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

Workshop: Theophrastus on νοῦς

  • When Jun 07, 2019 10:00 to Jun 08, 2019 04:00
  • Where Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Hannoversche Straße 6, room 1.03
  • iCal

Theophrastus on νοῦς: the text and its uses in Themistius and Priscian

We know of Theophrastus' discussion of νοῦς in his Physics V = De Anima II only through the citations, paraphrases and discussions in Themistius' commentary-paraphrase on Aristotle's De Anima and Priscian of Lydia's commentary-paraphrase on (some of?) Theophrastus' Physics. But, especially in Priscian, it is not clear what is a verbatim quote from Theophrastus, and we can evaluate Themistius' and Priscian's testimony to try to reconstruct Theophrastus' work only if we read their reports of him in context and understand their own agendas. We will go back and forth between trying to understand Theophrastus and trying to understand Themistius and Priscian. All of them are in dialogue with Aristotle's De Anima, and at least Themistius also with Alexander of Aphrodisias.

The workshop is open to those who have already read through the texts we will be discussing, namely Themistius In de Anima 100,16-109,3; Priscian Metaphrasis in Theophrastum 1,3-5,9, 23,4-25,26, and 25,28-37,34; and two handouts that will be precirculated. Anyone who wants to attend should request copies of the texts from Stephen Menn,, enough in advance of the workshop to allow time for reading.

Friday June 7

10:00-10:30 Coffee and introductions

10:30-11:30 Stephen Menn: Introduction: Theophrastus, Themistius, Priscian

11:45-1:15 Robert Roreitner: Themistius: interpretive issues in the De Anima, overview on III,5

1:15-2:30 Lunch

2:30-4:00 Robert Roreitner: Themistius' citations and uses of Theophrastus, p.102 and pp.107-9

4:30-6:00 Carlos Steel: Priscian: introduction and overview

Saturday June 8

10:00-10:30 Coffee

10:30-12:30 Carlos Steel: Priscian's citations and uses of possible fragments of Theophrastus

12:30-2:00 Lunch

2:00-4:00 Robert Roreitner: Theophrastus' agenda, the fragments, and their possible orderings