Aristotle: On Sleep and Dreams


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This work is designed to make Aristotle's three essays on sleep and dreams (De Somno et Vigilia, De Insomniis and De Divinatione per Somnum) accessible in translation to modern readers, and to provide a commentary with a contemporary perspective. It considers Aristotle’s theory of dreams in historical context, especially in relation to Plato. It also discusses neo-Freudian interpretations of Aristotle and contemporary experimental psychology of dreaming. Aristotle’s account of dreaming as a function of the imagination is examined from a philosophical perspective. Greek text, with facing-page English translation, introduction, notes and commentary.

‘A beautiful edition... a model for this kind of translation and textual study...’
Desmond Fitzgerald, UCSF

‘... combining a sureness of classical learning with a sympathetic understanding of the relevant areas of the modern literature. A book that will be of interest and profit to classicist and modern alike.’

Author Information

David Gallop is Professor of Philosophy (Emeritus) at Trent University, Ontario, and has taught philosophy at the University of Toronto. His publications include editions of Plato’s 'Phaedo', 'Defence of Socrates', 'Euthyphro' and 'Crito'.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Cover 1
Title Page2
Copyright Page3
Note on the Text and Translation12
1. Aristotle's Life and Work16
2. The Parva Naturalia19
3. The Greek Concept of Dreaming21
4. Plato's Legacy26
5. The De Somno and the De Insomniis34
6. Dreams and the Imagination36
7. Dreaming and Teleology43
8. The Function of Dreams47
9. Aristotle and Freud53
10. Dreams and the 'Daemonic'58
11. Aristotle and Malcolm63
12. Conclusion72
Text and Translation74
On Sleep and Waking75
On Dreams99
On Divination through Sleep121
On Sleep and Waking133
On Dreams150
On Divination through Sleep171
Appendix: Aristotle's Historia Animalium, IV. 10188
Seiect Bibliography206