The Method and Intellectual Context of a Doxographer, Volume III, Studies in the Doxographical Traditions of Ancient Philosophy


Ancient doxography, particularly as distilled in the work on problems of physics by Aëtius, is a vital source for our knowledge of early Greek philosophy up to the first century BCE. But its purpose and method, and also its wider intellectual context, are by no means easy to understand. The present volume contains 19 essays written between 1989 and 2009 in which the authors grapple with various aspects of the doxographical tradition and its main representatives. The essays examine the origins of the doxographical method in the work of Aristotle and Theophrastus and also provide valuable insights into the works of other authors such as Epicurus, Chrysippus, Lucretius, Cicero, Philo of Alexandria and Seneca. The collection can be read as a companion collection to the two earlier volumes of Aëtiana published by the two authors in this series (1997, 2009).
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Biographical Note

Jaap Mansfeld is Professor Emeritus in Ancient Philosophy at Utrecht University. He has published extensively on ancient philosophy and its traditions, and was given a Humboldt Research Award in 1998.

David T Runia is Master of Queen's College and Professorial Fellow in the School of Historical Studies at the University of Melbourne. He has written widely on ancient philosophy, and particularly on the thought of Philo of Alexandria.

Review Quotes

"We tend to think of doxography as a naïve form of history of philosophy. Mansfeld and Runia succeed in showing us that the Aëtian compendium of physical doctrines is anything but a naïve collection of physical opinions." – Andrea Falcon, in: BMCR 2010.04.30
"Il s'agit d'un travail monumental et absolument remarquable, non seulement parce qu'on a là un texte et une colonne [...] qui a retrouvé une cohérence propre, mais aussi parce que les auteurs donnent au lecteur tous les éléments et tous les outils pour apprécier la pertinence de la reconstruction qu'ils proposent. C'est un progrès scientifique considérable, et nous ne pouvons que souhaiter que ces résultats soient systématiquement pris en compte désormais dans toute étude utilisant «Aëtius», fût-ce comme entreprise titanesque [...]" – Claire Louget, in: Revue philosophique de Louvain 1/2012


All those interested in ancient philosophy, science and medicine, in the historiography of ancient philosophy, science, and medicine, in source-criticism, as well as classical philologists.


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