Theoria, Praxis, and the Contemplative Life after Plato and Aristotle


Studies of the notion of theoria and of the contemplative life have often been restricted to Plato and Aristotle. This volume shows that aspirations to contemplation and the life of the intellect survived long after the classical period, turning into topics of heated debates, powerful arguments and original applications throughout the Hellenistic, imperial, and late antique periods. The introduction attempts to reconstruct all the problems pertaining to the contemplative life in Antiquity, and the twelve papers, written by distinguished scholars, offer a thorough study of the appropriation, criticism and transformation of Plato’s and Aristotle’s positions on the contemplative life, including its epistemological and metaphysical foundation. The volume ranges from Theophrastus to the end of Antiquity, including Jewish and Christian authors, with a focus on Platonism from Cicero to Damascius.

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Thomas Bénatouïl, Ph.D. (2002), is Maître de conférences at the University of Lorraine (France), a member of the Archives Henri Poincaré Research Team, and a junior fellow of the Institut Universitaire de France. He has published extensively on Hellenistic and Imperial Philosophy, especially Stoicism.

Mauro Bonazzi, Ph.D. (2001) in Ancient Philosophy, is Lecturer and Aggregate Professor of History of Ancient Philosophy at Milan State University. He has published extensively on Platonism, including Academici e Platonici. Il dibattito antico sullo scetticismo di Platone (2003).

Contributors: Thomas Bénatouïl, Michael Erler, Carlos Lévy, Margaret Graver, Emidio Spinelli, Valéry Laurand, Mauro Bonazzi, David Sedley, Alessandro Linguiti, Gerd Van Riel, Giovanni Catapano, Carlos Steel
"All in all, this is a fine volume, which throws much light on the ways in which the claims of the practical, the theoretical and the mixed life were addressed in the post-Aristotelian period of ancient philosophy." John Dillon in BMCR, 23.09.2012
All those interested in ancient philosophy and patristics, as well as classical philologists, philosophers, and historians of politics, culture and religion in ancient societies (greek and roman, pagan, jewish and christian).
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