Studies on Plato, Aristotle and Proclus

The Collected Essays on Ancient Philosophy of John Cleary


John J. Cleary (1949–2009) was an internationally recognised authority in many aspects of ancient philosophy. As well as penetrating and original studies of Plato, Aristotle, and Proclus, he was particularly interested in the philosophy of mathematics, and ancient theories of education. The essays included in this collection display Cleary’s range of expertise and originality of approach. Cleary was especially attentive to the problems involved in the interpretation of a philosophical text: in his reading of Plato he recognised the special status of dialogue as a privileged mode of philosophical writing. His underlying concern was the open-ended character of philosophy itself, to be pursued with intellectual rigour and respect both for the question and one’s interlocutor. These collected essays are representative of John Cleary’s philosophical life’s work.

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John J. Cleary received a first class honours MA from University College Dublin in 1975 for a thesis on Karl Popper, and in 1981 a Ph.D. ( summa cum laude) from Boston University for a dissertation on Aristotle’s theory of abstraction. Besides his main publications ( Aristotle on the Many Senses of Priority, 1988), and Aristotle and Mathematics: Aporetic Method in Cosmology and Metaphysics, 1995) he wrote widely on ancient philosophy, philosophy of mathematics, and theories of education.

John Dillon graduated in Literae Humaniores from Oxford in 1963, and received his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1969. He taught at Berkeley until 1980, when he was appointed to the Regius Professorship of Greek at Trinity College Dublin, where he remained until his retirement in 2006. He is the author or editor of over 30 books in Greek Philosophy, in particular the history of the Platonic tradition.

Brendan O'Byrne is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy as well as Curator of the Dublin Centre for the Study of the Platonic Tradition, Trinity College Dublin. He wrote his Ph.D. dissertation (2001) under Professor John Dillon on the subject of Heidegger's encounter with Plato. He is currently working on the theme of self-knowledge in Sophocles and Plato.

Fran O’Rourke is Associate Professor of Philosophy at University College Dublin. He studied at Galway, Vienna, Köln, Louvain, and Leuven. He is author of Pseudo-Dionysius and the Metaphysics of Aquinas (2005) and Allwisest Stagyrite: Joyce’s Quotations from Aristotle (2005). He is preparing for publication a collection of essays entitled Aristotelian Interpretations, and completing a book on James Joyce, Aristotle, and Aquinas.

Specialists in ancient Greek philosophy, and anyone interested in the philosophy of mathematics and ancient theories of education.