Theophrastus was Aristotle's pupil and second head of the Peripatetic School. Apart from two botanical works, a collection of character sketches, and several scientific opuscula, his works survive only through quotations and reports in secondary sources. Recently these quotations and reports have been collected and published, thereby making the thought of Theophrastus accessible to a wide audience. The present volume contains seventeen responses to this material.
There are chapters dealing with Theophrastus' views on logic, physics, biology, ethics, politics, rhetoric, and music, as well as the life of Theophrastus. Together these writings throw considerable light on fundamental questions concerning the development and importance of the Peripatos in the early Hellenistic period. The authors consider whether Theophrastus was a systematic thinker who imposed coherence and consistency on a growing body of knowledge, or a problem-oriented thinker who foreshadowed the dissolution of Peripatetic thought into various loosely connected disciplines. Of special interest are those essays which deal with Theophrastus' intellectual position in relation to the lively philosophic scene occupied by such contemporaries as Zeno, the founder of the Stoa, and Epicurus, the founder of the Garden, as well as Xenocrates and Polemon hi the Academy, and Theophrastus' fellow Peripatetics, Eudemus and Strato.
The contributors to the volume are Suzanne Amigues, Antonio Battegazzore, Tiziano Dorandi, Woldemar Gorier, John Glucker, Hans Gottschalk, Frans de Haas, Andre Laks, Anthony Long, Jorgen Mejer, Mario Mignucci, Trevor Saunders, Dirk Schenkeveld, David Sedley, Robert Sharpies, C. M. J. Sicking and Richard Sorabji. The Rutgers University Studies in Classical Humanities series is a forum for seminal thinking in the field of philosophy, and this volume is no exception. Theophrastus is a landmark achievement in intellectual thought. Philosophers, historians, and classicists will all find this work to be enlightening.
Han Baltussen, University of Adelaide, Australia
David Mirhady, Simon Fraser University, Canada
Stephen A. White, University of Texas at Austin, USA
This series, often referred to by the acronym RUSCH, grew out of Project Theophrastus, an international undertaking, whose purpose has been to collect, edit and comment on the surviving works and fragments of Theophrastus of Eresus, Aristotle’s pupil and successor as head of the Peripatetic School. To foster this endeavor a series of conferences were established that focused on subjects relevant to Theophrastus. The proceedings of these conferences were deemed worthwhile in their own right and under the direction of Professor William Fortenbaugh were published as volumes of RUSCH. Initially the volumes were closely related to work on Theophrastus, but in time the focus widened to included Theophrastus’ colleagues and successors in the Peripatos. Currently the volumes collect and edit the relevant texts, offer an English translation, and provide discussion of important issues. They contribute to our knowledge of philosophic developments within the Hellenistic Period, when the Academy and the Peripatos were challenged by the founding of new schools including the Stoics and the Epicureans.