Reading Ancient Texts. Volume II: Aristotle and Neoplatonism

Essays in Honour of Denis O'Brien


What is the history of philosophy? Is it history or is it philosophy or is it by some strange alchemy a confluence of the two? The contributors to the present volume of essays have tackled this seemingly simple, but in reality difficult and controversial, question, by drawing on their specialised knowledge of the surviving texts of leading ancient philosophers, from the Presocratics to Augustine, through Plato, Aristotle and Plotinus. These contributions, which reflect the range of methods and approaches currently used in the study of ancient texts, are offered as a tribute to the scholarship of Denis O’Brien, one of the most original and penetrating students of the thousand-year period of intense philosophical activity that constitutes ancient philosophy.

Contributors include: T. Buchheim, J. Cleary, K. Corrigan, D. Evans, G. Gurtler S.J., C. Horn, J.-M. Narbonne, C. Natali, G. O'Daly, F. Schroeder, S. Stern-Gillet, P. Thillet, and C. Viano.

Publications by Denis O’Brien:
Theories of Weight in the Ancient World: Four Essays on Democritus, Plato and Aristotle - A Study in the Development of Ideas. 1. Democritus: Weight and Size. An Exercise in the Reconstruction of Early Greek Philosophy, ISBN: 978 90 04 06134 7 (Out of print)
Pour interpréter Empédocle, ISBN: 978 90 04 06249 8 (Out of print)
Theories of Weight in the Ancient World: Four Essays on Democritus, Plato and Aristotle - A Study in the Development of Ideas. 2. Plato: Weight and Sensation. The Two Theories of the 'Timaeus', ISBN: 978 90 04 06934 3
Théodicée plotinienne, théodicée gnostique, ISBN: 978 90 04 09618 9

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Suzanne Stern-Gillet, M.Phil. (Greek and Latin), D.Phil. (Philosophy) is Professor of Ancient Philosophy at the University of Bolton. She has published extensively on ancient philosophy (concepts of selfhood and theories of art), including Aristotle’s Philosophy of Friendship (New York, 1995).

Kevin Corrigan is Professor of the Liberal Arts at Emory University. His most recent books are Reading Plotinus: a practical guide to Neoplatonism (2004), Plato's Dialectic at Play: Structure, Argument and Myth in the Symposium (2004) (with Elena Glazov-Corrigan), and Platonisms: Ancient, Modern, and Postmodern (2007) (with John Turner).
Note on Contributors

1. Aristotle’s Conception of Dunamis and Technē, C. Natali
2. Aristotle and the Starting Point of Moral Development: The Notion of Natural Virtue, C. Viano
3. Akrasia and Moral Education in Aristotle, J. Cleary
4. Effective Primary Causes: The Notion of Contact and the Possibility of Acting without Being Affected in Aristotle’s De Generatione et Corruptione, T. Buchheim

5. The Organisation of the Soul: Some Overlooked Aspects of Interpretation from Plato to Late Antiquity, K. Corrigan
6. The Final Metamorphosis: Narrative Voice in the Prologue of Apuleius' Golden Ass, F.M. Schroeder
7. Plotinus: Omnipresence and Transcendence in VI 4-5[22-23], G. Gurtler S.J.
8. The Concept of Will in Plotinus, C. Horn
9. Divine Freedom in Plotinus and Iamblichus ( Tractate VI 8 (39) 7, 11-15 and De Mysteriis III, 17-20), J.-M. Narbonne
10. Was the Vita Plotini known in Arab Philosophical Circles?, P. Thillet
11. Friendship and Transgression: Luminosus limes amicitiae (Augustine, Confessions 2.2.2) and the Themes of Confessions 2, G. O’Daly
12. Augustine and the Philosophical Foundations of Sincerity, S. Stern-Gillet

13. Innovation and Continuity in the History of Philosophy, D. Evans

A Detailed Bibliography of Denis O’Brien’s Works

Index locorum
General Index
All those interested in Classics and Philosophy, especially ancient philosophy and its history.