Oxford, England, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Areas of Specialization
Ancient Greek and Roman Philosophy
  • Ancient Ethics and the Natural World (edited book)
    Cambridge University Press. 2021.
    This book explores a distinctive feature of ancient philosophy: the close relation between ancient ethics and the study of the natural world. Human beings are in some sense part of the natural world, and they live their lives within a larger cosmos, but their actions are governed by norms whose relation to the natural world is up for debate. The essays in this volume, written by leading specialists in ancient philosophy, discuss how these facts about our relation to the world bear both upon anci…Read more
  •  1
    Ursula Coope presents a ground-breaking study of the philosophy of the Neoplatonists. She explores their understanding of freedom and responsibility: an entity is free to the extent that it is wholly in control of itself, self-determining, self-constituting, and self-knowing - which only a non-bodily thing can be.
  •  28
    People generally agree that there is something valuable about thinking for oneself rather than simply accepting beliefs on authority, but it is not at all obvious why this is valuable. This paper discusses two ancient responses, both inspired by the example of Socrates. Cicero claims that thinking for yourself gives you freedom. Olympiodorus argues that thinking for yourself makes it possible to achieve understanding, and that understanding is valuable because it gives you a certain kind of inde…Read more
  • Time as a Number of Change: Aristotle's "Physics" Iv, 10--14
    Dissertation, University of California, Berkeley. 1999.
    The subject of this dissertation is Aristotle's account of time. I argue that much that is puzzling in this account becomes clearer once we recognise that Aristotle is addressing a problem about temporal unity. For Aristotle, temporal order depends upon the orders of the stages within different changes. This raises the question: how can a single temporal order be derived from the orders of the stages within each of many different changes? I begin, in chapter two, by discussing Aristotle's claim …Read more
  •  60
    Colloquium 5: Aristotle’s Account of Agency in Physics III 3
    Proceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium of Ancient Philosophy 20 (1): 201-227. 2005.
  •  10
    'Aristotle's account of agency in Physics III.3'
    Proceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium of Ancient Philosophy. 2004.
  •  53
    Review of Paolo Crivelli, Aristotle on Truth (review)
    Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2005 (11). 2005.
  •  261
    Aristotle on action
    Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 81 (1). 2007.
  •  278
    Abstract In this paper, I ask why Aristotle thinks that ethical virtue (rather than mere self-control) is required for practical wisdom. I argue that a satisfactory answer will need to explain why being prone to bad appetites implies a failing of the rational part of the soul. I go on to claim that the self-controlled person does suffer from such a rational failing: a failure to take a specifically rational kind of pleasure in fine action. However, this still leaves a problem: could there not be…Read more
  •  39
    I—Ursula Coope: Aristotle on Action
    Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 81 (1): 109-138. 2007.
  •  66
    Aquinas on judgment and the active power of reason
    Philosophers' Imprint 13. 2013.
    This paper examines Aquinas’ account of a certain kind of rational control: the control one exercises in using one’s reason to make a judgment. Though this control is not itself a kind of voluntary control, it is a precondition for voluntariness. Aquinas claims that one’s voluntary actions must spring from judgments that are subject to one’s rational control and that, because of this, only rational animals can act voluntarily. This rational kind of control depends on a certain distinctive featur…Read more
  •  43
    If you kidnap or drug someone to prevent her from casting her vote, then you are responsible for her failure to cast her vote. There is nothing she can do about it. If you hypnotize a person to get her to assassinate your enemy, then you are responsible for the assassination. She cannot be blamed. Kidnapping, drugging and hypnosis are all methods of subjecting someone else to your will. But does persuading a person to do something count as a further method of controlling her, or subjecting her t…Read more
  •  114
    Time for Aristotle: Physics Iv. 10-14
    Oxford University Press. 2005.
    What is the relation between time and change? Does time depend on the mind? Is the present always the same or is it always different? Aristotle tackles these questions in the Physics. In the first book in English exclusively devoted to this discussion, Ursula Coope argues that Aristotle sees time as a universal order within which all changes are related to each other. This interpretation enables her to explain two striking Aristotelian claims: that the now is like a moving thing, and that time d…Read more
  •  82
    Aristotle on the infinite
    In Christopher Shields (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Aristotle, Oxford University Press. pp. 267. 2012.
    In Physics, Aristotle starts his positive account of the infinite by raising a problem: “[I]f one supposes it not to exist, many impossible things result, and equally if one supposes it to exist.” His views on time, extended magnitudes, and number imply that there must be some sense in which the infinite exists, for he holds that time has no beginning or end, magnitudes are infinitely divisible, and there is no highest number. In Aristotle's view, a plurality cannot escape having bounds if all o…Read more
  •  232
    Why does Aristotle say that there is no time without change?
    Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 101 (3). 2001.