Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Philosophy, Science and the Sciences

Robert Roreitner

Thesis: Passive intellect in Aristotle and commentators

In DA III.4 Aristotle bases his analysis of thinking on the model of being affected (πάσχειν) developped in II.5 for perception. The corresponding capacity of human thought will later be known as „receptive intellect“ (νοῦς παθητικός). What is the motivation and what are the systematic consequences of coining this concept? Much attention will be paid to Theophrastus' aporetic reception of the Aristotelian „noetics“ with the aim of formulating properly the dilemmas which were going to be addressed in the subsequent tradition and how they originate in Aristotle's text. The focus will be on the problem of natural essences as intelligible objects, on the causal role that the so-called productive intellect might play in the process of „grasping“ these essences (in Alexander, Ps.-Alexander and Themistius)  and on the attempts of later commentators to assimilate Aristotle´s conception to the Platonic theory of recollection (Philoponus, Ps. Philoponus, Simplicius, Priscianus).


since Oct 2014

Graduate Program in Ancient Philosophy, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

2012 – 2014

Master of Arts, Ancient Greek Language and Culture, Charles University in Prague
Thesis: Trojan Fates (On the Idea of Fate in the Iliad)

2008 – 2012

Master of Arts, Philosophy, Charles University in Prague
Thesis: Simple change in Aristotle´s natural philosophy

2005 – 2008

Bachelor of Arts, Philosophy, Charles University in Prague

Stays abroad

2011 – 2012

Columbia University in New York, Department of Philosophy, Visiting Student Researcher (Fulbright)

2009 – 2010

Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, Department of Philosophy, Erasmus