My work focuses mainly on ancient Greek philosophy, and particularly on Plato. My specific interests within Plato are fairly broad, but of late I've been most concerned with issues in Plato's metaphysics, epistemology, and philosophy of mind, and especially with the connection between them. The tentative title of my dissertation is "The hypothesis of forms in the Phaedo", and it aims to explain why forms gets introduced as aitiai (causes, or explanations) at Phaedo 100, and trace out the metaphysical implications of this hypothesis. My thesis adviser is Rachel Barney. However, as you'll see by my list of available papers, I've also worked on issues in Plato's ethics and aesthetics, as well as on Aristotle and beyond. Outside of ancient philosophy, I am interested in issues surrounding realism (of all sorts) and (broadly speaking) metaphysics and philosophy of mind, and philosophers such as Wittgenstein, John McDowell, Bob Brandom, Wilfrid Sellars, John Haugeland, and Cora Diamond.
A quick personal history: I grew up in upstate New York, about thirty minutes south of the state capital of Albany in the small village of Valatie, which is located within the nearly equally small town of Kinderhook, which just so happens to be the birthplace and long-time home of America's eighth President, Martin Van Buren, who was also small, both in overall historical importance and in stature (he was only 5'6", tying with Benjamin Harrison for second shortest President; James Madison takes the crown at 5'4"). Before coming to Toronto, I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of Pittsburgh, earning two BAs, one in philosophy and the other in linguistics (which I still maintain an avid, though now avocational, interest in). I also spent some nine months in Kobe, Japan when I was twenty.
If you have further questions about Martin Van Buren, I can be contacted at williecostello AT gmail DOT com. More pertinent inquiries are also welcome. However, if you are a student in one of my tutorials (and assuming you wish your message to be answered), you should email me at willie DOT costello AT mail DOT utoronto DOT ca.
Finally, if you've come here looking for my LaTeX guide for ancient philosophers, you can find it here. Alternatively, did you know that I've written a LaTeX guide for ancient philosophers? For more information, go here!