Associate Professor in Philosophy and created the UK's first Senior Fellow in the Public Understanding of Philosophy in 2009. Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Most of my work is in ancient Greek philosophy and in ethics (both ancient and modern), and I have broad interests across both fields. Topics that I particularly focus on are: the ethics of flourishing and virtue ethics; courage, heroism and fame; concepts of 'manliness'; war and peace; love and desire; mental health and illness; relations between philosophy and literature; relations between ethics and aesthetics. In Plato and the Hero I concentrate on Plato's critique of the notions and embodiments of 'manliness' and courage prevalent in his culture (particularly those in Homer), and his attempt to redefine them in accordance with his own ethical, psychological and metaphysical principles. The question of why courage is necessary in the flourishing life in its turn leads to Plato's bid to unify the noble and the beneficial, and the tensions this unification creates between human and divine ideals.
I am currently working on a new translation of and commentary on Plato's Symposium (for Oxford University Press) and a book on heroism, courage and fame.
- Plato and the Hero: Courage, Manliness and the Impersonal Good, Cambridge University Press, 2000 (reissued in paperback 2006).
- 'Plato on war' in Maieusis (ed. D. Scott), Oxford University Press, 2007.
- 'Female Imagery in Plato' in Plato's Symposium: Issues in Interpretation and Reception (edd. J. Lesher, D. Nails and F. Sheffield), Center for Hellenic Studies, Trustees for Harvard University, 2006.
- 'Plato and psychic harmony: a recipe for mental health or mental illness?' in a special edition of Philosophical Inquiry (ed. T. Chu and R. Polansky), 2007.
- Entries on 'Virtue, philosophical conceptions of' and 'Virtue, popular conceptions of' for the Oxford Encylopedia off Ancient Greece and Rome, Oxford University Press 2010.
- Entries on 'The Symposium' and 'Women' for the Continuum Companion to Plato (in press; forthcoming 2012).
- Entries on Antiphon, Callicles, Thrasymachus and the Nomos/Physis debate for the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Routledge, 1998.
- 'Commentary on "Aristotle's Function Argument and the Concept of Mental Illness"', Philosophy, Psychiatry and Psychology 5, 1998, pp. 209-213
- Entries on Plato, Aristotle, Greek Political Theory, Socrates and the Sophists for the Concise Oxford Dictionary of Politics, Oxford University Press, 1996 (revised 2nd edition 2008).
'Raqs Sharqi' in The Voyage: Journeys in Creative Writing, a Warwick-Monash anthology of creative writing edd. Chandani Lokuge and David Morley (Silkworks Ink 2011).
For more publications, please see my attached CV.
I also broadcast regularly for radio, TV, newspapers and the web and speak at a variety of festivals and other venues; please see attached media CV and my Senior Fellow in the Public Understanding of Philosophy page for details.