Southern Virginia University
  •  4924
    After the Ascent: Plato on Becoming Like God
    Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 26 171-183. 2004.
    Plato is associated with the idea that the body holds us back from knowing ultimate reality and so we should try to distance ourselves from its influence. This sentiment appears is several of his dialogues including Theaetetus where the flight from the physical world is compared to becoming like God. In some major dialogues of Plato's later career such as Philebus and Laws, however, the idea of becoming like God takes a different turn. God is an intelligent force that tries to create order in th…Read more
  •  202
    Epicurean Justice
    Phronesis 42 (3): 324-334. 1997.
    Epicurus is one of the first social contract theorists, holding that justice is an agreement neither to harm nor be harmed. He also says that living justly is necessary and sufficient for living pleasantly, which is the Epicurean goal. Some say that there are two accounts of justice in Epicurus -- one as a personal virtue, the other as a virtue of institutions. I argue that the personal virtue derives from compliance with just social institutions, and so we need to attribute only one account of …Read more
  •  125
    The purpose of Sheffield’s careful study is to increase scholarly appreciation of the Symposium as a ‘substantive work in Platonic ethics’ (3). Among the book’s highlights are a persuasive response to Vlastos’ criticism of Plato on love for individuals, an eminently reasonable assessment of the evidence for and against the presence of tripartite psychology in the Symposium, and a delightful interpretation of Alcibiades’ speech at the dialogue’s end—one that reveals elements of satyr play and cor…Read more
  •  121
    The Politics of Virtue in Plato's "Laws"
    Dissertation, The University of Arizona. 1998.
    This dissertation identifies and explains four major contributions of the Laws and related late dialogues to Plato's moral and political philosophy. Chapter 1: I argue that Plato thinks the purpose of laws and other social institutions is the happiness of the city. A happy city is one in which the city's parts, i.e. the citizens, are unified under the rule of intelligence. Unlike the citizens of the Republic, the citizens of the Laws can all share the same true judgments of value, and this unani…Read more
  •  116
    For students and the general reader, this is the best English translation of the entire 'Laws' available. I give several examples of important lines that are translated well in this edition, but I take issue with the translation of some other lines and with part of Schofield's introduction on grounds that these parts do not reveal Plato's political and cosmic holism as clearly as they could have.
  •  94
    I review Gabriel Richardson Lear's excellent essay on Aristotle’s conception of the human good. She solves some long-standing problems in the interpretation of Aristotle’s ethics by drawing on resources in his natural philosophy and Plato’s conception of love. Her interpretation is a compelling and, to my mind, largely true account of Aristotle’s view. In this review, I summarize the book's main argument and then explain two fundamental points on which I have concerns.
  •  86
    Aristotle on the Philosophical Nature of Poetry
    Classical Quarterly 48 (2): 447-455. 1998.
    In Poetics chapter 9, Aristotle famously claims that poetry is more philosophical than history. What does this mean? I argue that he is talking about the metaphysics of events. Poets seek causal coherence among the events in their stories. Historians must report what happened whether or not the events of history exhibit causal coherence. This makes the poet's job more philosophical than the historian's, for the poet is seeking a unified plot -- an action-type -- that serves as the backbone of th…Read more
  •  62
    Nicomachean Ethics
    with Aristotle
    A new English translation of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics. This ongoing project aims to translate accurately the meaning of Aristotle's terse Greek into readable American English for students and the general reader.
  •  51
    I review this fine collection of articles on ancient ethics ranging from the Presocratics to Sextus Empiricus. Eight of the nine chapters are published here for the first time. Contributors include Charles H. Kahn on "Pre-Platonic Ethics," C. C. W. Taylor on "Platonic Ethics," Stephen Everson on "Aristotle on Nature and Value," John McDowell on "Some Issues in Aristotle's Moral Psychology," David Sedley on "The Inferential Foundations of Epicurean Ethics," T. H. Irwin on "Socratic Paradox and St…Read more
  •  22
    Plato is associated with the idea that the body holds us back from knowing ultimate reality and so we should try to distance ourselves from its influence. This sentiment appears is several of his dialogues including Theaetetus where the flight from the physical world is compared to becoming like God. In some major dialogues of Plato's later career such as Philebus and Laws, however, the idea of becoming like God takes a different turn. God is an intelligent force that tries to create order in th…Read more