Book Series Monothéismes et Philosophie, vol. 33

Dealing with Disagreement

The Construction of Traditions in Later Ancient Philosophy

Albert Joosse, Angela Ulacco (eds)

  • Pages: 234 p.
  • Size:156 x 234 mm
  • Language(s):English, French, German
  • Publication Year:2023

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-60284-4
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  • ISBN: 978-2-503-60285-1
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This book treats both Christian and non-Christian texts from the first century BCE to the sixth century CE, and suggests that dealing with disagreement helped philosophers define their own traditions while creating a conceptual common ground.


Albert Joosse is a lecturer in ancient philosophy at the University of Groningen. He has published on Platonism, especially the Alcibiades I and its reception. He has recently edited Olympiodorus of Alexandria (Brill, 2021).

Angela Ulacco was Juniorprofessor for Greek Philosophy at the University of Freiburg and is currently a researcher at the KU Leuven. Her research focuses on the Pythagorean and Platonic traditions. She is the author of Pseudopythagorica Dorica (De Gruyter, 2017).


Ancient philosophy is known for its organisation into distinct schools. But those schools were not locked into static dogmatism. As recent scholarship has shown, lively debate persisted between and within traditions. Yet the interplay between tradition and disagreement remains underexplored. This volume asks, first, how philosophers talked about differences of opinion within and between traditions and, second, how such debates affected the traditions involved. It covers the period from the first century BCE, which witnessed a turn to authoritative texts in different philosophical movements, through the rise of Christianity, to the golden age of Neoplatonic commentaries in the fifth and sixth centuries CE.

By studying various philosophical and Christian traditions alongside and in interaction with each other, this volume reveals common philosophical strategies of identification and differentiation. Ancient authors construct their own traditions in their (polemical) engagements with dissenters and opponents. Yet this very process of dissociation helped establish a common conceptual ground between traditions. This volume will be an important resource for specialists in late ancient philosophy, early Christianity, and the history of ideas.


Albert Joosse and Angela UlaccoIntroduction

Riccardo Chiaradonna — The Early Peripatetic Interpreters of Aristotle’s Categories and the Previous Philosophical Tradition

Franco FerrariÈ esistita un’eterodossia nel medioplatonismo? 

Teun TielemanGalen on Disagreement: Sects, Philosophical Methods and Christians 

Albert JoosseΓνῶθι σαυτόν and the Platonic Tradition  in Clement of Alexandria 

Sébastien MorletL’accusation de mauvaise entente (παρακοή) dans la polémique entre païens et chrétiens à la fin de l’Antiquité  

Robbert M. van den BergPlato’s Violent Readers: Pagan Neoplatonists against Christian Appropriations of Plato’s Timaeus

Helmut SengMythenkritik und Kultpolemik bei Firmicus Maternus 

Alexandra Michalewski« L’âme est le lieu des formes » Une réponse à l’argument du troisième homme à travers la symphônia de Platon et d’Aristote dans le Commentaire à la Métaphysique d’Asclépius de Tralles 

Mareike HauerThe Use of Stoic References in Simplicius’ Discussion of Quality