Current Students

Carlo Cacciatori

  • Classics and Ancient History, Durham University; Centre for Ancient and Medieval Philosophy, Durham University
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The aim of my research is to understand the role ethical intellectualism (according to which knowledge is the key for virtue) plays in Plato’s late dialogues, in Aristotle and in the Old Academy. First, I shall demonstrate that Plato endorses a form of ethical intellectualism also in his late dialogues. Complete virtue (i.e., that of the philosopher) is depicted in middle dialogues as dependent on the knowledge of the Forms. I shall show, then, that, just trying to project the doctrines of the middle dialogues on the late ones (e.g. Bobonich 2002) cannot take in account the hidden epistemological framework implied in late dialogues. My second goal is to establish whether, and how, Aristotle re-shapes ethical intellectualism. Aristotle identifies “what is intermediate” as the criterion of all moral actions (NE VI 1), being determined by practical wisdom (NE II 6). I shall find out to what extent ethics and epistemology are still intertwined, by determining the nature of the peculiar recovery by Aristotle of Plato’s intellectualism. Finally, I shall focus on the Old Academy. Even the most authoritative studies on it (e.g. Tarán 1981, Dillon 2003) leave aside ethical intellectualism. Nonetheless, in Speusippus happiness seems to deal with rationality (fr. 1; 73-74; 83 I.P.). Xenocrates, on the other hand, openly declares a high degree of familiarity between ethics and epistemology by saying that the Good is attainable by wise man alone (fr. 152 I.P.). Then, I shall regard ethical intellectualism as a fundamental philosophical tool, even though somehow re-shaped, also in the Old Academy. (provisional)

Supervisory Team: Dr Phillip Horky, Classics and Ancient History (Durham), Prof. George Boys-Stones, Classics and Ancient History (Durham).

Start Date: October 2017.