in Bayreuth (2011)
    Phil. Dept. Faculty)

Teaching Interests
Research Interests
Educational Background
Office Hours

On Greek Mathematics and Philosophy of Mathematics

Vignettes of Ancient Mathematics 

Euclid in Nürnberg

Euclid in Nürnberg

College of Arts & letters

Henry Mendell

Office: E&T 422
Phone: (323) 343-4178
<>FAX: (323) 343-4193
Email: (please note that this address has changed as of April 2006)

I mostly teach ancient philosophy, especially scientific issues in 5th and 4th cent. BCE philosophy.  However, I also teach annually a course in the history of the philosophy of science, which focuses on astronomy and mathematics.  This course uses lots of graphics to illustrate Greek mathematics and astronomy, much on my website, and spread sheets to illustrate Babylonian astronomy.. Unfortunately, these are not available on modern computers since Apple discontinued access to system 9 and, more important, Microsoft has blocked DLL's for the Mac version of Office. Shame on them.

I enjoy teaching logic.


My principal areas of interest at present include ancient Greek philosophy (especially Aristotle and Plato), ancient Greek mathematics, ancient astronomy (especially Eudoxus). These focus on the relation between philosophical issues in ancient treatments of scientific problems and how ancient philosophers responded to those issues.  Current projects involve Aristotelian logic, decision theorems in Aristotle, conceptions of number in the 4th and 3rd century B.C.E, treatments of quantitative relations in Greek mathematics, Aristotle's Physics, infinitary arguments in Greek mathematics, the relation between first principles in Aristotle and in Greek mathematics, sources for Eudoxus, 4th cent. B.C.E. conceptions of astronomy, and Plato's analogy of the Divided Line, and his Phaedo. At the Topoi Exzellenzcluster, I desinged on-line illustrations of Greek cosmology and mathematics.


Since I have noted above Microsoft and DLL's, it is worth also noting that Microsoft and Apple inhibit scholars or anyone from having access to a long history of their work. It is two decades since I was last able to read the original files for my doctoral dissertation with the original pagination, etc. Now, I can only with difficulty access the thousands of files composed in Word 4.0 and 5.1, and even then much of what I see is garbled. I dread upgrading to the newest Mac System when these files will become just unreadable. I mention this, as I am sure that others have had similar ugly experiences. Do these corporations think that people are only interested last week's work? As a user of Apple and Office for 28 years, I used to admire Apple and cherish Office. Microsoft and Apple have both become either callous and disgusting or just ignorant and arrogant!

Representative Professional Activities
Recent Publications

“Plato by the Numbers.” in Logos and Language: Essays in Honour of Julius Moravacsik. Ed. by Dagfinn Føllesdal and John Woods. London: College Publications, 2009, pp. 141-76. Access article


"Two Traces of Two-Step Eudoxan Proportion Theory in Aristotle: A Tale of Definitions in Aristotle, With a Moral," Archive for History of the Exact Sciences, 61 (2007): 3-37.

2005 "Putting Aristotle's Physics in its place: a discussion of B. Morison, On Location," Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy, 25 (Summer 2005), 327-66.
2001 Eloge for Wilbur Knorr. Isis 92 (2001):  339-343.
2001 with Pat Suppes and Julius Moravcsik (eds.). Ancient and Medieval Traditions in the Exact Sciences: Essays in Memory of Wilbur Knorr (Stanford: CSLI (distr. University of Chicago Press), 2001.
2001 "The Trouble with Eudoxus." In previous, 59-138.
1998 "Making Sense of Aristotelian Demonstration." Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy, 16 (1998), 160-225. Access article
1998 "Reflections on Eudoxus, Callippus and their Curves: Hippopedes and Callippopedes". Centauru, vol. 40, nr. 3-4 (1998), 177-275.

On-Line Encyclopedia Articles
2003 Aristotle: Mathematics: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
2002 "Eudoxus,"

Some Recent and Future Talks and Activities
7-11 Oct 2013 “Concrete and Abstract in Archimedes’ Mechanics,” Körper, 4th Kongress der Gesellschaft für antike Philosophie
6-9 Aug. 2013 Aristotle, An. Post. II 10-12, Workshop on Aristotle between Sense-Perception and Knowledge, University of California, Berkeley
20 May, 2013

"Aristotle's Dynamics in Physics VII 5: The Importance of Being Conditional," Power Structuralism Invited Speaker Series, Oxford University

27 March 2013 “The Measure of Iota and some other Things”.  Pacific APA (Symposium on Met. I)
12-16 Dec 2012 "The Boys from Cyzicus: what did they do?” Confereence: Reflections on Plato's Academy, Athens Greece
26-30 Nov.. 2012 "Two definitions of the Continuous," Conference, Les mathématiques grecques de Pythagore à Eudoxe, Institut Henri Poincare, Paris
26-30 Nov. 2012 "Multitudes of Numbers in Aristotle," Conference, Les mathématiques grecques de Pythagore à Eudoxe" Institute Jussieu, Paris
26-30 Aug. 2012 “What's location got to do with it? Some issue in Greek mathematics,” Conference on Space, Geometry and the Imagination from Antiquity to the Modern Age, Max Planck Institut für Wissenschaftgeschicte

9-10 June 2012

“Aristotle's Dynamics: the Importance of Being Conditional” Workshop on Aristotle's Physics, Humboldt University
21 June 2011 “Multitudes of Numbers,” Ancient Philosophy Colloquium Series, Humboldt University: Aspects of Hylomorphism and Cardiocentrism in Aristotle and Alexander
27-8 May 2011 “Demonstrated Lives,” Workshop at Topoi Exellenzcluster
22 March 2010 “The First Spherical Kosmos?” Workshop on the Spherical Cosmos at Max Planck Institut für Wissenschaftgeschicte.
12-13 Dec. 2008 “More Trouble for the Unmoved Mover,” Ancient Greek Philosophy Conference, USC
7-9 June 2007 "Ordinary Science in the Time of Plato," Science and philosophy in the Greco-Roman world, Central European University, Budapest
7 April 2007 "Aristotle's Physics and Mathematical Properties," Pacific APA
2-3 December 2006 "Ordinary Science in the Time of Plato," Symposium in honor of Julius Moravcsik, Stanford University
10-11 December 2004 "Aristotle's Physics and Mathematical Properties," Ancient Philosophy Conference held at USC
8 November 2004 "Pointwise Constructions, Somewhere," Conference in Memory of David Fowler, University of Warwick
28 October 2004 "How to Cut Plato's Line," Clark University (Boston Area Colloquia in Ancient Philosophy)


Ph.D. Phil. 1986
Stanford University
Stanford, Cal.
B.A. Phil. 1974
St. John's College
Cambridge, U.K.
A.B. Classics & Phil. 1971
Cornell University
Ithaca, N.Y.

SCHEDULE (Fall 2013)
Course Sect. No. Title Units Day & Time Room
Phil 250
Symbolic Logic
MW 1:30 KH B3007
Phil 250
Symbolic Logic
MW 4:20 KH B3007
Phil 311
Ancient Philosophy
MW 9:50 ET A126

OFFICE HOURS (Fall 2013)
Day Times

3:10-4:15 in KH B3007

MW 9:00-9:40 in E&T 422
W 11:30 - 1200 in E&T 422
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