Sylvia Berryman

Research Interests

  • ancient Greek natural philosophy
  • the impact of Greek science on natural philosophy

Sylvia Berryman studied ancient Greek philosophy at the University of Texas  at Austin. As a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow in King’s  College London, she worked as editorial assistant for the Ancient Commentators on  Aristotle project.  She joined the department at UBC in 2004, following five years with the Department  of Philosophy at Ohio State University. She has received fellowships and grants from Center  for Hellenic Studies, National Humanities Center, Institute for Advanced  Study Princeton, National Science Foundation and SSHRC.  Her research interests center on ancient Greek natural philosophy and the impact of Greek science on natural philosophy: published papers consider the philosophical reception of optics, mechanics, medicine, pneumatics, as well as theories of mixture, qualities, causation and teleology.  Her book, The Mechanical Hypothesis in Ancient Greek Natural Philosophy, is published by Cambridge University Press, 2009.

Besides ancient philosophy, Berryman has teaching interests in applied ethics and the challenge of extreme poverty. She has been integrating service learning experiences in ethics teaching, both in Vancouver-based courses and as director of a new Global Citizenship Term Abroad to Guatemala, fall 2009. In cooperation with the departments of FHIS, Sociology and Political Science, the Philosophy department is offering this study abroad and service learning experience to a group of 26 students, organized through UBC’s Go Global office.