John Proios

John Proios
Assistant Professor
Stuart Hall, Room 205
Office Hours: Autumn Quarter:
PhD, Cornell University (2021); MA, University of Arizona (2017); BA, Swarthmore College (2015)
Teaching at UChicago since 2021
Research Interests: AOS: Ancient Greek and Roman Philosophy; AOC: Philosophy of Life and Death, Buddhist Philosophy, Social and Political Philosophy (including Philosophy of Education, Race and Feminist Philosophy), Philosophy of Science

I joined the faculty in 2021 as an Assistant Professor. Most of my research is on ancient Greek metaphysics, science, and epistemology, especially as they are applied to moral and political theory. For instance, I think about Plato's ideas about the metaphysics of identity, difference, and similarity, and how this connects with his development of a special method for 'carving reality by the natural joints', which he applies in the context of political and moral questions about human beings. I am generally interested in ancient ideas about nature, fundamental reality, and the place of human beings in the universe. I am also interested in philosophical traditions of social critique, such as feminist and Marxist theory, both on their own and as a resource for understanding ancient thought. Some of my research is also concerned with education, such as the epistemic dimensions of social mobility.

 

Selected Publications

Recent Courses

PHIL 20216 Philosophy of Life and Death

The focus of this course will be how philosophy arises in response to problems in the conditions of human life, especially our mortality and the prevalence of social injustice. Every one of us will die one day; and every one of us suffers from and/or helps perpetuate some form of injustice. These can be sources of alienation, suffering, and bad choices; they can also be sources of conviction, bravery, and wisdom. We will aim to understand how philosophy fits into this picture, and especially how a person can use philosophy to find meaning for their life in relation to both death and injustice. Topics will include Plato’s Socrates, the Buddha, and social injustice in a US context. (A)

 

2021-2022 Winter

PHIL 55420 Plato’s Philebus

Often considered one of Plato’s most challenging dialogues, the Philebus records some of Plato’s most sophisticated writings on topics in ethics, metaphysics, and epistemology. This course will focus on close analysis of the dialogue and contextualizing it in related “late” Platonic dialogues. Topics will include Plato’s metaphysics and epistemology of craft, philosophical dialectic, Plato’s critique of hedonism, and the nature of the good. (IV)

 

2021-2022 Winter
Category
Ancient Philosophy

PHIL 29110/39110 Plato on Knowledge

This course will examine Plato’s theory of knowledge in his “late” dialogues—especially Plato’s ideas about the philosopher’s pursuit of knowledge in the Sophist, Statesman, and Philebus. We will focus on the method of “dialectic” and its connection to the so-called method of “collection and division” as essential philosophical tools in Plato’s late writing. Topics will include natural kinds, the relationship between natural and social science, and the metaphysical views that form the backdrop of Plato’s methodological writings.  We will also spend some time discussing related dialogues, such as the Theaetetus, Phaedrus, and Timaeus, as well as contemporary work on natural kinds. (B) (IV)

 

2021-2022 Autumn
Category
Ancient Philosophy