•  2
    Relativism and Self-refutation in the Theaetetus
    In Brad Inwood (ed.), Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy Volume 37, Oxford University Press. pp. 1-45. 2009.
    Plato argues, at Theaetetus 170e-171c, that Protagoras’ relativism is self-refuting. This argument, known as the ‘exquisite argument’, and its merits have been the subject of much controversy over the past few decades. Burnyeat (1976b) has argued in defense of Plato’s argument, but his reconstruction of the argument has been criticized as question-begging. After offering an interpretation of Protagoras’ relativism, I argue that the exquisite argument is successful, for reasons that Burnyeat h…Read more
  •  336
    Plato on Pleasures Mixed with Pains: an Asymmetrical Account
    Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 56 73-122. 2019.
    In this paper I aim to show that the restoration model of pleasure as we find it in Plato’s Gorgias, Republic, Timaeus, and Philebus contain a common psychological core, despite the substantial developments and greater sophistication in the later works. I argue that, contrary to the scholarly consensus, all four dialogues take the necessary condition for pain to be a state of imbalance or disharmony rather than a process of destruction or deterioration. Given that the necessary condition for ple…Read more
  •  24
    Non-Substantial Individuals in Aristotle's Categories
    Philosophical Inquiry 43 (1): 119-146. 2019.
  •  2
    How Smart is the Appetitive Part of the Soul?
    In Noburu Notomi & Luc Brisson (eds.), The Selected Papers of the Ninth Symposium Platonicum, Academia Verlag. pp. 204-208. 2013.
    In recent years there has been a surge of interest among Plato scholars in the tripartition of the soul in the Republic. Particular attention has been devoted to the nature of the soul-parts, and whether or not each part is agent-like. A key element in this debate has been the question whether or not the non-rational parts have access to significant cognitive and conceptual resources. That this is the case, and that appetite cannot be entirely unreasoning, is the widely accepted view, shared …Read more
  • Plato on the Pangs of Love
    In Mauro Tulli & Michael Erler (eds.), The Selected Papers of the Tenth Symposium Platonicum. pp. 231-236. 2016.
    At the heart of Plato’s theory of erōs is the ‘ascent’ of love for an individual body, through several stages, to love of Beauty itself (Symposium 210a-212b). I argue that our understanding of the psychology of this transformation would benefit especially from bringing in Plato’s views on pain from the Republic. For erōs is presented in the Symposium as including sexual desire (207b) as well as love of wisdom (210d), but the Republic takes the former to be a painful desire, whereas the latter is…Read more
  • Pleasures in "Republic" Ix
    Dissertation, The University of Texas at Austin. 2004.
    My dissertation is on Plato's view on pleasure. I focus on the Republic, where Plato offers his first systematic treatment of pleasure and pain. Plato's thought on pleasure, and in particular his view on the truth and falsity of pleasure, has received no small degree of attention in the secondary literature during the past few decades. Despite the amount of work that has been done, however, Plato's thought on pleasure and pain has not been adequately understood, as scholars have persistently und…Read more
  •  25
    Akrasia and conflict in the Nicomachean Ethics
    British Journal for the History of Philosophy 24 (4): 573-593. 2016.
    ABSTRACTIn Nicomachean Ethics VII, Aristotle offers an account of akrasia that purports to salvage the kernel of truth in the Socratic paradox that people act against what is best only through ignorance. Despite Aristotle’s apparent confidence in having identified the sense in which Socrates was right about akrasia, we are left puzzling over Aristotle’s own account, and the extent to which he agrees with Socrates. The most fundamental interpretive question concerns the sense in which Aristotle t…Read more
  •  36
    Inconsistency and Ambiguity in Republic IX
    Classical Quarterly 61 (2): 493-520. 2011.
    Plato’s view on pleasure in the Republic emerges in the course of developing the third proof of his central thesis that the just man is happier than the unjust. Plato presents it as the “greatest and most decisive” proof of his central thesis, so one might expect to find an abundance of scholarly work on it. Paradoxically, however, this argument has received little attention from scholars, and what has been written on it has generally been harshly critical. I believe that this treatment of t…Read more
  •  43
    Plato on a Mistake about Pleasure
    Southern Journal of Philosophy 44 (3): 447-468. 2006.
    Plato argues in Republic IX that people are often mistaken about their own pleasures and pains. One of the mistakes he focuses on isjudging that an experience of ours is pleasant when, in fact, it is not. The view that such a mistake is possible is an unpopular one, andscholars have generally been dismissive of Plato’s position. Thus Urmson argues not only that this position is deeply flawed, but alsothat it results from a confusion on Plato’s part. In this paper, I show that Urmson’s criticism …Read more
  •  1
    Non-Substantial Individuals in Aristotle's Categories
    Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 26 185-212. 2004.
  • Plato’s account of pleasure in Republic IX has been treated as an ill-conceived and deeply flawed account that Plato thankfully retracted and replaced in the Philebus. I am convinced, however, that this received view of the Republic’s account is false. In this paper, I will not concern myself with whether, or in what way, Plato’s account of pleasure in the Republic falls short of what we find in the Philebus, but will rather focus on the merits of the former. My concern will be further narrowe…Read more