Ambiguity and Fallacy in Plato's Euthydemus
Forthcoming in Ancient Philosophy
Paradoxology and Politics: How Isocrates Sells his School and his Political Agenda in the Busiris.
Classical Philology Vol. 115 No. 1 (Jan. 2020)
Animal Welfare and Environmental Ethics: It's Complicated
Ethics and the Environment Vol. 23 No. 1 (2018): 49-69.
Power, Getting What You Want and Happiness: Gorgias 466a4-472d7
Journal of Ancient Philosophy Vol. 11 No. 2 (2017): 22-44.
My dissertation argues that Plato’s and Aristotle’s conceptions of genuine philosophical argumentation were significantly shaped by their attempts to distance their own methods from the argumentative practices of their contemporary sophistic rivals. I argue that we can more fully appreciate both Platonic dialectic and Aristotelian deduction by recognizing the ways both philosophers distance these argumentative methods from their closely related sophistic counterparts. In particular, I argue that Plato’s and Aristotle’s definitions of refutation and deduction bear traces of their engagements with these opponents, and that many of the requirements they establish for refutation and deduction are best understood as restrictions that exclude sophistic argumentation from the class of genuine philosophical arguments. On the account I offer, it was in large part through their efforts to demarcate their argumentation from that of their sophistic opponents that Plato laid the groundwork for, and Aristotle brought to completion, the first system of logic in Western philosophy.