I have recently taken up the position of Junior Research Fellow in the Department of Classics and Ancient History at Durham University, following the completion of my PhD at the University of Sydney in 2015.
My research project concerns Plato's presentation of immortality in the Symposium, a presentation that is unique in Plato's corpus because, unlike the more frequent and better known discussions of the immortality of the soul, Plato here offers what I call a 'kleos (fame) model' of post-mortem fate, which concerns the undying fame won through persisting in the world as an object of memory. The aims of this project are twofold. First, I will provide a detailed examination of the unique presentation of immortality offered here (a presentation that has been neglected in the literature), and demonstrate that this account of immortality is every bit as rich and complex as any of the discussions of the immortality of the soul, and worthy of sustained and careful scholarly analysis. And second, I will use this presentation of immortality to establish an important feature of Plato's philosophy, which underlies not only his eschatological thought but also his philosophical practice. In particular, I argue that we should not understand Plato's discussions of immortality as attempts to demonstrate a particular theory of post-mortem existence, but rather as discussions in which he appropriates and transforms established religious ideas - ideas to which many in his audience may be committed - in order to convert them to the philosophical life; that is, a life directed towards the pursuit of knowledge concerning the good, and the possession of virtue.
My research more generally concerns the way in which ancient philosophers (and particularly Plato and the Presocratics) appropriate established cultural ideas, traditions, and discourses, and adapt and reconstruct them in ways that produce forms that are distinctly philosophical. To this end I have published articles concerning ancient philosopher's use of myth, their appropriation of the comic tradition, and religious ideas. Full details of my publications please consult my CV.
In addition to ancient philosophy, I am also interested in aesthetics, Nietzsche, German Idealism (and particularly Hegel), ethics, and bioethics.
In addition to my research, I also have a great passion for teaching. My teaching interests are diverse, and my areas of focus are ancient philosophy, aesthetics, ethics, and bioethics. Throughout my teaching career I have become greatly interested in the learning experience at the tertiary level, particularly in how one can teach effectively in a university context, and concerning the best way that students can be guided in pursuing their own learning.