As it is well known, Peter F. Strawson in the introduction to his book Individuals. An Essay in Descriptive Metaphysics makes a famous distinction between two types of metaphysics: revisionist and descriptive. Descriptive metaphysics is defined there as a kind of philosophical reflection that “describes the actual structure of our thinking about the world”. Another formula used by Strawson is that descriptive metaphysics “reveals the most general features of our conceptual framework”. In the same text Strawson mentions Aristotle as one of the most important representatives of descriptive metaphysics. However, the question may be asked, whether the formulas used by Strawson adequately describe the actual conception of metaphysics in Aristotle. After all, the aim of Aristotle’s inquiry was to reveal the structure of real beings and to find the causes that are at work in reality, and not only to study our concepts with which we describe the world. In my paper I discuss different ways in which Aristotle’s metaphysical project might be understood and I try to determine to what extent it can be associated with descriptive metaphysics in the sense defined by Strawson. In particular, I inquire to what extent Aristotle uses in his metaphysics the methods proposed in his theory of dialectic, whose aim was to help in the study commonly accepted concepts and beliefs (endoxa).
Since modern usage of the core terms is essential in the appropriate interpretation of ancient rhetoric texts, the paper starts from a discussion of semantic differences between the concepts of advice, counselling and deliberation in the Polish language. Ancient rhetoric takes as its starting point an overarching notion of ‘deliberative genre’ which includes not only laymen and expert advice, but also the political deliberation. It offers some theoretical categories, universal enough to address these apparently incompatible contexts of advice-giving and advice- taking. Rhetorical approach points out the relation between axiology and persuasive mechanisms. It identifies also some persuasive devices likely to enhance the efficiency of advice-giving, such as the use of examples and reasoning based on probability evaluation.
In view of the first Italian translation of the Kitāb al-ifāda wa-l-iʿtibār by ʿAbd al-Laṭīf, this article intends to provide a brief critical report of the mentions of Aristotle found in the Account of Egypt.