Dr Carl O'Brien

Ancient Classics

Lecturer

Arts Building
4

Biography

Carl O'Brien read Classics at Trinity College Dublin and Philosophy at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland before completing a doctorate in Ancient Philosophy at Trinity. After lecturing in the Classics Departments at University College Cork and Maynooth University, he spent several years as a postdoctoral researcher and lecturer at the Department of Philosophy, University of Heidelberg.

Research Interests

Ancient Philosophy (especially Platonism and Neoplatonism), Early Christian Philosophy, Ancient Religion, Renaissance Philosophy, Classical Reception


Book

Year Publication
2015 O'Brien Carl Sean (2015) The Demiurge in Ancient Thought: Secondary Gods and Divine Mediators. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139871723

Edited Book

Year Publication
2022 O'Brien Carl Sean;Dillon John (Ed.). (2022) Platonic Love from Antiquity to the Renaissance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, [Link]
2016 Halfwassen Jens;Dangel Tobias;O'Brien Carl Sean (Ed.). (2016) Seele und Materie im Neuplatonismus. Soul and Matter in Neoplatonism. Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, [Link]

Translation

Year Publication
2021 Halfwassen Jens (2021) Plotinus, Neoplatonism and the Transcendence of the One. Ed., trans. & intro. by C. S. O'Brien. Baltimore MD & Steubenville OH: [Translation] [Link]

Peer Reviewed Journal

Year Publication
2021 O'Brien Carl Sean (2021) 'Introducing Renaissance Philosophy to the Undergraduate (Classics) Curriculum'. Classical Journal, 46 (1):115-133. [Link] https://doi.org/10.1353/tcj.2021.0009
2021 O'Brien Carl Sean (2021) 'Platonic Dialogues and Platonic Principles'. THE INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF THE PLATONIC TRADITION, 15 (1):90-98. [Full-Text]
2020 O'Brien Carl Sean (2020) 'Jens Halfwassen, 1958-2020'. THE INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF THE PLATONIC TRADITION, 14 (2):117-119. [Full-Text]
2019 O'Brien Carl Sean (2019) 'Rabindranath Tagore’s India and William Butler Yeats’s Ireland: The Intersection of Classical Languages, Literature and Nation-Building in Post-Colonial East and West'. Canadian Review of Comparative Literature, 46 (1):115-133. [Link] [Full-Text]
2012 O'Brien Carl Sean (2012) 'The Middle Platonist Demiurge and Stoic Cosmobiology’'. Horizons: Seoul Journal of Humanities, 3 (1):19-39. [Full-Text]
2012 O'Brien Carl Sean (2012) 'Dramatic Devices and Philosophical Content in Plato’s Symposium'. Revista Archai, 9 :73-84. [Link] [Full-Text]
2009 O'Brien Carl Sean (2009) 'The Philosophy of Apollonius of Tyana: An Attempt at Reconstruction'. Dionysius, 27 :17-32. [Link] https://www.dal.ca/faculty/arts/classics/journals/dionysius/xxvii.html
2007 O'Brien Carl Sean (2007) 'The Origin in Origen: Platonic Demiurgy or Christian Creation?'. Freiburger Zeitschrift fur Philosophie und Theologie, 54 (1-2):169-177.

Book Chapter

Year Publication
2024 O'Brien, Carl Sean (2024) 'Damascius’ Concept of the Demiurge' In: Damaskios. Philosophie, Religion und Politik zwischen Ost und West. Heidelberg : Universitätsverlag Winter.
2023 O'Brien Carl Sean (2023) 'Augustine’s Approach to Scriptural Interpretation' In: The Fathers on the Bible. London : Routledge.
2023 O'Brien Carl Sean (2023) 'Cosmology and Political Order in Dante' In: Kosmos. Vom Umgang mit der Welt zwischen Ausdruck und Ordnung. Heidelberg : Heidelberg University Publishing. https://doi.org/10.17885/heiup.857.c15254
2022 O'Brien Carl Sean (2022) 'The Selfishness of Platonic Love?' In: Platonic Love from Antiquity to the Renaissance. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press.
2022 O'Brien Carl Sean; Dillon John (2022) 'Introduction' In: Platonic Love from Antiquity to the Renaissance. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press.
2021 O'Brien Carl Sean (2021) 'Jens Halfwassen and the German Intellectual Tradition' In: Plotinus, Neoplatonism and the Transcendence of the One. Baltimore MD & Steubenville OH : Catholic University of America Press & Franciscan University Press.
2021 O'Brien Carl Sean (2021) 'The Platonism behind Basil’s Trinitarian Theology' In: The Byzantine Platonists: From Plotinus to Bessarion (284-1453). Baltimore MD & Steubenville OH : Catholic University of America Press & Franciscan University Press. [Link]
2021 O'Brien Carl Sean (2021) 'Middle Platonists and Pythagoreans' In: Routledge Handbook of Early Christian Philosophy. London : Routledge. [DOI]
2020 O'Brien Carl Sean (2020) 'Calcidius on Fate and the World Soul' In: World Soul—Anima Mundi: On the Origins and Fortunes of a Fundamental Idea. Berlin : Walter De Gruyter.
2020 O'Brien Carl Sean (2020) 'Hermias’ Theotaxonomy' In: Studies on Hermias’ Commentary on the Phaedrus. Leiden : E. J. Brill. https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004414310_013
2019 O'Brien Carl Sean (2019) 'Plato on the Absolute' In: Grundlegung des Absoluten? Paradigmen aus der Geschichte der Metaphysik. Heidelberg : Universitätsverlag Winter.
2018 O'Brien Carl Sean (2018) 'Alcinous’ Reception of Plato' In: Brill’s Companion to the Reception of Plato in Antiquity. Leiden : E. J. Brill. https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004355385_012
2017 O'Brien Carl Sean; Klitenic Wear Sarah (2017) 'The Figure of the Diadochos from Socrates to the Late Antique Athenian School of Neoplatonism' In: Defining Platonism: Essays in Honor of the 75th Birthday of John M. Dillon. Baltimore MD & Steubenville OH : Catholic University of America Press & Franciscan University Press.
2016 O'Brien Carl Sean (2016) 'Plotinus and the Soul’s logos as the Structuring Principle of the World' In: Seele und Materie im Neuplatonismus. Soul and Matter in Neoplatonism. Heidelberg : Universitätsverlag Winter.
2016 O'Brien Carl Sean (2016) 'Prayer in Maximus of Tyre' In: Platonic Theories of Prayer. Leiden : E. J. Brill. https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004309005_006
2016 O'Brien Carl Sean (2016) 'Creation, Cosmogony and Cappadocian Cosmology' In: The Ecumenical Legacy of the Cappadocians. Basingstoke and New Zork : Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-137-50269-8_2
2011 O'Brien Carl Sean (2011) 'St Basil’s Explanation of Creation' In: The Actuality of St Basil the Great. Åbo : Åbo Akademi University Press.
2009 O'Brien Carl Sean (2009) 'The Descent of the Demiurge from Platonism to Gnosticism' In: Människan i Universum: Platons Timaios och dess tolkningshistoria/Man’s Place in the Universe: Plato. Åbo : Åbo Akademi University Press.

Research Paper

Year Publication
2007 O'Brien Carl Sean (2007) Platonism and the Tools of God. [Research Paper]

Other Journal

Year Publication
2024 O'Brien Carl Sean (2024) 'How Obscenities and Curses in Classical Texts were covered up' RTÉ Brainstorm, 9 April 2024 . [Link]
2024 O'Brien Carl Sean (2024) 'Here are 5 ways philosophy can improve your love life' RTÉ Brainstorm, (27 March 2024) . [Link]
2021 O'Brien Carl Sean (2021) 'Plotinus, Neoplatonism and the Transcendence of the One: Selected Writings of Jens Halfwassen' What's New in Patristics, . [Link]
2020 O'Brien Carl Sean (2020) 'Die Industrialisierung des Denkens: Die Frankfurter Schule, die Kulturindustrie und manche Probleme des zeitgenössischen Universitätssystems' Philosophie Aktuell, . [Link]
2019 O'Brien Carl Sean (2019) 'Stoic Practical Philosophy: A Guide for Life?' Epoché Magazine, 22 . [Link]
2018 O'Brien Carl Sean (2018) 'Defending the Classical Languages from the Charges of Racism' Epoché Magazine, 13 . [Link]

Book Review

Year Publication
2023 O'Brien Carl Sean (2023) Review of Reydams-Schils, G. ‘Calcidius on Plato’s Timaeus’. [Book Review] [Link]
2022 O`Brien Carl Sean (2022) Review of Garani M., Konstan, D., Reydams-Schils, G. ‘The Oxford Handbook of Roman Philosophy’. [Book Review] [Link] https://doi.org/10.5840/ipq2022624207
2021 O'Brien Carl Sean (2021) Review of Coope, U. ‘Freedom and Responsibility in Neoplatonist Thought’. [Book Review] [Link]
2020 O'Brien Carl Sean (2020) Review of Hankins, J. ‘Virtue politics: Soulcraft and Statecraft in Renaissance Italy. [Book Review] [Link]
2019 O'Brien Carl Sean (2019) Review of Banner, N, 'Philosophic Silence and the One in Plotinus'. Dublin: [Book Review] [Link]
2019 O'Brien Carl Sean (2019) Review of Share, M. & Baltzly, D. ‘Hermias: On Plato Phaedrus 227A-245E'. [Book Review] [Link] https://doi.org/10.1163/18725473-12341445
2019 O'Brien Carl Sean (2019) Review of Baker, P., Helmrath J. and Kallendorf C. (edd.) ‘Beyond Reception: Renaissance Humanism and the Transformation of Classical Antiquity’. [Book Review] [Link]
2019 O'Brien Carl Sean (2019) Review of Kutash, E. ‘Ten Gifts of the Demiurge: Proclus on Plato’s Timaeus’. Tübingen: [Book Review] [Link] https://doi.org/10.1628/phr-2019-0030
2016 O'Brien Carl Sean (2016) Review of Altman, W. H. F. ‘The guardians in action: Plato the teacher and the post-Republic dialogues from Timaeus to Theaetetus’. [Book Review] [Link]
2015 O'Brien Carl Sean (2015) Review of Capra, A. ‘Plato’s Four Muses: The Phaedrus and the Poetics of Philosophy’. [Book Review] [Link]
2013 O'Brien Carl Sean (2013) Review of Drews, F. ‘Menschliche Willensfreiheit und göttliche Vorsehung bei Augustinus, Proklos, Apuleius und John Milton’. [Book Review] [Link]
2012 O'Brien Carl Sean (2012) Review of Hatzimichali, M. ‘Potamo of Alexandria and the Emergence of Eclecticism in Late Hellenistic Philosophy’. [Book Review] [Link] https://doi.org/10.1017/S0075426912001073
2011 O'Brien Carl Sean (2011) ‘The Platonic Soul’. Review of Elkaisy-Friemuth, M. & Dillon, J. (edd.) ‘The Afterlife of the Platonic Soul: Reflections of Platonic Psychology in the Monotheistic Religions’. [Book Review] [Link] https://doi.org/10.1017/S0009840X10002052
2011 O'Brien Carl Sean (2011) Review of Mohr, R. D. & Sattler, B. M. (edd.) ‘One Book. The Whole Universe: Plato’s Timaeus Today’. [Book Review] [Link]
2010 O'Brien Carl Sean (2010) ‘Eternity’. Review of Ramelli, I. & Konstan, D. ‘Terms for Eternity. Aionios and Aidios in Classical and Christian Texts’. [Book Review] [Link] https://doi.org/10.1017/S0009840X10000272
2010 O'Brien Carl Sean (2010) Review of Dill, U. & Walde, C. (edd.) ‘Antike Mythen: Medien, Transformationen und Konstruktionen’. [Book Review] [Link]
2010 O'Brien Carl Sean (2010) Philosophy, Theology and History’. Review of Schott, J. ‘Christianity, Empire and the Making of Religion in Late Antiquity’. [Book Review] [Link] https://doi.org/10.1017/S0009840X09990989
2009 O'Brien Carl Sean (2009) ‘Roman Religion’. Review of Rives, J. ‘Religion in the Roman Empire’. [Book Review] [Link] https://doi.org/10.1017/S0009840X0800259X
2009 O'Brien Carl Sean (2009) Review of Budin, S. ‘The Myth of Sacred Prostitution in Antiquity’. [Book Review]
2009 O'Brien Carl Sean (2009) Review of Harris, W. V. & Holmes, B. (edd.) ‘Aelius Aristides between Greece, Rome, and the gods’. [Book Review] [Link]
2009 O'Brien Carl Sean (2009) Review of Desmond, W. ‘Cynics’. [Book Review]
2008 O'Brien Carl Sean (2008) Review of Goldhill, S. & Osborne, R. (edd.) ‘Rethinking Revolution in Classical Greece’. [Book Review]
2008 O'Brien Carl Sean (2008) Review of Althoff, J. (ed.) ‘Philosophie und Dichtung im antiken Griechenland’. [Book Review] [Link]
2008 O'Brien Carl Sean (2008) Review of Sorabji, R. & Sharples, R. W. (edd.) ‘Greek and Roman Philosophy 100 BC-200 AD’. [Book Review] [Link]
2007 O'Brien Carl Sean (2007) Review of Godwin, J. ‘Lucretius: Ancients in Action’. [Book Review]
2007 O'Brien Carl Sean (2007) ‘Platonism’. Review of Corrigan, K. & Turner, J. D. ‘Platonism: Ancient, Modern, Postmodern’. [Book Review] [Link] https://doi.org/10.1017/S0009840X09000262
2005 O'Brien Carl Sean (2005) Review of Van Riel, G. & Macé, C. (edd.) ‘Platonic Forms and Concept Formation in Early and Medieval Thought’. [Book Review]
2005 O'Brien Carl Sean (2005) Review of Desjardins, R. ‘Plato and the Good. Illuminating the Darkling Vision’. [Book Review]
Certain data included herein are derived from the © Web of Science (2024) of Clarivate. All rights reserved.

Honors and Awards

Date Title Awarding Body
01/08/2014 Fritz Thyssen Fellow Fritz Thyssen Foundation
01/03/2012 Alexander von Humboldt Fellow Alexander von Humboldt Foundation
01/06/2006 Government of Ireland Scholar Irish Research Council
01/06/2004 Swiss Confederation Scholar ESKAS
01/06/2004 Vice-Chancellor’s Gold Medal for Latin Trinity College Dublin
01/06/2002 Mullins Classical Exhibition Trinity College Dublin
01/07/2002 Tyrrell Memorial Prize Trinity College Dublin
01/10/2001 Berkeley Gold Medal for Greek Trinity College Dublin

Education

Start date Institution Qualification Subject
Trinity College Dublin Certificate in Third Level Lecturing Andragogy

Editorial / Academic Reviews

Amount Role From / To
Boston Area Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy Referee -
Cambridge University Press Referee -
Classical Quarterly Referee -
Journal of Hellenic Studies Referee -
Ancient Philosophy Referee -
Ancient Commentators on Aristotle Series Reviewer -
Classics Ireland Referee -
Revista Archai Referee -
Religion in the Roman Empire Referee -
Theandrites: Studies on Byzantine Philosophy and Christian Platonism Member of the Editorial Board -
Ediciones Complutense Referee -
Revista de Estudios Kantianos Referee -

Teaching Interests

Ancient Philosophy, Ancient Religion, Greek and Latin Language and Literature, Renaissance Philosophy