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The sixth chapter concerns the valuation accorded to theoria, both as festival-attendance and as philosophical contemplation. As the former, the activity primarily has practical benefits or instrumental value, whereas as the latter, it has primarily intrinsic value, or value in itself. For the value attached to festival-attendance concerns fulfilling a social, political role for the city, and that of sanctuary visitation is similarly instrumental, although more individual given its aim concerned with healing physical maladies. Plato and Aristotle signal a departure from the position that accords theoria primarily instrumental value. The two philosophers concur that theoria as philosophical contemplation, by nature, is an activity desired for itself and is good in itself. However, in a secondary way, Plato and Aristotle also hold that theoria-thinking produces good effects, and in this regard, their view partly coincides with the valuation connected to the traditional practice.
The fourth chapter examines Aristotle's distinctive contribution to the history of theoria, one which develops Plato's idea of an intellectual activity aimed at the apprehension of form, concluding it counts among the highest human activities. In many ways, Aristotle would concur with Plato's rejection of traditional theoria as a pursuit practiced by unphilosophical, doxastic believers. Leaving aside a negative critique of the practice, his own treatment emphasizes the great intellectual potential afforded by philosophical theoria. For Aristotle, this activity consists in a specific kind of thinking he connects to scientific understanding; in other aspects, he compares the activity to seeing, describing the performance as divine, or god-like, in its nature.
The second chapter examines literary and historical sources writing about theoria, including those by Herodotus, Thucydides, Aristophanes, and Euripides, as a means of providing the larger cultural background against which Plato's use of theoria must be considered. Two analogies to traditional theoria are here considered, that of pilgrimage and cultural sight-seeing, both of which contribute elements to the distinctive intellectual conception of theoria developed by Plato and Aristotle with which the chapter concludes.
The fifth chapter provides a synoptic chapter about the objects of theoria, both as they relate to traditional theoria and to philosophical theoria. The objects of the former kind of theoria, namely, festival- and sanctuary-attendance, are the images of the gods on temples or the gods themselves. In the case of philosophical theoria, or contemplation, the objects are more abstract entities, namely, forms, that Plato and Aristotle take to comprise the highest objects of philosophical study, or contemplation. The philiosophers consider that when we apprehend these objects, we are in possession of scientific knowledge that they compare to divine activity. In both kinds, the apprehension of the objects of theoria is reached through an activity that is directly perceptual or mediated by perceptual experience.
This chapter presents Plato's specific contribution to the history of theoria: how he reacts to the notion of traditional theoria and specifically, which of its elements he rejects and which he reconceives. Platonic theoria stands, although somewhat uneasily, on the shoulders of traditional theoria in regard to its emphasis on observational performance rather than perceptual understanding: for Plato, the follower of traditional theoria is merely "a lover of sights and sounds" rather than a true philosopher. However, certain features are shared across traditional and Platonic theoria, such as that involving perceptual experience, being focused on objects of high significance and the idea of elliptical motion. These features are distinguished as falling along two planes, structural and philosophical, and discussed using analyses of Phaedo, Republic, Phaedrus, and Symposium, among others.
The significance of traditional theoria to the philosophical thought of Plato and Aristotle is indisputable, reflecting the central role that the practice plays in the two philosophers’ accounts of theoria. Plato makes explicit, and sometimes ironic, use of the tradition at several levels in his dialogues. To mention one example, in Rep. VI we find Plato mentioning and then re-conceiving theoria – first, he takes it as festival-attendance, which he describes as akin to mere dreaming (Rep. 476b1–5) – and then he transforms it into genuine philosophical inquiry. Yet, the Platonic ideal of philosophical study preserves various features characteristic of traditional theoria including its observational component, its religious objective, and its cosmopolitanism.
The introductory chapter explains an initial problem concerning the ambiguous application of the term 'theoria' both to the practice of festival-attendance and to philosophical study, or contemplation. While the two referents appear to have little in common, a closer examination reveals a common feature of theoria, namely, the idea of observing, or beholding, something divine or of high significance. The notion of acting as an observer of the divine, or like a divine spectator, serves as central common element running throughout the kinds of theoria and allowing us to understand why Plato and Aristotle chose to borrow a term referring to festival-attendance to signify what they describe as an activity of our highest capacity, the mind.
The first chapter is focused on central features of traditional theoria which is a practice of attending festivals and sanctuaries; we consider the duration of the practice over several centuries as well as its geographical spread over the Mediterranean area. The primary characteristics of the traditional form relate to attendants traveling from home to foreign sites, such as Olympia or Athens, to observe and participate in the several periodic religious festivals that support the political and religious civic institutions. By fostering shared ideals of moral and intellectual values, traditional theoria also contributes to a form of Hellenic cosmopolitanism connected to Greek philosophy.
To scholars of ancient philosophy, theoria denotes abstract thinking, with both Plato and Aristotle employing the term to signify philosophical contemplation. Yet it is surprising for some to find an earlier, traditional meaning referring to travel to festivals and shrines. In an attempt to dissolve the problem of equivocal reference, Julie Ward's book seeks to illuminate the nature of traditional theoria as ancient festival-attendance as well as the philosophical account developed in Plato and Aristotle. First, she examines the traditional use referring to periodic festivals, including their complex social and political arrangements, then she considers the subsequent use by Plato and Aristotle. Broadly speaking, she discerns a common thread running throughout both uses: namely, the notion of having a visual experience of the sacred or divine. Thus her book aims to illuminate the nature of philosophical theoria described by Plato and Aristotle in light of traditional, festival theoria.
Rabies is endemic in Bangladesh. To identify risk factors, a case-control study was conducted based on hospital-reported rabid animal bite (RAB) cases in domestic ruminants, 2009 − 2018. RAB cases (n = 449) and three controls per case were selected. Dogs (87.8%) and jackals (12.2%) were most often identified as biting animals. In the final multivariable model, the risk of being a RAB case was significantly higher in cattle aged >0.5–2 years (odds ratio (OR) 2.89; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.56–5.37), >2–5 years (OR 3.63; 95% CI: 1.97–6.67) and >5 years (OR 6.42; 95% CI: 3.39–12.17) compared to those aged <0.5 years. Crossbred cattle were at higher risk of being a RAB case (OR 5.48; 95% CI: 3.56–8.42) than indigenous. Similarly, female cattle were more likely to be a RAB case (OR 1.26; 95% CI: 1.15–2.29) than males. Cattle in rural areas (OR 39.48; 95% CI: 6.14–254.00) were at a much higher risk of being RAB cases than those in urban areas. Female, crossbred and older cattle, especially in rural areas should either be managed indoors during the dog breeding season (September and October) or vaccinated. A national rabies elimination program should prioritise rural dogs for mass vaccination. Jackals should also be immunised using oral bait vaccines. Prevention of rabies in rural dogs and jackals would also reduce rabies incidence in humans.