Philosophy, University of Rome « Tor Vergata », Italia

Fellowship : October 2017 to June 2018

Discipline(s) : Philosophy

Pays : Italia

Research project: What Is a Living Being? What Is Man? The relationship between body and soul in late-antique philosophy

The project aims to investigate the problem of the relationship between body and soul by focusing on two main topics. The first topic concerns the constitution of living beings and involves the following question: do all living beings (plants, animals and humans) initially share the same life but then come to differ on account of the presence or lack of higher faculties, or is each living being distinguished by a specific aspect right from the start? The second topic concerns the cognitive processes governing the relationship between body and soul, namely sense perception and memory. The research will be conducted within the framework of Neo-platonism and in particular in the light of Plotinus’ philosophy (Treatise 41 (Enn. IV 6) On Sense-Perception and Memory and Treatise 53 (Enn. I 1) What is the Living Being?).


Daniela Patrizia Taormina is Professor of History of Philosophy of Late Antiquity, at the University of Rome “Tor Vergata”. Her research activity deals primarily with the philosophy of Late Antiquity, from Middle-Platonism to the Platonic philosophers of the 4th century A.D. and focused in particular on the domains of psychology and post-Plotinian ontology. In relation to psychology, she deepened the problems of the definition of the soul and of its cognitive functions. In relation to Ontology, she focused on the problem of the Neoplatonic overcoming of classical Ontology (Platonic and Aristotelian). Visiting professor at the University of Paris I, Panthéon-Sorbonne, at the Institut für Altertumswissenschaften - Fiedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, at l’École pratique des hautes études – Paris, and Visiting scholar at the University of Bonn, she is also a research associate of the CRSHC (Conseil de Recherches en Sciences Humaines du Canada): « Les écrits de Plotin ».

Major publications

- TAORMINA, Daniela P., Jamblique, critique de Plotin et de Porphyre. Quatre études. Paris: J. Vrin, 1999, 203 p.

 - Giamblico. I frammenti dalle epistole, Introduzione, testo, traduzione e commento a cura di D.P. Taormina-R.M. Piccione, Napoli: Bibliopolis, 2010, 680 p.

 - TAORMINA, Daniela P., «Choice (hairesis), Self-Determination (to autexousion) and What is in Our Power (to eph’hêmin) in Porphyry’s Interpretation of the Myth of Er», in P. Destrée, R. Salles and M. Zingano (eds.), What is Up to Us? Studies on Agency and Responsibility in Ancient Philosophy, Sankt Augustin: Academia Verlag, 2014, pp. 265-282.

 - TAORMINA, Daniela P., «Natura dell’Intelletto e risveglio dell’anima. Note autografe inedite di Bergson su Plotino, Enneade VI 9, capp. 2-3, Rivista di Storia della filosofia, 2016, pp. 313-328.

 - TAORMINA, Daniela P., «“What is known through sense perception is an image”. Plotinus tr. 32 (V 5) 1.12-19: an anti-Epicurean Argument?», in A. Longo and D.P. Taormina, Plotinus and Epicurus. Matter, Perception, Pleasure, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016, pp. 113-130.