•  154
    What is Eikasia?
    Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 58 19-57. 2020.
    This paper defends a reading of eikasia—the lowest kind of cognition in the Divided Line—as a kind empirical cognition that Plato appeals to when explaining, among other things, the origin of ethical error. The paper has two central claims. First, eikasia with respect to, for example, goodness or justice is not different in kind to eikasia with respect to purely sensory images like shadows and reflections: the only difference is that in the first case the sensory images include representations o…Read more
  •  69
    The Translation of Republic 606a3–b5 and Plato's Partite Psychology
    Classical Philology 114 (1): 136-141. 2019.
    In this paper I discuss the translation of a line in Plato's description of the ‘greatest accusation’ against imitative poetry, Republic 606a3–b5. This line is pivotal in Plato's account of how poetry corrupts its audience and is one of the Republic's most complex and interesting applications of his partite psychology, but it is misconstrued in most recent translations, including the most widely used. I argue that an examination of the text and reflections on Platonic psychology settle the trans…Read more
  •  35
    Appearance, Perception, and Non-Rational Belief: Republic 602c-603a
    Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 47 81-118. 2014.
    In book 10 of the Republic we find a new argument for the division of the soul. The argument’s structure is similar to the arguments in book 4 but, unlike those arguments, it centres on a purely cognitive conflict: believing and disbelieving the same thing, at the same time. The argument presents two interpretive difficulties. First, it assumes that a conflict between a belief and an appearance—e.g. disbelieving that a stick partially immersed in water is, as it appears, bent—entails a conflict …Read more
  •  46
    I offer a reading of the two conceptions of the good found in Plato’s Protagoras: the popular conception—‘the many’s’ conception—and Socrates’ conception. I pay particular attention to the three kinds of goods Socrates introduces: (a) bodily pleasures like food, drink, and sex; (b) instrumental goods like wealth, health, or power; and (c) virtuous actions like courageously going to war. My reading revises existing views about these goods in two ways. First, I argue that the many are only ‘hedoni…Read more