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Dr. Vasilis Politis

Associate Professor (Philosophy)

Dr Vasilis Politis has been teaching in the Department of Philosophy since 1992 (permanent since 1997). He is also director of the Dublin Centre for the Study of the Platonic Tradition. He obtained his B.A., B.Phil and D.Phil from Oxford.
  Ancient Philosophy, esp. Plato and Aristotle.   Ancient Scepticism.   Essence, explanation, and universals.
 Plato's Master Argument for Forms
 Aporia, the Search for Knowledge, and the Demand for Definitions in the Early Platonic Dialogues
 The Aporetic Tradition in Ancient Philosophy

Details Date
Head of Department, Philosophy.
Fellow of Trinity College Dublin.
Secretary to the Fellows.
Member of the Fellows Standing Committee.
Chair of the Committee for Philosophy, Royal Irish Academy.
Director of the Dublin Centre for the Study of the Platonic Tradition
Details Date From Date To
Member of the International Plato Society.
Member of the European Society for Ancient Philosophy.
Member of the Irish Philosophical Club.
Vasilis POLITIS, The Structure of Enquiry in Plato's Early Dialogues, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2015, 1 - 100pp, Notes: ['This book proposes and defends a radically new account of Plato's method of argument and enquiry in his early dialogues. Vasilis Politis challenges the traditional account according to which these dialogues are basically about the demand for definitions, and questions the equally traditional view that what lies behind Plato's method of argument is a peculiar theory of knowledge. He argues that these dialogues are enquiries set in motion by dilemmas and aporiai, incorporating both a sceptical and an anti-sceptical dimension, and he contends that Plato introduces the demand for definitions, and the search for essences, precisely in order to avoid a sceptical conclusion and hold out the prospect that knowledge can be achieved. His argument will be of great interest to all readers interested in Plato's dialogues and in methods of philosophical argument more generally.' CAMBRIDGE UNIVESRITY PRESS, BOOK BLURB], Book, PUBLISHED
Vasilis Politis, How Good is that thing called Love? The Volatility of Eros in Plato's Symposium, Boston Area Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy, 31, 2016, p1 - 34, Journal Article, PUBLISHED
Introduction in, editor(s)Vasilis POLITIS and George KARAMANOLIS , The Aporetic Tradition in Ancient Philosophy, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2018, pp1 - 8, [Vasilis POLITIS and George KARAMANOLIS], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED
Vasilis POLITIS, Plato's Sophist and the distinction between the question 'What is there?' and the question 'What is being?', PHILOSOPHICAL INQUIRY, 2016, Journal Article, ACCEPTED
Vasilis POLITIS and Peter LARSEN, The Platonic Mind, Routledge, 2018, Notes: [This is a collection of fifty 6.000-words articles by a mix of top scholars and up-and-coming younger scholars, on the philosophy of Plato], Book, ACCEPTED
'What is behind the ti esti question?' in, editor(s)Jakob Leth Fink , The Development of Dialectic from Plato to Aristotle', Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2012, pp199 - 223, [Vasilis Politis], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED
Vasilis POLITIS and Philipp STEINKRUEGER, 'Aristotle's second problem about the possibility of a science of being qua being: a reconsideration of Metaphysics Gamma 2', Ancient Philosophy, 37, (1), 2017, p1 - 31, Journal Article, PUBLISHED
'Aporia and searching in the early Plato' in, L. Judson and V. Karasmanis , Remembering Socrates. Philosophical Essays, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2006, pp88 - 109, [Dr. Vasilis POLITIS], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED
Dr. Vasilis POLITIS, Paul Natorp. Plato's Theory of Ideas, Sankt Augustin, Academia Verlag, 2004, 9 - 483pp, Book, PUBLISHED
Vasilis Politis, 'What do the Arguments in the Protagoras amount to?', Phronesis, 57, (3), 2012, p1 - 31, Notes: [The main thesis of the paper is that, in the coda to the Protagoras (360e-end), Plato tells us why and with what justification he demands a definition of virtue; namely, in order to resolve a particular aporia. According to Plato's assessment of the outcome of the arguments of the dialogue, the principal question, whether or not virtue can be taught, has, by the end of the dialogue, emerged as articulating an aporia, in that both protagonists, Socrates and Protagoras, have argued equally on both its sides. The first part of the paper provides an extensive analysis of the coda, with the aim of establishing the main thesis. The second part provides a comprehensive review of the arguments in the dialogue, with the aim of determining whether their outcome is what Plato says in the coda that it is. I undertake this review in three steps: on Plato's conception of reasons (logoi); Socrates' arguing on both sides; and Protagoras' arguing on both sides.], Journal Article, PUBLISHED

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Award Date
Award from the College Arts and Social Sciences Benefactions Fund. 2006
Election to Fellow of Trinity College Dublin. 2005
Award from the College Arts and Social Sciences Benefactions Fund. 2004
Award from the College Arts and Social Sciences Benefactions Fund. 2003
Government of Ireland Fellowship 2007-08
Award from the College Association and Trust. 2003
Grant from the College Programme for Mediterranean and Near Eastern Studies. 2002
Award from the College Arts and Social Sciences Benefactions Fund. 2007
Fellow of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin 2009-10
Award from the College Arts and Social Sciences Benefactions Fund. 2014
Ancient Philosophy, especially Plato and Aristotle (all areas, esp. metaphysics, epistemology and ethics). Ancient Scepticism. Aporia and its place in inquiry, in Plato, Aristotle and ancient scepticism. Contemporary modern metaphysics: essence.