top of page

Research

'Rodin and the art of ancient Greece',

British Museum, 2018
 

Areas of Specialisation: Ancient Philosophy, Philosophy of Healthcare, Comparative Philosophy

I am something of a jack of three philosophical trades.  As is reflected in my published work to date, my research has spanned a wide range of puzzles in the context of ancient Greek philosophy, philosophy of healthcare and comparative philosophy.  For instance, in ancient Greek philosophy, I have worked on ethical questions about family and the shape of a life, metaphysical problems about place, causation and numerical identity and theological questions religious bias in the context of the pre-Socratics, Plato, Aristotle and their reception.  In philosophy of healthcare, I have written about the overtreatment of epilepsy, the nature and value of disease and the choiceworthiness of immortality.  My work in comparative philosophy has focused on the work of Garcia de Orta and some orally transmitted South Indian puzzles. 

 

I've always been interested in combining my areas of expertise and I have become increasingly focused on doing so in order to generate important lessons for philosophy and beyond -  especially concerning the nature, value and place of important (and sometimes unavoidable) things our lives that might seem not to be choiceworthy, like disease, disability and fear of death.  

Current Work: The Nature and Value of Old Age

I'm currently primarily focused on trying to work out what, if any, value old age has - for the elderly individual and for any collectives she may be part of.  Whether or not old age has any value and, if so, what it is is a difficult question to answer.  Firstly, it seems to hang in part on what old age itself is and what makes somebody elderly.  But this is not obvious, e.g. is old age a disease or just some kind of deterioration?  Something that is relative to culture, society, gender or race? Secondly, it is difficult to establish what might make old age choiceworthy or desirable for the individual or those around them.  After all, there are obvious apparent disadvantages for both the elderly individual and the collective, such as old-age-related changes that prevent one from fulfilling desires and sacrifices that others must make for her to be cared for.  On the other hand, there are apparent features of old age that might make it seem valuable.  For instance, if there is such a thing as old-age wisdom, it might benefit both the elderly person that has it and those around her.  Or perhaps there is a specific kind of ethical development that comes with caring for an older adult.  Yet, it is difficult to pin down exactly what old-age wisdom could be, where it comes from or how it would benefit others.  And we might think that ethical development that requires sacrifice is problematic – or that this ethical development could be obtained in other ways.  

 

In my research, I have four aims: 1) Give an account of what old age is and establish criteria for being an elderly person; 2) Establish the value of old age for the individual; 3)  Establish the value of old age for the individual; 4) Explore the consequences for the way that we live our lives, in relation to ourselves and others, especially in the context of healthcare.  My methodology involves  appealing to the rich sources about old age in the history of philosophy, many of which haven't been nearly as fully explored as I believe they should have been! 

452px-Old_woman_BM_GR1852.3-27.9.jpg

Elderly woman,

Roman, 3rd-2nd century

 

Marcello_Bacciarelli_-_Alcibiades_Being_

'Alcibiades Being Taught By Socrates'

Marcello Bacciarelli

1776-1777

Publications
7e2027ea9400e8dd8a46f29752fa252a.jpg

'Bodhisattva Padmapani'
Ajanta Cave 1

artemesia.jpg

'Aspasia surrounded by Greek philosophers'

Michel Corneille the Younger

Forthcoming (2024): 'This Life Terminates Here:  Plato’s Phaedo on the Right Time to Die and Some Lessons for Contemporary Healthcare’ in Healing Classics, ed. Brian Hurwitz (Peter Lang)

Forthcoming (2024): 'Some Reflections About Old Age on Rereading the Republic' in eds. Mary Margaret McCabe and Simon Trépanier Rereading the Republic (Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press)

Forthcoming (2024): 'Everything in Its Right Place: Plato on Zeno’s Paradox of Place’, Organon 56

Forthcoming: 'Mixing Up the Medicine: Some Problems With Eurocentric Philosophy in Garcia de Orta'

'That’s What Makes the World Go Round: Causation in the Myth in the Statesman’ (co-authored with Daniel Vázquez) in eds. Daniel Vázquez and Alberto Ross Cause and Explanation in Ancient Philosophy (New York, Routledge, 2024)

‘Regress? I’ve Had a Few? Infinite Regress, Similarity and Dissimilarity in the Parmenides’Rhizomata 10(2): 238–260 (2022) - read here.

'Teleology and Sophistic Endeavour in the Euthydemus', Australasian Philosophical Review, 2:3 (2021) (co-authored with Daniel Vázquez, Autonomous University of Barcelona) - read here.

'Too Much of a Good Thing: Overtreatment in Epilepsy', Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice (2018) - read here.

bottom of page