception, reality, and the qualities of the human experience. He breaks philosophy into three major areas where the ancients did “real” philosophy, the medieval period that specialized in theology, and the modern era which is focused more on science than philosophy.
He sees that there are a lot of discarded ideas by the modern Western mind, and that we’d do ourselves a lot of good if we’d take a look at what Aristotle or Plato had to say on topics ranging from the nature of time as a relativistic process of change, whether the ultimate nature of reality has more to do with mathematical quantities or experiential qualities, and how the moral and political frameworks focus more on the cultivation of virtual and character within the context of relatively small communities. We also do a bit of a deep dive into music as seen as ratios, and how the four Aristotelian elements described the qualities of phenomenological experience on a spectrum between hot versus cold and wet versus dry.
Overall, it’s a fascinating exploration of contemporary political, moral, scientific, and phenomenological issues as seen through the eyes of ancients. This interview was recorded in the context of a new podcast of The Voices of Philosophy, which explores a lot of the deepest open philosophical questions. There’s not a release date yet, but if you enjoy this spread this episode to others and let me know what you think on Twitter @kentbye.
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