Carone, Gabriela Roxana

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Carone, Gabriela Roxana




Office—University of Colorado at Boulder, Philosophy Department, Boulder, CO 80309-0232. E-mail—[email protected]; [email protected].


Academic. University of Colorado at Boulder, assistant professor. Princeton University, Center for Human Values, fellow, 2003-04; Harvard University, Center for Hellenic Studies, fellow, 2004-05.


Mind as the Foundation of Cosmic Order in Plato's Late Dialogues, University of London (London, England), 1995.

(Contributor) Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy, Volume 26, edited by David N. Sedley, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 2004.

Plato's Cosmology and Its Ethical Dimensions, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 2005.


Gabriela Roxana Carone is an academic. Carone works as an assistant professor in the philosophy department of the University of Colorado at Boulder. From 2004 to 2005, she served as a fellow at the Harvard University Center for Hellenic Studies. Carone first published Mind as the Foundation of Cosmic Order in Plato's Late Dialogues in 1995 through the University of London.

Carone contributed to the 2004 publication, Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy, Volume 26, which is edited by David N. Sedley. Her chapter, "Calculating Machines or Leaky Jars: The Moral Psychology of Plato's Gorgias," discusses a number of texts written by the fifth-century B.C.E. Classical Greek philosopher Socrates that shows his belief that the human soul was constantly in a state of drain and needed to be replenished. G.S. Bowe and J.D. Cowley, jointly reviewing the book in the Bryn Mawr Classical Review, noted that Carone's "analysis of key moves in the Gorgias regarding Socrates' stance on the relationship of reason to desire" is both "careful" and "very rich."

Carone then published Plato's Cosmology and Its Ethical Dimensions in 2005 through Cambridge University Press. The book connects Plato's later works with his theories and philosophies on ethics. She particularly focuses on Timaeus, Statesman, Laws, and Philebus. Carone also opens discussion on three secondary areas, including her belief that Demiurge, from his Timaeus, is not a casual agent, but rather, a symbol of cosmic reasons; Plato's later studies in cosmology are a source of finding happiness; and that Plato's philosophy of mind more closely resembles Aristotelian hylomorphism than it does Cartesian dualism.

William Prior, writing in the Notre Dame Philosophical Review, observed that "this is a scholarly work, though not, I think, a particularly philosophical one. The references to the literature are thorough. The argument is thoughtful. It contains numerous insights into Plato's late philosophy. I agree with many of her claims. The disagreements I express below with some of Carone's theses should not be seen as detracting from those facts." That said, Prior also wrote: "I suspect that she concedes more to modernity than Plato would find acceptable." Prior further noted: "I think that Carone offers numerous insights on particular passages in Plato's dialogues, but not a satisfying, unified interpretation. I do not see how I am to derive a particular ethical theory, let alone a cosmology, from her discussion of these particular passages in these four works. The problem with her interpretation, I believe, stems from her methodology." Prior concluded that "this philosophy is alien to the dominant currents in analytical philosophy today, as I have said. The task of the contemporary interpreter, though, is to convince the reader to take Plato's thought seriously as philosophy, even if, in the end, the contemporary interpreter finds this philosophy unacceptable. One way to do this would be to explore the deep affinities between Plato and Christian cosmology. Carone eschews this approach, and I do not see that she makes up this deficit in other ways. The result is, I fear, that Plato's cosmology and his cosmological ethics appear to be primarily of interest only to scholars." Tiberiu Popa, writing in the Review of Metaphysics, exclaimed that "the breadth of Carone's analysis is quite remarkable." Popa observed that "Carone is careful to mark out the thematic connections between the texts relevant to her central topic." Popa concluded that "Carone's analysis yields several surprising results, and, given her thorough—if not always entirely persuasive—inquiry, they should not be ignored. This is a truly thought provoking book and its maverick view of the link between ethics and cosmology deserves full attention from the students of Plato's works."



Bryn Mawr Classical Review, March 10, 2006, G.S. Bowe and J.D. Cowley, review of Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy.

Isis, September, 2007, Gabor Betegh, review of Plato's Cosmology and Its Ethical Dimensions, p. 619.

Journal of the History of Philosophy, April, 2007, Paul Carelli, review of Plato's Cosmology and Its Ethical Dimensions, p. 322.

Notre Dame Philosophical Review, October 18, 2006, William Prior, review of Plato's Cosmology and Its Ethical Dimensions.

Review of Metaphysics, December, 2007, Tiberiu Popa, review of Plato's Cosmology and Its Ethical Dimensions, p. 404.


Harvard University, Center for Hellenic Studies Web site, (March 12, 2008), author profile.