Sotiris Mitralexis

Visiting Fellow, Spring 2018

  • Affiliation
    City University of Istanbul
    Research Project:
    Towards a Quite Different History of Philosophy: An Inquiry into Early Byzantine Philosophical Vocabulary and its Innovations

Sotiris Mitralexis is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the City University of Istanbul and Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Winchester. During Lent Term 2017 he was Visiting Fellow at the University of Cambridge and Visiting Senior Research Associate at Peterhouse, Cambridge. Born in Athens (1988), he holds a doctorate in philosophy from the Freie Universitat Berlin (2014), a doctorate in theology from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (2017), and a degree in classics from the University of Athens. He has taught philosophy at Boğazici University (Istanbul), in Athens and in Berlin. His publications include Ever-Moving Repose: A Contemporary Reading of Maximus the Confessor's Theory of Time (2017), Μεθοδολογία καὶ Θεωρία τῆς Ἱστορίας τῆς Φιλοσοφίας (2017), and Ludwig Wittgenstein Between Analytic Philosophy and Apophaticism (2015); he has co-edited Maximus the Confessor as a European Philosopher (2017) and The Problem of Modern Greek Identity: From the Ecumene to the Nation-State (2016).

About the Research Project

Towards a Quite Different History of Philosophy: An Inquiry into Early Byzantine Philosophical Vocabulary and its Innovations

<p>Philosopher and Church Father Maximus the Confessor (580-662 AD) was a liminal thinker, situated on the threshold between Late Antiquity and Byzantium proper. One of the peculiarities of his use of philosophical vocabulary lies in his tendency to receive his predecessors’ conceptual toolbox and to “twist it,” thereby ascribing new meaning to it. Thus, he uses Neoplatonic notions without quite being a Neoplatonist, Origenist notions without quite being an Origenist, etc. — effecting innovations within a given philosophical terminology rather than introducing an entirely different and new conceptual vocabulary. In this project, I will focus on Maximus’ use of certain key notions (ἀναλογία, ἀπόλαυσις, ἔκβασις, ἐνέργεια, ἐπάνοδος, ἔφεσις, ἡδον ή , μέθεξις, ὀδύνη, ὁμοίωσις, πέρας, περιοχ ή , περιχώρησις, πλήρωσις, ποιότητα τῆς διαθέσεως, ταυτότης, τέλος) as they appear in question 59 of <em>Quaestiones ad Thalassium</em>. In comparing Maximus’ use of such notions with that by other early Byzantine thinkers and in underscoring the Confessor’s innovations, I hope to argue for the need of a quite different history of philosophy than the “canonical” one: one in which Byzantine philosophy occupies a position different than that currently ascribed to it within the greater narrative of Europe’s history of philosophy.</p>