Research

I specialize in ancient Greek and Roman philosophy, particularly its earliest phase. My first book, Plato’s Reception of Parmenides (Oxford, 1999) explored the Eleatic underpinnings of Platonic metaphysics and epistemology. After joining the Florida Philosophy Department, I was awarded a Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowship for Recently Tenured Scholars by the American Council of Learned Societies in 2003 and spent a fellowship year at the National Humanities Center in Research Triangle Park, NC. There I wrote my second book, Parmenides and Presocratic Philosophy (Oxford, 2009), which developed a modal interpretation of Parmenides that has prompted revision of our understanding of this seminal figure’s place in the development of early Greek thought. I have since held a National Endowment for the Humanities summer stipend in 2008 to support ongoing work on a new translation of Diogenes’ Laertius’s Lives of the Philosophers. I have recently written on the Pythagoreans and Plato for The Cambridge History of Pythagoreanism (Cambridge, forthcoming). Aided by the support of a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2014-2015, I have recently been developing ideas broached there in a book exploring how Plato, as he began to move beyond his Socratic inheritance, would have understood the Pythagoreans as advocating a conception of value, goodness, and well-being that he found highly amenable to his own purposes. A broader aim of the project isto argue that correct evaluative judgment is more fundamental than virtue in Platonic ethics and in ancient ethical theories more generally.