(And by the way, I write all my papers in LaTeX now, which is a very useful tool for people writing in ancient philosophy. If you'd like to find out more about how you can get started with LaTeX, head on over to my special LaTeX resources page.
Commentary on Catherine Rowett, 'Doxa in Theaetetus 184a to 187b. Presented at the Fifth Annual University of Toronto Workshop in Ancient Philosophy, March 16, 2013. A response to a recent interpretation of Theaetetus 184-187 put forth by Catherine Rowett, in which I develop the thought that perhaps the distinction between sense-perception and doxa for Plato rests in two features: first, that sense-perception discerns only first-order properties of objects (whereas doxa discerns second-order properties of properties); and second, that sense-perception lacks an object-property distinction, and fails to perceive an object as something ontologically separate from the properties it possesses.
Forms, Knowledge, and Being: Some Lessons from Plato's Sophist. An abridged version of this paper was presented at the Princeton Ancient Philosophy Graduate Student Conference, March 10, 2012, under the title "'That Which Completely and Purely Is': Some Lessons from Plato's Sophist"; click here for that version.) My first serious paper on issues in Plato's metaphysics and epistemology, foreshadowing the direction I hope to take my research in the years to come. This essay's main objection is to reconcile an apparent tension between the descriptions of the forms/kinds we find in the Sophist and the Republic, specifically with respect to the Republic's description of them as "that which completely and purely is". It gets little wacky towards the end, I'll admit, but I think anyone working on Platonic metaphysics needs to be willing to accept a certain amount of wackiness.
Unifying Callicles: Nature and Negative Liberty. (New version!) Presented at the 1st Graduate Conference of the Ancient Philosophy & Science Network at Humboldt Universitšt, July 13, 2011. A paper concerning the character of Callicles in Plato's Gorgias, arguing for a more unified and consistent interpretation of his counterargument to Socrates, with particular emphasis on his commendation of negative liberty. The older version can be found here if you're interested, but most of what was worth saving in it has been incorporated into the updated version.
Good Luck with That! The Beginnings of Aristotelian Naturalism in Magna Moralia II.8. Presented at the 11th Annual Independent Meeting of the Ancient Philosophy Society at the Sundance Resort in Utah, April 17, 2011. This paper deals with what I consider the most curious chapter of a most curious work, the pseudo-Aristotelian ethical treatise known as Magna Moralia. I argue that the chapter (whose thesis is that good luck is 'nonrational nature' (alogos phusis)!) is actually not as odd as it may first seem (even though it's still a fairly weak argument), and actually shows Magna Moralia to be guided by the very sort of naturalistic concerns that would become prominent in later Peripateticism.
Commentary on Nicholas Sars, 'From Polis to Self: A Reinterpretation of Plato's Crito'. Presented at Social Bonds: From Self to Polis, the 10th Annual Graduate Conference in Philosophy at the University of Toronto, May 14, 2010. A short commentary on a paper concerning Plato's Crito, which I think is followable even without having read the original. I try to articulate why I think it's wrong to read the Crito as having the metaethical aim of showing why obedience to the law is obligatory rather than what I think is it's actual aim: establishing simply that it is obligatory.
Two Dogmas of Hedonism: Plato on Pleasure, Perception, and Reality. Presented at Perceiving Ourselves (and One Another) Perceiving, the Spring Graduate-Faculty Workshop in Ancient Philosophy at the University of Toronto, March 27, 2010. A long paper on some possible connections between Plato's arguments against hedonism and its conception of pleasure in the Philebus and his arguments against phenomalism and its conception of perception in the Theatetus. I have been persuaded that much of what I say here is probably wrong, especially as far as the Philebus goes, but I think there's still something in my discussion of the Theaetetus.
Perception and the First Personal Character of Knowledge. A prolegomena of sorts to the above paper, dealing solely with the Theaetetus, and trying to draw some wider conclusions. My primary aim is to establish why Theaetetus's first definition, that perception is knowledge, could ever be thought of as attractive or plausible. Specifically, I argue that perception is meant to explain the distinctive first personal character of knowledge, a desideratum which is never in fact dropped from the dialogue's subsequent definitions but rather shown to be explained by judgment instead.
Following Natures: Peripatetic Naturalism in De finibus IV & V. My first foray into issues of Peripatetic and Stoic ethics, highlighting what I think is most distinctive and interesting about Peripatetic naturalism as it's portrayed in Cicero's De finibus. I'm barely even a novice on these issues, so this paper does suffer from my wider ignorance of Hellenistic philosophy, but I think the general argument I advance is on the right track. Also, it may be of interest to some for the contemporary connections I draw to the work of Philippa Foot and Michael Thompson.
Pure Vices in Plato and Aristotle. An unambitious paper, aiming simply to examine Plato and Aristotle's discussions of malice and envy (phthonos) and the ethical implications thereof. Specifically, I bring out how their conception of these vices differs from our own.
The Place of Book X in Plato's Republic. My undergraduate thesis, completed under the excellent advisement of Jessica Moss (now at Oxford, but then at Pittsburgh). It deals with the perennially problematic treatment of Republic X and its arguments against poetry, and argues that the arguments are in fact central to the wider concerns of the dialogue. Although I have not continued working or really even thinking about this topic since my thesis's completion, I'm pretty sure I still agree with most of what I concluded.
Bildung, Objectivity, and Realism in McDowell's Mind and World. This paper tries to solve what is in my opinion one of the most important issues in McDowell's philosophy, namely, the issue of how the social concepts of Bildung and second nature are supposed to open our eyes to us to an objective reality, rather than a merely socially constructed one. I try to fill in McDowell's account by drawing on some of John Haugeland's work, which I think does a pretty good job in answering this question.
McDowell on Non-Rational Animal Life. A short discussion of McDowell's explanation of non-rational animal life and, specifically, those features of experience that we seem to share with animals, such as pleasure and pain. Many people responding to McDowell think this is a major problem for his position; I try to show why it is not, or at least, how he thinks he avoids the problem.
Realism and Objectivity in Brandom's Pragmatism. A discussion of why I believe Brandom cannot actually make sense of objectivity on his pragmatically informed semantics, despite his claims to the contrary.