PVP coverMy first book, Plato on the Value of Philosophy: The Art of Argument in the Gorgias and Phaedrus (Cambridge University Press, 2017), offers a comprehensive reading of the relationship between the Gorgias and the Phaedrus — the only two Platonic dialogues that focus systematically on the relation between philosophy and rhetoric. The book examines Plato’s views on the role of human motivation in argument and the role of argument generally in civic life. A short essay that I wrote for Aeon Magazine touching on themes in the book can be found here. I discuss further issues raised in the book in a blog interview with Andy Fitch for the Los Angeles Review of Books here.

Two recent articles build on my work on the Gorgias:

“Socrates’s Great Speech: The Defense of Philosophy in Plato’s Gorgias,” Journal of the History of Philosophy 59 (2021) (penultimate draft)

“The Purpose of Rhetorical Form in Plato” forthcoming in Proceedings of the Twelfth Symposium Platonicum Pragense on Plato’s Gorgias, edited by Vladimír Mikeš and David Machek (penultimate draft)

And most recently I completed a paper on the political project of the Republic, touching among other things on the role of Adeimantus in the dialogue, the interconnectedness of soul and city, and Platos views on poetry:

“The Significance of Politics: Adeimantus’ Contribution to the Argument of the Republic,” lecture delivered for the Boston Area Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy, March 2023 (penultimate draft)

My other main area of interest in Plato concerns his views in metaphysics and epistemology, particularly in relation to his views on philosophical method. I’m currently working on a project that explores his treatment of this topic in the TheaetetusSophist, and Statesman. A central issue in all three of these dialogues, I argue, concerns Plato’s understanding of the metaphysics of change. I have a fairly long article on this question that is key to this project that was published last year:

“Perfect Change in Plato’s Sophist,” Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 60 (2022) (penultimate draft)

PWOL coverI also have a longstanding interest in the idea of philosophy as a way of life, which has featured prominently in some of my teaching at Wesleyan. Together with Jim Ambury and Kathleen Wallace, I am the co-editor of a volume of essays that addresses the historical precedent for this idea in western and non-western traditions, along with its contemporary applications, Philosophy as a Way of Life: Historical, Contemporary, and Pedagogical Perspectives (Wiley, 2020).