University of Pittsburgh
Graduate Students

Keith Bemer

I am a member of the Classics, Philosophy, and Ancient Science program (CPAS). My primary interests are in ancient natural philosophy and medicine and their transformation in the Medieval, Renaissance, and Early Modern periods. My dissertation, tentatively titled "A Philosophical Examination of Aristotle's Historia Animalium" (advised by James Lennox and Allan Gotthelf), focuses on the plan and purpose of the Historia Animalium and its relationship to the rest of Aristotle's biological corpus and his philosophy of science in general. In particular, I argue that the selection and organization of the information presented in the treatise reflect methodological commitments on demonstration and explanation, as discussed in works like the Prior and Posterior Analytics. Projects I am working on (or at least thinking about) in addition to my dissertation include papers on: mathematics in Aristotle's natural philosophy; the causes of life and death in the Parva Naturalia; explanations of inanimate natural phenomena in Meteorology I-III; the physiological basis of soul diseases in Plato's Timaeus; the dramatic and political setting of Plato's Timaeus-Critias; Ancient perspectives on scientific realism; Bacon's criticism of Aristotelean philosophy in the Novum Organum. Prior to coming to Pitt I received a BA in Philosophy and History of Science from St. John's College (MD), and an MST in mathematics education from Pace University.