•  33
    Galen's Constitutive Materialism
    Ancient Philosophy 39 (1): 191-209. 2019.
    In Quod animi mores, Galen says both that there is an identity between the capacities of the soul and the mixtures of the body, and that the soul’s capacities ‘follow upon’ the bodily mixtures. The seeming tension in this text can be resolved by noting that the soul’s capacities are constituted by, and hence are nothing over and above, bodily mixtures, but bodily mixtures explain the soul’s capacities and not the other way around. Galen’s proposal represents a distinctive position in the Ancient…Read more
  •  30
    Aristotle on the Epistemic Role of Passion
    Dissertation, Harvard University. 2018.
    What are the passions? And what, if anything, do they have to do with our intellectual lives? I argue that, according to Aristotle, the passions are complex states that carry information about the value things have. More specifically, Aristotelian passions are constituted by fine-grained evaluative appearances—a kind of truth-apt, cognitive, yet non-rational representation that non-human animals also entertain. Given that the passions are representations of value, they can be the basis for comin…Read more
  •  14
    Plato on False Pleasures and False Passions
    Apeiron: A Journal for Ancient Philosophy and Science. 2021.
    In the Philebus, Socrates argues that pleasures can be false in the same way that beliefs can be false. On the basis of Socrates’ analysis in 47e-50e of malicious pleasure, a mixed pleasure of the soul and a passion, I defend the view that, according to Socrates, pleasures, including the anticipatory pleasures in 36c-40e, can be false when they represent as pleasant something that is not worthy of our enjoyment, where that means that they represent as pleasing something that is not pleasant in i…Read more
  •  9
    Temperance and Epistemic Purity in Plato’s Phaedo
    Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie. 2021.
    In this paper I examine the moral psychology of the Phaedo and argue that the philosophical life in this dialogue is a temperate life, and that temperance consists in exercising epistemic discernment by actively withdrawing assent from incorrect evaluations the body inclines us to make. Philosophers deal with bodily affections by taking a correct epistemic stance. Exercising temperance thus understood is a necessary condition both for developing and strengthening rational capacities, and for fix…Read more
  •  9
    Training Virtue without Losing Autonomy: A Response to Aaron Stalnaker (review)
    Philosophy East and West 71 (2): 512-520. 2021.
    In 'Mastery, Dependence, and the Ethics of Authority', Aaron Stalnaker argues that dependence on the right authorities is essential to living a good, virtuous life. Relinquishing autonomy to experts early in life can allow us, in time, to become fully autonomous. For the Rú, a good life requires virtues such as ritual and wisdom. Insofar as these virtues involve skill, they are trained by experts. Understanding virtue as a form of skilled behavior or practical mastery, Stalnaker argues, allows u…Read more
  •  4
    Temperance and Epistemic Purity in Plato’s Phaedo
    Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie. 2021.
    In this paper I examine the moral psychology of the Phaedo and argue that the philosophical life in this dialogue is a temperate life, and that temperance consists in exercising epistemic discernment by actively withdrawing assent from incorrect evaluations the body inclines us to make. Philosophers deal with bodily affections by taking a correct epistemic stance. Exercising temperance thus understood is a necessary condition both for developing and strengthening rational capacities, and for fix…Read more
  •  2
    In the Phaedo, Socrates offers recommendations for living a philosophical life. We argue that those recommendations can be properly understood only in light of Socrates’ account of the soul’s true nature, considered separately from the body. Embodiment causes the soul to diverge from its proper end, the pursuit of knowledge. Bodily pleasures, pains, and desires divert the soul to other ends, distract its attention away from knowledge, and deceive it about what is true. Socrates’ recommended sol…Read more
  • Teleology and Function in Galenic Anatomy
    In Jeffrey McDonough (ed.), Philosophical Concepts: Teleology, Oxford University Press. 2020.
    In De usu partium, Galen argues that the parts of the human body are designed to fulfill functions that contribute to the continued existence and well-being of the organism as a whole. Synthesizing Plato’s and Aristotle’s views on teleology, Galen highlights the importance of a functional framework for anatomical research. For Galen, teleology is as much a method for anatomical inquiry as it is a metaphysical commitment. In particular, teleology guides the main tool of anatomical investigation: …Read more