New Book: From Plato to Platonism

by Rachel Barney .

From PlatoCongratulations to Lloyd Gerson on the publication of his new book From Plato to Platonism. To quote from the publisher’s description: “Was Plato a Platonist? While ancient disciples of Plato would have answered this question in the affirmative, modern scholars have generally denied that Plato’s own philosophy was in substantial agreement with that of the Platonists of succeeding centuries. In From Plato to Platonism, Lloyd P. Gerson argues that the ancients were correct in their assessment. He arrives at this conclusion in an especially ingenious manner, challenging fundamental assumptions about how Plato’s teachings have come to be understood. Through deft readings of the philosophical principles found in Plato’s dialogues and in the Platonic tradition beginning with Aristotle, he shows that Platonism, broadly conceived, is the polar opposite of naturalism and that the history of philosophy from Plato until the seventeenth century was the history of various efforts to find the most consistent and complete version of ‘anti-naturalism’.”

Another New Publication: Plotinus, Ennead V.5

by Rachel Barney .

Plotinus E5.5Congratulations to our colleague Lloyd Gerson who just published a new translation of Plotinus’ Ennead V.5. Here’s an excerpt from the book cover: “Platonists beginning in the Old Academy itself and up to and including Plotinus struggled to understand and articulate the relation between Plato’s Demiurge and the Living Animal which served as the model for creation. The central question is whether “contents” of the Living Animal, the Forms, are internal to the mind of the Demiurge or external and independent. For Plotinus, the solution depends heavily on how the Intellect that is the Demiurge and the Forms or intelligibles are to be understood in relation to the first principle of all, the One or the Good. The treatise V.5 [32] sets out the case for the internality of Forms and argues for the necessary existence of an absolutely simple and transcendent first principle of all, the One or the Good. Not only Intellect and the Forms, but everything else depends on this principle for their being.”

ATWAP 2014

by Rachel Barney .



Sixth Annual Toronto Workshop in Ancient Philosophy 

March 21-22, 2014
Jackman Humanities Building 418

3:30 – 5:15      “First chop your Logos”
M. M. McCabe (Kings College, London)
Commentator:  Dan Ioppolo  (Toronto)

Coffee break

5:45 – 7:30      “Aristophanic Tragedy in Plato’s Symposium”
Suzanne Obrdzalek (Claremont McKenna)
Commentator: Franco Trivigno (Marquette)


9:00 – 9:50      “From the Symposium to the Laws: Why Eros matters for Plato”
Frisbee Sheffield (Cambridge)

9:55 – 10:45    “Plato on Erôs and Conversion”
Jacob Stump (Toronto)

Coffee break

11:10 – 12:30  Comments on Sheffield and Stump
Tom Tuozzo (University of Kansas)

Lunch (on site)

1:40 – 3:25      “To Know You is to Love You? Plato, Forms, and Moral Motivation”
Iakovos Vasiliou (CUNY Graduate Centre)
Commentator:  Rachana Kamtekar (Arizona)

Coffee break

3:45 – 5:30      “Epicurean Motivation”
Larkin Philpot (Toronto)
Commentator: Phillip Mitsis (NYU)

Coffee break

5:50 – 7:35      “Locke on Pleasure and Law as Motives”
                         Phillip Mitsis (NYU)
Commentator: Jacob Klein (Colgate)


Registration is mandatory! Please contact Dan Ioppolo.

Congratulations to Brooks Sommerville

by Rachel Barney .

Congratulations to Brooks Sommerville. Last week he successfully defended his thesis “Plato, The Hedonist?”. The thesis examines Plato’s view on pleasure from the Protagoras to the Philebus. Brooks, who is currently teaching at Colgate University, was supervised by Rachel Barney. Well done, Dr. Sommerville!

New issue of Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy

by Rachel Barney .

We are happy to announce the publication of a new issue of Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy (OSAP)! Contributors to vol. 43 comprise Jessica Moss, Josh Wilburn, Miira Tuominen and Marja-Liisa Kakkuri-Knuuttila, Charlotte Witt, Mor Segev, Mark A. Johnstone, Dorothea Frede, Francesco Ademollo, Nathan Powers, and Mauro Bonazzi. OSAP is edited by Brad Inwood.

Deborah Black on Youtube

by Rachel Barney .

Deborah Black’s lecture “Angelic Intentions: Avicenna on Knowing Separate Substances” is available here on youtube! The lecture was part of a lecture series titled ” Philosophy in the Islamic Lands”, organized by the School of Philosophy at the Catholic University of America, Washington, DC.

UTCMP 2013

by Rachel Barney .

The University of Toronto Colloquium in Mediaeval Philosophy 2013

Friday, September 20

Session I (4:30 – 6:30)
Chair:  Stephen Dumont (University of Notre Dame)
Speaker:  Jon McGinnis (University of Missouri, St. Louis): “A Small Discovery: Avicenna’s Theory of Minima Naturalia
Commentator:  Alnoor Dhanani (Harvard University)

Saturday, September 21

Session II (10:00 – 12:00)
Chair:  Peter Eardley (University of Guelph)
Speaker:  Christopher Martin (University of Auckland): “Abelard on Modality and its Logics”
Commentator:  Kevin Guilfoy (Carroll University)

Session III (2:00 – 4:00)
Chair:  Ian Drummond (University of Toronto)
Joseph Stenberg (University of Colorado, Boulder): “Happiness in Aquinas: an Analysis of its Core”
Stephen Ogden (Yale University): “Averroes’s Argument from Universals for a Separate Material Intellect”
Simona Vucu (University of Toronto): “Henry of Ghent on Causal Powers”

Session IV (4:15 – 6:15)
Chair:  Henrik Lagerlund (Western University)
Speaker:  Gloria Frost (University of St. Thomas, St. Paul): “Three Medieval Models of Primary and Secondary Causation: Aquinas, Scotus, and Auriol”
Commentator:  Kara Richardson (Syracuse University)

All sessions will be held in Room 100 of the Jackman Humanities Building (170 St. George Street).

All sessions are free and open to the public.

Registration and inquiries: medieval_dot_philosophy_at_utoronto_dot_ca

The colloquium is sponsored by the Department of Philosophy, the Collaborative Program in Ancient and Medieval Philosophy, and the Centre for Medieval Studies, the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Studies, and the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies

Organizers: Deborah Black, Peter King, Martin Pickavé

Deborah Black on “History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps” Podcast

by Rachel Barney .

Check out the episode 131, on “al-Farabi”, on the “History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps” podcast run by Peter Adamson (LMU München/King’s College London). The episode features an interview with our very own Deborah Black on al-Farabi’s innovations concerning knowledge and certainty!!

Among the older episodes there is also an interview on the Greek Church Fathers with last year’s CPAMP visitor George Boys-Stones.

James Allen joining UofT Philosophy and CPAMP

by Rachel Barney .

We are very happy to announce that James Allen will join the faculty of the Department of Philosophy and CPAMP in July 2014. James Allen (PhD Princeton) moves to Toronto from Pittsburgh where he is a professor of philosophy and a fellow of the Center for Philosophy of Science. He has held a visiting appointment at Yale, been a visiting fellow at Clare Hall, Cambridge, and a Stipendiat of the Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung at the Universität Hamburg. His principal interests are in ancient Greek and Roman philosophy. He is the author of articles about ancient conceptions of expertise, ancient skepticism, ancient medicine, Aristotelian logic, Epicureanism, Stoicism, and Cicero and Inference from Signs: Ancient Debates about the Nature of Evidence (Oxford, 2001). Welcome to Toronto, James!!