•  1283
    Republic 382a-d: On the Dangers and Benefits of Falsehood
    Classical Philology 112 (1): 1-19. 2017.
    Socrates' attitude towards falsehood is quite puzzling in the Republic. Although Socrates is clearly committed to truth, at several points he discusses the benefits of falsehood. This occurs most notably in Book 3 with the "noble lie" (414d-415c) and most disturbingly in Book 5 with the "rigged sexual lottery" (459d-460c). This raises the question: What kinds of falsehoods does Socrates think are beneficial, and what kinds of falsehoods does he think are harmful? And more broadly: What can this …Read more
  •  611
    Commentators such as Terence Irwin (1999) and Christopher Shields (2006) claim that the Ring of Gyges argument in Republic II cannot demonstrate that justice is chosen only for its consequences. This is because valuing justice for its own sake is compatible with judging its value to be overridable. Through examination of the rational commitments involved in valuing normative ideals such as justice, we aim to show that this analysis is mistaken. If Glaucon is right that everyone would endorse Gyg…Read more
  •  310
    The Problem of Ethical Vagueness for Expressivism
    Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (4): 593-605. 2014.
    Ethical vagueness has garnered little attention. This is rather surprising since many philosophers have remarked that the science of ethics lacks the precision that other fields of inquiry have. Of the few philosophers who have discussed ethical vagueness the majority have focused on the implications of vagueness for moral realism. Because the relevance of ethical vagueness for other metaethical positions has been underexplored, my aim in this paper is to investigate the ramifications of ethical…Read more
  •  171
    Philosopher Rulers and False Beliefs
    Ancient Philosophy 37 (1): 19-37. 2017.
    Many scholars have viewed the noble lie as fundamentally a device for educating the non-philosophers in the Kallipolis. On this reading, the elite and sophisticated philosopher rulers lie to the non-philosophers, who are unable to fully grasp the truth; such lies help motivate the non-philosophers towards virtuous activity and the promotion of the common good. Hence, according to many scholars, the falsehoods of the noble lie play no role in motivating fully accomplished adult philosophers towar…Read more
  •  97
    Persuasion, Falsehood, and Motivating Reason in Plato’s Laws
    History of Philosophy Quarterly 33 (2). 2016.
    In Plato’s Laws, the Athenian Stranger maintains that law should consist of both persuasion (πειθώ) and compulsion (βία) (IV.711c, IV.718b-d, and IV.722b). Persuasion can be achieved by prefacing the laws with preludes (προοίμια), which make the citizens more eager to obey the laws. Although scholars disagree on how to interpret the preludes’ persuasion, they agree that the preludes instill true beliefs and give citizens good reasons for obeying the laws. In this paper I refine this account of t…Read more
  •  83
    Fighting Pleasure: Plato and the Expansive View of Courage
    Journal of Value Inquiry 53 (2): 255-273. 2019.
    In both the Laches (191d-e) and the Laws (1.633c-d, 1.634a-b, and 1. 635d), Plato has his protagonist defend the claim that courage (andreia) is not simply a matter of resisting pain and fear but about overcoming pleasure and desire as well. In this paper, I argue that Plato took the expansive view of courage seriously and that there are several reasons why we should too.
  •  80
    The Problem of Intermediates, an Introduction
    Plato Journal: The Journal of the International Plato Society 18 41-44. 2018.
    Provides a brief introduction to the Problem of Intermediates in Plato and the stances taken toward this issue in this volume of the Plato Journal
  •  65
    Death and the Limits of Truth in the Phaedo
    Apeiron 48 (3): 263-284. 2015.
    This paper raises a new interpretive puzzle concerning Socrates’ attitude towards truth in the Phaedo. At one point Socrates seems to advocate that he is justified in trying to convince himself that the soul is immortal and destined for a better place regardless of whether or not these claims are true, but that Cebes and Simmias should relentlessly pursue the truth about the very same matter. This raises the question: Why might Socrates believe that he will benefit from believing things about de…Read more
  •  64
    On the Value of Drunkenness in the Laws
    Logical Analysis and History of Philosophy 20 65-81. 2017.
    Plato's attitude towards drunkenness is surprisingly positive in the Laws, especially as compared to his negative treatment of intoxication in the Republic. In the Republic, Plato maintains that intoxication causes cowardice and intemperance, while in the Laws, Plato holds that it can produce courage and temperance. This raises the question: Did Plato change his mind, and if he did, why? Ultimately, this paper answers affirmatively and argues that his marks a substantive shift in Plato's attitud…Read more
  •  42
    Until recently, the problem of traumatic brain injury in sports and the problem of performance enhancement via hormone replacement have not been seen as related issues. However, recent evidence suggests that these two problems may actually interact in complex and previously underappreciated ways. A body of recent research has shown that traumatic brain injuries, at all ranges of severity, have a negative effect upon pituitary function, which results in diminished levels of several endogenous hor…Read more
  •  40
    True in Word and Deed: Plato on the Impossibility of Divine Deception
    Journal of the History of Philosophy 58 (2): 193-214. 2020.
    A common theological perspective holds that God does not deceive because lying is morally wrong. While Plato denies the possibility of divine deception in the Republic, his explanation does not appeal to the wrongness of lying. Indeed, Plato famously recommends the careful use of lies as a means of promoting justice. Given his endorsement of occasional lying, as well as his claim that humans should strive to emulate the gods, Plato's suggestion that the gods never have reason to lie is puzzling.…Read more
  •  29
    In Republic 1, Thrasymachus makes the radical claim that being just is ‘high-minded simplicity’ and being unjust is ‘good judgment’. Because injustice involves benefiting oneself, while justice involves benefiting others, the unjust are wise and good and the just are foolish and bad. The “greedy craftsperson” argument attempts to show that the unjust person's desire to outdo or have more than everyone is a symptom of her ignorance. Many commentaries have found the argument problematic and unclea…Read more
  •  25
    On the Value of Drunkenness in the Laws
    History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis 20 (1): 65-81. 2017.
    Plato’s attitude towards drunkenness (μέθη) is surprisingly positive in the Laws, especially as compared to his negative treatment of intoxication in the Republic. In the Republic, Plato maintains that intoxication causes cowardice and intemperance (3.398e-399e, 3.403e, and 9.571c-573b), while in the Laws, Plato holds that it can produce courage and temperance (1.635b, 1.645d-650a, and 2.665c-672d). This raises the question: Did Plato change his mind, and if he did, why? Ultimately, this paper a…Read more
  •  23
    This paper examines Plato’s conception of shame and the role intoxication plays in cultivating it in the Laws. Ultimately, this paper argues that there are two accounts of shame in the Laws. There is a public sense of shame that is more closely tied to the rational faculties and a private sense of shame that is more closely tied to the non-rational faculties. Understanding this division between public and private shame not only informs our understanding of Plato’s moral psychology, but his poli…Read more
  •  2
    The Problem of Intermediates, an Introduction
    Plato: The Internet Journal of the International Plato Society 18. 2018.
    https://doi.org/10.14195/2183-4105_18_3.