John Lloyd Ackrill

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John Lloyd Ackrill FBA (born December 30, 1921 in Reading , † November 30, 2007 in Oxford ) was an English historian of philosophy who worked on the specialty of ancient Greek philosophy , in particular to Plato and Aristotle . Ackrill, along with Gregory Vlastos and GEL Owen, is considered to be one of the most important scholars of the second half of the 20th century in the field of ancient Greek philosophy in the English-speaking world.


After attending Reading School , Ackrill studied Classical Philology at St John's College , Oxford, from 1940 . From 1941 to 1945 he served in the Royal Berkshire Regiment and General Staff, where he earned the rank of Captain. He then continued his studies at Oxford, which he graduated in 1948. In the same year he took up a position as assistant lecturer for logic in Glasgow . In 1949 Ackrill University became a lecturer at Oxford. Before he took up the position, however, he was awarded two free years of study, which he spent in Switzerland and Princeton. In 1953 Ackrill got a position as a tutorial fellow at Brasenose College , where from 1959 his former student and friend, who also dealt with ancient philosophy, Michael John Woods, was employed in the same position. From 1966 to 1989 he was the first holder of the newly created chair for the history of philosophy at Oxford, but remained a fellow of Brasenose College until 1989. From 1989 until his death, Ackrill was Emeritus Professor of History of Philosophy at Oxford University .

Ackrill became a Fellow of the British Academy in 1981 and an Honorary Fellow at St. John's College in 1996.

Ackrill married Margret Kerr in 1953, with whom he had a son and three daughters.


Monographs and collections of articles

Translations and comments

  • A New Aristotle Reader (1988)
  • Aristotle, Categories and De Interpretatione (1963)


  • Lindsay Judson : John Lloyd Ackrill 1921-2007 . In: Ron Johnston (Ed.): Proceedings of the British Academy, Volume 161, Biographical Memoirs of Fellows, VIII . Oxford University Press 2009, pp. 3-16
  • Michael John Woods, Julia Annas (Eds.): A Festschrift for JL Ackrill . Oxford University Press, Oxford 1986 (Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy).

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