•  176
    Attitudinal Pleasure in Plato’s Philebus
    Phronesis 64 (3): 247-276. 2019.
    This paper addresses two interpretive puzzles in Plato’s Philebus. The first concerns the claim, endorsed by both interlocutors, that the most godlike of lives is a pleasureless life of pure thinking. This appears to run afoul of the verdict of the earlier so-called ‘Choice of Lives’ argument that a mixed life is superior to either of its ‘pure’ rivals. A second concerns Socrates’ discussion of false pleasure, in which he appears to be guilty of rank equivocation. I argue that we can solve both …Read more
  •  162
    Pleasure and the divided soul in Plato's republic book 9
    Classical Quarterly 69 (1): 147-166. 2019.
    In Book 9 of Plato's Republic we find three proofs for the claim that the just person is happier than the unjust person. Curiously, Socrates does not seem to consider these arguments to be coequal when he announces the third and final proof as ‘the greatest and most decisive of the overthrows’. This remark raises a couple of related questions for the interpreter. Whatever precise sense we give to μέγιστον and κυριώτατον in this passage, Socrates is clearly appealing to an argumentative standard …Read more
  •  18
    Sophistry and the promethean crafts in Plato's protagoras
    Classical Quarterly 69 (1): 126-146. 2019.
    The Protagoras is a contest of philosophical methods. With its mix of μῦθος and λόγος, Protagoras’ Great Speech stands as a competing model of philosophical discourse to the Socratic elenchus. While the mythical portion of the speech clearly impresses its audience—Socrates included—one of its central claims appears to pass undefended. This is the claim that the political art cannot be distributed within a community as the technical arts are. This apparent shortcoming of the Great Speech does not…Read more