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Wolfgang Mann

Title | Organization: 
Professor | Columbia University

A.B., Ph.D. Princeton (1978, 1987).  Professor Mann joined the Columbia Philosophy Department in 1992.  He is the author of The Discovery of Things: Aristotle’s Categories and Their Context (Princeton, 2000); and he recently co-edited, with James Allen, Eyjólfur Emilsson, and Benjamin Morison, Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy, vol. 40: Essays in Memory of Michael Frede (2011). 

His research interests include: theories of argumentation (i.e. logic and rhetoric, broadly construed), beginning with Socrates and Plato; the history of central metaphysical contrasts—e.g. corporeal/incorporeal, composite/simple, whole/part, matter/form, object/property, potentiality /actuality—throughout antiquity and the middle ages; and within ethics, treatments of the relation between rational and non-rational motivation, and accounts of freedom (e.g. those of Epictetus and Plotinus) which do not require that an agent be able to act differently (from how s/he actually does act) in order to count as free. He has also worked on English and German Romanticism (especially, Wordsworth and Hölderlin); the reception of classical antiquity in 19th century Britain and Germany; and the historiography of philosophy.

Recent publications:


“Plato in Tübingen”, Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 31 (2006), 349-400.

“Was kann man von Euthydemos und seinem Bruder lernen?”, in C. Rapp and T. Wagner, eds., Wissen und Bildung in der antiken Philosophie (Stuttgart, 2006), 103-126.

“Learning How to Die: Seneca’s Use of Aeneid 4, 653 at Epistulae morales 12, 9”, in K. Volk and G. Williams, eds., Seeing Seneca Whole: Perspectives on Philosophy, Poetry and Politics (Leiden, 2006), 103-122.

“On two Stoic ‘paradoxes’ in Manilius”, in S. Green and K. Volk, eds., Forgotten Stars: Rediscovering Manilius’ Astronomica (Oxford, 2011), 85-103.

“Elements, Causes, and Principles: A Context for Metaphysics Z 17”, Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 40 (2011), 29-61.

“‘You’re Playing You Now’: Helvidius Priscus as a Stoic Hero”, in G. Williams and K. Volk, eds., Roman Reflections: Studies in Latin Philosophy (Oxford, 2015), 213-237.

Areas of Specialization: 

Ancient Philosophy; German Idealism; Metaphysics

Administrative: 
Department Chair