•  387
    Aristotle repeatedly claims that character-virtue “makes the goal right“, while Phronesis is responsible for working out how to achieve the goal. Many argue that these claims are misleading: it must be intellect that tells us what ends to pursue. I argue that Aristotle means just what he seems to say: despite putative textual evidence to the contrary, virtue is (a) a wholly non-intellectual state, and (b) responsible for literally supplying the contents of our goals. Furthermore, there are no go…Read more
  •  265
    Akrasia and perceptual illusion
    Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 91 (2): 119-156. 2009.
    de Anima III.10 characterizes akrasia as a conflict between phantasia (“imagination”) on one side and rational cognition on the other: the akratic agent is torn between an appetite for what appears good to her phantasia and a rational desire for what her intellect believes good. This entails that akrasia is parallel to certain cases of perceptual illusion. Drawing on Aristotle's discussion of such cases in the de Anima and de Insomniis , I use this parallel to illuminate the difficult discussion…Read more
  •  253
    Pleasure and Illusion in Plato
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 72 (3). 2006.
    Plato links pleasure with illusion, and this link explains his rejection of the view that all desires are rational desires for the good. The Protagoras and Gorgias show connections between pleasure and illusion; the Republic develops these into a psychological theory. One part of the soul is not only prone to illusions, but also incapable of the kind of reasoning that can dispel them. Pleasure appears good; therefore this part of the soul (the appetitive part) desires pleasures qua good but igno…Read more
  •  173
    Something Aristotle calls ‘right logos’ plays a crucial role in his theory of virtue. But the meaning of ‘logos’ in this context is notoriously contested. I argue against the standard translation ‘reason’, and—drawing on parallels with Plato’s work, especially the Laws—in favor of its being used to denote what transforms an inferior epistemic state into a superior one: an explanatory account. Thus Aristotelian phronēsis, like his and Plato’s technē and epistēmē, is a matter of grasping explanato…Read more
  •  166
    The Birth of Belief
    Journal of the History of Philosophy 57 (1): 1-32. 2019.
    did plato and aristotle have anything to say about belief? The answer to this question might seem blindingly obvious: of course they did. Plato distinguishes belief from knowledge in the Meno, Republic, and Theaetetus, and Aristotle does so in the Posterior Analytics. Plato distinguishes belief from perception in the Theaetetus, and Aristotle does so in the De anima. They talk about the distinction between true and false beliefs, and the ways in which belief can mislead and the ways in which it …Read more
  •  81
    Plato's Appearance‐Assent Account of Belief
    Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 114 (2pt2): 213-238. 2014.
    Stoics and Sceptics distinguish belief (doxa) from a representationally and functionally similar but sub-doxastic state: passive yielding to appearance. Belief requires active assent to appearances, that is, affirmation of the appearances as true. I trace the roots of this view to Plato's accounts of doxa in the Republic and Theaetetus. In the Republic, eikasia and pistis (imaging and conviction) are distinguished by their objects, appearances versus ordinary objects; in the Theaetetus, percepti…Read more
  •  67
    Hedonism and the Divided Soul in Plato’s Protagoras
    Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 96 (3). 2014.
    :Why is the.
  •  61
    Pt. I. The apparent good. Evaluative cognition -- Perceiving the good -- Phantasia and the apparent good -- pt. II. The apparent good and non-rational motivation. Passions and the apparent good -- Akrasia and the apparent good -- pt. III. The apparent good and rational motivation. Phantasia and deliberation -- Happiness, virtue, and the apparent good -- Practical induction -- Conclusion : Aristotle's practical empiricism.
  •  52
    Plato's Doxa
    Analytic Philosophy 61 (3): 193-217. 2020.
    Analytic Philosophy, EarlyView.
  •  14
    No Title Provided
    Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 91 (2): 119-156. 2009.
  •  12
    Commentary on Larsen
    Proceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium of Ancient Philosophy 32 (1): 100-110. 2017.
    How does Plato draw the line between perceiving and reasoning? According to Peter Larsen, he gives perception only the power to perceive isolated proper perceptibles, and treats all other cognitive operations as reasoning. I show problems for this interpretation. I argue that in the Republic, non-rational cognition—perception, either on its own, or perhaps augmented by other non-rational powers Plato does not specify, along the lines of Aristotle’s φαντασία —can generate complex cognitions. Reas…Read more
  •  2
    Pictures and Passions in the Timaeus and Philebus
    In Rachel Barney, Tad Brennan & Charles Brittain (eds.), Plato and the Divided Self, Cambridge University Press. pp. 259-280. 2012.
  •  1
    Soul-Leading: The Unity of the Phaedrus, Again
    Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 43 1-23. 2012.