1st Edition

Perception, Conscience and Will in Ancient Philosophy

ISBN 9781409446699
Published August 26, 2013 by Routledge

USD $180.00

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Book Description

This book is about the human mind in ancient philosophy, with a focus on sense perception, a subject that Richard Sorabji has previously treated more in articles than in books. But it finishes with chapters offering a distinctive view on moral conscience and will. Sense perception raises the further questions of the mind-body relation, of self-awareness, of infinite divisibility and the continuum, of the capacities of animals and children and of the relation between perception and reason. On all topics the introduction interconnects the papers and presents fresh material to fill out the picture. For the topic that has proved most popular, the physiological process in sense perception, a bibliography is provided as well as the latest update. The introduction interconnects the papers and fills out the picture by reference to other writings and to further thoughts. On the final topic, the will, it takes account of a different view that appeared only when the book was in preparation. The picture of the main topics shows that each continued to develop into a richer and richer account throughout the 1200 year course of Ancient Greek Philosophy up to 600 CE.

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; Part I Perception: Body and soul in Aristotle; The mind-body relation in the wake of Plato’s Timaeus; Intentionality and physiological processes: Aristotle's theory of sense perception; From Aristotle to Brentano: the development of the concept of intentionality; Aristotle on sensory processes and intentionality: a reply to Myles Burnyeat; Aristotle on demarcating the five senses; Aristotle, mathematics and colour; Aristotle on colour, light and imperceptibles; Aristotle on the instant of change; Aristotle’s perceptual functions permeated by Platonist reason; Self-awareness. Part II Conscience and Will: Moral conscience: contributions to the idea in Plato and Platonism; The concept of will from Plato to Maximus the Confessor; Indexes.

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Professor Richard Sorabji, CBE, FBA, is a Fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford and Fellow and Professor Emeritus of King's College, London. He was formerly Director of the Institute of Classical Studies, University of London, and Gresham Professor of Rhetoric.


'This is a most welcome and significant addition to the Variorum Collected Studies Series. ... we are treated here to a feast of insightful reflections on all of these topics, many of the discussions being retractations of others, to make up a dynamic whole.' Bryn Mawr Classical Review 'Sorabji has blazed a trail here that others will follow.' Heythrop