The Middle Included

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Publication Date
December 2016
Page Count
288 pages
Trim Size
6 x 9

The Middle Included

Logos in Aristotle
Omer Aygun

The Middle Included is the first comprehensive account of the Ancient Greek word logos in Aristotelian philosophy. Logos means many things in the Aristotelian corpus: essential formula, proportion, reason, and language. Surveying these meanings in Aristotle’s logic, physics, and ethics, Ömer Aygün persuasively demonstrates that these divers meanings of logos all refer to a basic sense of “gathering” or “inclusiveness.” In this sense, logos functions as a counterpart to a formal version of the principles of non-contradiction and of the excluded middle in his corpus. Aygün thus shifts Aristotle’s traditional image from that of the father of formal logic, classificatory thinking, and exclusion to a more nuanced image of him as a thinker of inclusion.
The Middle Included also explores human language in Aristotelian philosophy. After an account of acoustic phenomena and animal communication, Aygün argues that human language for Aristotle is the ability to understand and relay both first-hand experiences and non-first-hand experiences. This definition is key to understanding many core human experiences such as science, history, news media, education, sophistry, and indeed philosophy itself. Logos is thus never associated with any other animal nor with anything divine—it remains strictly and rigorously secular, humane, and yet full of the wonder.
About the Author

ÖMER AYGÜN is an assistant professor of philosophy at Galatasaray University in Turkey.

“The scope of this study is extremely impressive, ranging over the theoretical and practical sides of Aristotle’s thought while also moving into often under-explored areas of the corpus, such as the writings on language. Aygün’s treatments of the texts are always fresh and surprising, but also convincing, carefully argued, and textually grounded. This book will interest philosophers generally, especially those sympathetic to the continental/phenomenological tradition within which Aygün works.” —Eli Diamond, author of Mortal Imitations of Divine Life: The Nature of the Soul in Aristotle's "De Anima"

"[The Middle Included] is remarkable in its scope and depth. It pays heed to logos as a general term that crosses traditional divides in Aristotle's thought, but does so without caricaturing the term's employment in more specific contexts. It holds together both a single overarching discussion of logos as a general term of Aristotle's and many specific discussions of logos in its more determinate employments throughout Aristotle's works, without ever collapsing these discussions into each other or eclipsing one by another. Aygün's book thus artfully exemplifies the very logos that is its overarching subject. In so doing, it serves as an important impetus for further study into "logos" and other key terms that cross traditional boundaries in Aristotle's works.” —Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews