Research

My main area of research is in Socratic Intellectualism--the view that the only desire upon which humans can act is a rational desire for the agent's own best good.  Together with a few other presumptions, it follows from this that all human action issues from some belief(s) the person has about what is best for him or her in the present circumstance (thus, no one can ever act contrary to what he or she thinks best for him or her), as well as that human virtue is knowledge of the good.  Human virtue, in fact, is nothing less than a science of the good life!  According to intellectualism, there are no "irrational" desires upon which people may act, and various categories typically associated with human goodness or its absence (e.g., morality, free will, good will, evil, responsibility, blame, punishment, and the like) play no role whatsoever in explaining human virtue.

This view is called "Socratic" because it is thought by some to be articulated and defended by Socrates (469-399 pre-modern era) in a group of dialogues authored by Plato, the "Socratic dialogues."  Not all scholars agree that Socrates is intellectualist, much less that the theory itself is true.

I started becoming persuaded by intellectualism in the early 1990's while studying at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  My reading of Plato and Aristotle is informed by what I see as their anti-intellectualism.  In spite of this, I believe that Plato has developed his own metaphysics and epistemology in light of Socrates' analysis of the sciences that he develops in the earlier dialogues. 
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