•  974
    Platonic Division and the Origins of Aristotelian Logic
    Dissertation, University of California, Berkeley. 2017.
    Aristotle's syllogistic theory, as developed in his Prior Analytics, is often regarded as the birth of logic in Western philosophy. Over the past century, scholars have tried to identify important precursors to this theory. I argue that Platonic division, a method which aims to give accounts of essences of natural kinds by progressively narrowing down from a genus, influenced Aristotle's logical theory in a number of crucial respects. To see exactly how, I analyze the method of division as it wa…Read more
  •  402
    The Puzzle of the Sophist
    Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie. forthcoming.
    The many definitions of sophistry at the beginning of Plato’s Sophist have puzzled scholars just as much as they puzzled the dialogue’s main speakers: the Visitor from Elea and Theaetetus. The aim of this paper is to give an account of that puzzlement. This puzzlement, it is argued, stems not from a logical or epistemological problem, but from the metaphysical problem that, given the multiplicity of accounts, the interlocutors do not know what the sophist essentially is. It transpires that, in o…Read more
  •  281
    Greek and Roman Logic
    with Robby Finley and Katja Maria Vogt
    Oxford Bibliographies in Classics. 2019.
    In ancient philosophy, there is no discipline called “logic” in the contemporary sense of “the study of formally valid arguments.” Rather, once a subfield of philosophy comes to be called “logic,” namely in Hellenistic philosophy, the field includes (among other things) epistemology, normative epistemology, philosophy of language, the theory of truth, and what we call logic today. This entry aims to examine ancient theorizing that makes contact with the contemporary conception. Thus, we will her…Read more
  •  162
    Mereology in Aristotle's Assertoric Syllogistic
    History and Philosophy of Logic 40 (1): 1-11. 2019.
    How does Aristotle think about sentences like ‘Every x is y’ in the Prior Analytics? A recently popular answer conceives of these sentences as expressing a mereological relationship between x and y: the sentence is true just in case x is, in some sense, a part of y. I argue that the motivations for this interpretation have so far not been compelling. I provide a new justification for the mereological interpretation. First, I prove a very general algebraic soundness and completeness result that u…Read more
  •  150
    Division, Syllogistic, and Science in Prior Analytics I.31
    Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy. forthcoming.
    In the first book of the Prior Analytics, Aristotle sets out, for the first time in Greek philosophy, a logical system. It consists of a deductive system (I.4-22), meta-logical results (I.23-26), and a method for finding and giving deductions (I.27-29) that can apply in “any art or science whatsoever” (I.30). After this, Aristotle compares this method with Plato’s method of division, a procedure designed to find essences of natural kinds through systematic classification. This critical comparis…Read more
  •  134
    Pyrrhonism and the Dialectical Methods: The Aims and Argument of PH II
    Logical Analysis and History of Philosophy. forthcoming.
    The aim of this paper is to show how PH II constitutes an original, ambitious, and unified skeptical inquiry into logic. My thesis is that Sextus’s argument in Book II is meant to accomplish both its stated goal (to investigate the topics typically grouped together by dogmatists under the heading of “logic”) and an unstated goal. The unstated goal is, in my view, interesting in itself and sheds new light on Sextus’s methodology. The goal is: to suspend judgement on the effectiveness of dogmatic …Read more
  •  89
    Stefan Sienkiewicz, "Five Modes of Scepticism: Sextus Empiricus and the Agrippan Modes" (review)
    Journal of the History of Philosophy 58 (8): 813-814. 2020.
  •  60
    Academic Placement Data and Analysis: 2016 Final Report
    with Carolyn Dicey Jennings, Patrice Cobb, Bryan Kerster, Chelsea Gordon, Angelo Kyrilov, Evette Montes, Sam Spevack, and David W. Vinson
    APA Grant Funds: Previously Funded Projects. 2016.
    Academic Placement Data and Analysis (APDA), a project funded by the American Philosophical Association (APA) and headed by Carolyn Dicey Jennings (UC Merced), aims “to make information on academic job placement useful to prospective graduate students in philosophy.” The project has just been updated to include new data, which Professor Jennings describes in a post at New APPS. She also announces a new interactive data tool with which one can sift through and sort information. (from Daily Nous)
  •  54
    Margaret MacDonald’s scientific common-sense philosophy
    British Journal for the History of Philosophy 1-21. forthcoming.
    Margaret MacDonald (1907–56) was a central figure in the history of early analytic philosophy in Britain due to both her editorial work as well as her own writings. While her later work on aesthetics and political philosophy has recently received attention, her early writings in the 1930s present a coherent and, for its time, strikingly original blend of common-sense and scientific philosophy. In these papers, MacDonald tackles the central problems of philosophy of her day: verification, the pro…Read more
  •  27
    Epistemology after Sextus Empiricus (edited book)
    Oxford University Press. 2020.
    Sextus Empiricus was the voice of ancient Greek skepticism for posterity. His writings contain the most subtle and detailed versions of the ancient skeptical arguments known as Pyrrhonism, adding up to a distinctive philosophical approach. Instead of viewing philosophy as valuable because of the answers it gives to important questions, Sextus considered the search for answers itself to be fundamental and offered a philosophy centered on inquiry. Assuming the point of view of an active inquirer, …Read more
  •  21
    Plato on Poetic and Musical Representation
    In Platonic Mimesis Revisited, . pp. 147-165. 2021.
    Plato’s most infamous discussions of poetry in the Republic, in which he both develops original distinctions in narratology and advocates some form of censorship, raises numerous philosophical and philological questions. Foremost among them, perhaps, is the puzzle of why he returns to poetry in Book X after having dealt with it thoroughly in Books II–III, particularly because his accounts of the “mimetic” aspect of poetry are, on their face, quite different. How are we to understand this double …Read more
  •  17
    Academic Placement Data and Analysis: 2015 Final Report
    with Carolyn Dicey Jennings, Angelo Kyrilov, Patrice Cobb, Evette Montes, Cruz Franco, and David W. Vinson
    APA Grant Funds: Previously Funded Projects. 2015.
    The first research report of the APDA project. Findings include that "gender is a significant predictor of type of placement (i.e. permanent versus temporary). The intercept tells us that the odds for male participants to have a permanent academic placement within the first two years after graduation are statistically significant at .37, p < 0.001 when year of graduation is held constant. The odds for female participants to have a permanent academic placement are 1.85, p < 0.001 when graduation …Read more
  •  10
    Five Modes of Scepticism: Sextus Empiricus and the Agrippan Modes by Stefan Sienkiewicz (review)
    Journal of the History of Philosophy 58 (4): 813-814. 2020.
    This book, which originated as the author's 2013 Oxford dissertation, treats five modes of argument described by the Pyrrhonian skeptic Sextus Empiricus. In the first book of the Outlines of Pyrrhonism, Sextus claims that these modes bring about suspension of judgment, a mental state in which one finds the considerations for and against some claim to be balanced. We see the modes used both alone and in combination when Sextus investigates dogmatic philosophy. Accordingly, Sienkiewicz assigns a c…Read more
  •  9
    Pyrrhonism and the Dialectical Methods
    History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis 23 (1): 225-252. 2020.
    The aim of this paper is to show how Outlines of Pyrrhonism II constitutes an original, ambitious, and unified skeptical inquiry into logic. My thesis is that Sextus’ argument in Book II is meant to accomplish both its stated goal and an unstated goal. The unstated goal is, in my view, interesting in itself and sheds new light on Sextus’ methodology. The goal is: to suspend judgement on the effectiveness of dogmatic methodologies.