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Contemporary Encounters with Ancient Metaphysics

Edited by Abraham Jacob Greenstine, Ryan J. Johnson

eBook (ePub) i
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18 essays breathe new life into the classic problems of ancient metaphysics using contemporary continental materialisms and realisms

In this volume, leading philosophers address the varied, volatile and novel encounters between contemporary and antique thought. They reconceive and redeploy the problems of ancient metaphysics: one and the many, the potential and the actual, the material and immaterial, the divine and the world itself. Alongside these essays are three original and previously unpublished translations of texts by Gilles Deleuze, Pierre Aubenque and Barbara Cassin.

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Notes on Contributors

1. A Thousand Antiquities – Abraham Jacob Greenstine & Ryan J. Johnson

I. Plato
2. The Muses and Philosophy: Elements for a History of the "Pseudos" [1991] – Barbara Cassin, trans. Sam Galson
3. Odysseus’ Changed Soul: A contemporary reading of the Myth of Er – Catherine Malabou
4. Plato’s Protagoras: The Authority of Beginning an Education – Daniel Price
5. Univocity, Duality, and Ideal Genesis: Deleuze and Plato – John Bova & Paul Livingston
6. "Adjust your dread": Badiou’s Metaphysical Disposition – A. J. Bartlett

II. Aristotle
7. Science Regained [1962] – Pierre Aubenque, trans. Clayton Shoppa
8. Aristotle’s Organism, and Ours – Emanuela Bianchi
9. Does it Matter? Material Nature and Vital Heat in Aristotle’s Biology – Adriel M. Trott
10. The Modern Aristotle: Michael Polanyi's Search for Truth against Nihilism – David Hoinski & Ron Polansky
11. Diverging Ways: The Trajectories of Ontology in Parmenides, Aristotle, and Deleuze – Abraham Jacob Greenstine
12. Object and Οὐσία: Harman and Aristotle on the Being of Things – Eric Salem

III. Epicureans, Stoics, Skeptics, and Neo-Platonists
13. Lucretius and Naturalism [1961] – Gilles Deleuze, trans. Jared Bly
14. On Causality and Law in Lucretius and Contemporary Cosmology – David Webb
15. On the Surface: The Deleuze-Stoicism Encounter – Ryan J. Johnson
16. Contingency and Skepticism in Agamben’s Thought – Gert-Jan van der Heiden
17. Plotinus’ "Reverse" Platonism: A Deleuzian Response to the Problem of Emanation Imagery – Gina Zavota

IV. Postscript
18. From Metaphysics to Ethics (with Bernard Stiegler, Heraclitus, and Aristotle) – Kurt Lampe

About the Author

Abraham Jacob Greenstine is Adjunct Professor of Philosophy at Duquesne University.

Ryan J. Johnson is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Elon University in North Carolina. He is committed to exploring the vibrant relationships among contemporary philosophy and literature and history of philosophy, especially ancient Hellenistic and Roman thought. He is co-editor of and contributor to The Movement of Nothingness: Trust in the Emptiness of Time (Davies Group Publishers, 2012).


No philosophy can stand the test of time without being measured against the ancient classics of our discipline. In Greenstine and Johnson’s new collection, the giants of Greece take the stage with some of our most prominent contemporary thinkers, with key appearances from figures as early as Parmenides and as late as Agamben, Malabou, Stiegler, and Speculative Realism. I found myself quickly engrossed in these essays, and was sorry to reach the end of the volume.

- Graham Harman, Southern California Institute of Architecture (on leave from the American University in Cairo)

This volume is an ambitious experiment in doing the history of ancient philosophy as the practice of thought on the rich terrain of contemporary metaphysics. Bringing together an impressive international roster of rising stars and established scholars, it stakes out Greek philosophy as a vital resource for thinking beyond the parameters of the present. It should quickly become a classic.

- Brooke Holmes, Princeton University

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