Cleary , John J. - Scholars Directory


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NAME: John J. Cleary (1949 - 2009)
On 12 April 2009 Ireland lost a consummate human being – a philosopher of tremendous acumen and a man of great kindness and integrity. Professor John Cleary’s influence touched the lives of colleagues and students all over the world, and not least in his home departments of NUI Maynooth and Boston College. He approached each endeavour with courage, zeal, optimism and fortitude, and all of these qualities were certainly evident as Professor Cleary faced his final days. As a scholar of ancient philosophy, Professor Cleary was interested and well versed in all aspects of the discipline from the Presocratics through to the Neoplatonists, but his two specialties were Aristotle’s theory of mathematics, and Greek education, or the paidea project.

He taught both at Boston College since 1981 and at the National University of Ireland – Maynooth since 1991. He was the author of many excellent books, including Aristotle and Mathematics: Aporetic Method in Cosmology and Metaphysics (published by Brill in 1995) and Aristotle on the Many Senses of Priority (published by Southern Illinois University Press in 1988), the editor of The Perennial Tradition of Neoplatonism (Louvain, 1997) and Traditions of Platonism: Essays in Honour of John Dillon (Ashgate, 1999), and author of numerous articles on ancient philosophy, including “Proclus as a Reader of Plato’s Timaeus”, in Reading Plato in Antiquity (edited by H. Tarrant & D. Baltzly, 2006) and “Proclus’s Philosophy of Mathematics”, in La Philosophie des Mathématiques de l’Antiquité tardive (edited by G. Bechtle & D. O’Meara, 2000). He was a founding editor of the Proceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy, was elected a member of the Royal Irish Academy, served as executive secretary of Dublin Centre for Study of the Platonic Tradition, and was an active member of ISNS.

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