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Dr. Vasilis Politis
Associate Professor, Philosophy

Biography

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.

Publications and Further Research Outputs

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Vasilis Politis, Plato's Essentialism. Reinterpreting the Theory of Forms, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2020 Book, 2020

Vasilis Politis, Aristotle and the Metaphysics, London, Routledge, 2004 Book, 2004

Explanation and Essence in Plato's Phaedo in, editor(s)D. Charles , Definition in Greek Philosophy, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2010, pp62 - 114, [Vasilis Politis] Book Chapter, 2010

Vasilis Politis, What do the Arguments in the Protagoras Amount to?, Phronesis, 57, (3), 2012, p209 - 239 Journal Article, 2012

George Karamanolis and Vasilis Politis, The Aporetic Tradition in Ancient Philosophy, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2018 Book, 2018 DOI URL

Vasilis Politis, Note on Plato's Statesman 275d8-e1, Classical Quarterly, 2021 Journal Article, 2021

What is behind the ti esti question? in, editor(s)J. L. Fink , The Development of Dialectic from Plato to Aristotle, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2012, pp232 - 260, [Vasilis Politis] Book Chapter, 2012

The concept of ousia in Metaphysics Alpha, Beta and Gamma in, editor(s)R. Polansky and W. Wians , Reading Aristotle. Argument and Exposition, Leiden, Brill, 2017, pp256 - 275, [Vasilis Politis and Jun Su] Book Chapter, 2017

Vasilis POLITIS, 'Plato's Ontology', China Scholarship (中国学术), 38, 2016, p000 - 000 Journal Article, 2016

Vasilis Politis, The Primacy of Self-Love in the Nicomachean Ethics, Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy, 11, 1993, p153 - 174 Journal Article, 1993

Kant's Critique of Pure Reason, Vasilis Politis, Everyman, London:, J.M. Dent, 1993, - Critical Edition (Book), 1993

Vasilis Politis, The Apriority of the Starting-Point of Kant's Transcendental Epistemology, International Journal of Philosophical Studies, 5, (2), 1997, p255 - 284 Journal Article, 1997

Vasilis Politis, Reasons and Values, International Journal of Philosophical Studies, 5, (3), 1997, p425 - 448 Journal Article, 1997

Vasilis Politis, Aristotle's Advocacy of Non-Productive Action, Ancient Philosophy, 18, (2), 1998, p353 - 379 Journal Article, 1998

Vasilis Politis, Anti-Realist Interpretations of Plato: Paul Natorp, International Journal of Philosophical Studies, 9, (1), 2001, p47 - 62 Journal Article, 2001

Vasilis Politis, Aristotle's Account of the Intellect as Pure Capacity, Ancient Philosophy, 21, (2), 2001, p375 - 402 Journal Article, 2001

Vasilis Politis, Aristotle on Aporia and Searching in Metaphysics, Proceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy, 18, (1), 2003, p145 - 182 Journal Article, 2003

Vasilis Politis, 'Paul Natorp. Plato's Theory of Ideas. An Introduction to Idealism', (International Plato Studies, Vol. 18), Sankt Augustin, Academia Verlag, 2004, - Translation, 2004

Vasilis Politis, What Enables Us to Search for the Essence of Things?, International Journal of Philosophical Studies, 13, (2), 2005, p245 - 269 Journal Article, 2005

The Argument for the Reality of Change and Changelessness in Plato's Sophist in, editor(s)F.-G. Herrmann , New Essays on Plato, Swansea, The Classical Press of Wales, 2006, pp149 - 175, [Vasilis Politis] Book Chapter, 2006

Is Socrates Paralyzed by his State of Aporia? (Meno 79e7-80d4) in, editor(s)M. Erler and L. Brisson , Plato. Gorgias-Meno, Sankt Augustin, Academia Verlag, 2006, pp268 - 272, [Vasilis Politis] Book Chapter, 2006

Aporia and Searching in the Early Plato in, editor(s)L. Judson and V. Karasmanis , Remembering Socrates, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2006, pp88 - 109, [Vasilis Politis] Book Chapter, 2006

Non-Subjective Idealism in Plato (Sophist 248e-249d) in, editor(s)S. Gersh and D. Moran , Eriugena, Berkeley, and the Idealist Tradition, Notre Dame, IN, Notre Dame University Press, 2006, pp14 - 38, [Vasilis Politis] Book Chapter, 2006

The Aporia in the Charmides about Reflexive Knowledge and the Contribution to its Solution in the Sun Analogy of the Republic in, editor(s)D. Cairns, F.-G. Herrmann, and T. Penner , Pursuing the Good, Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press, 2007, pp231 - 250, [Vasilis Politis] Book Chapter, 2007

Vasilis Politis, Invoking the Greeks on the Relation Between Thought and Reality: Trandelenburg's Aristotle-Natorp's Plato, The Philosophical Forum, 39, (2), 2008, p191 - 222 Journal Article, 2008

Vasilis Politis, The Place of Aporia in Plato's Charmides, Phronesis, 53, (1), 2008, p1 - 34 Journal Article, 2008

Vasilis Politis and Jun Su, Aristotle on being as activity, Metascience, 24, (2), 2015, p213 - 218 Journal Article, 2015

Vasilis Politis, How Good is that Thing Called Love? The Volatility of eros in Plato's Symposium, Proceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy, 31, (1), 2016, p1 - 34 Journal Article, 2016

Vasilis Politis, The Structure of Enquiry in Plato's Early Dialogues, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2015 Book, 2015

The Ontology of Plato and Aristotle in, editor(s)G. Karamanolis , Companion to Ancient Philosophy, Heraklion, Panepistimiakes Ekdoseis Kritis, 2016, pp217 - 263, [Vasilis Politis] Book Chapter, 2016

Vasilis Politis and Philipp Steinkrüger, 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, p59 - 89 Journal Article, 2017 DOI

Aporia and Sceptical Argument in Plato's Early Dialogues in, editor(s)G. Karamanolis and V. Politis , The Aporetic Tradition in Ancient Philosophy, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2018, pp48 - 66, [Vasilis Politis] Book Chapter, 2018

Vasilis Politis, Plato's Geach Talks to Socrates: Definition by Example-and-Exemplar in the Hippias Major, Phronesis, 63, (3), 2018, p223 - 228 Journal Article, 2018 DOI

Metametaphysics in Plato and Aristotle in, editor(s)R. Bliss and J.T.M. Miller , Routledge Handbook of Metametaphysics, London, Routledge, 2020, pp13 - 22, [Vasilis Politis] Book Chapter, 2020

Epistemic Wonder and the Beginning of the Enquiry: Plato's Theaetetus (155d2-4) and Its Wider Significance in, editor(s)L. Candiotto and O. Renaut , Emotions in Plato, Leiden, Brill, 2020, pp17 - 38, [Laura Candiotto and Vasilis Politis] Book Chapter, 2020

Vasilis Politis, Knowledge and Inquiry in Plato, History of Philosophy and Logical Analysis, 23, (1), 2020 Journal Article, 2020

Is Plato's Theaetetus an exercise in epistemology? A granite epitaph erected also on the strength of the Parmenides in, editor(s)D. Zucca , New Explorations in Plato's Theaetetus, Leiden, Brill, 2020, [Vasilis Politis] Book Chapter, 2020

The Voices of Wittgenstein, Gordon Baker, London:, Routledge, 2003, - Critical Edition (Book), 2003

Vasilis Politis, Aristotle and the Metaphysics, Taiwan, Wu-Nan Book Co. Ltd., 2009 Book, 2009

Vasilis Politis, Aristotel in metafizika (Aristotle and the Metaphysics), Maribor, Zalo ba Aristej, 2013 Book, 2013

Vasilis Politis, The Structure of Enquiry in Plato's Early Dialogues, Beijing, Peking University Press, 2020 Book, 2020

Vasilis Politis, Plato's Ontology, China Scholarship (中国学术), 38, 2016 Journal Article, 2016

Research Expertise

Description

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.

Projects

  • Title
    • Plato's Master Argument for Forms
  • Summary
    • Following a number of articles on the place of aporia in Plato's early dialogues, and with the recent publication of The Structure of Enquiry in Plato's Early Dialogues, a very major research project has been brought to a successful conclusion. Now is a good moment to look forward with a view to the next project. This project emerges directly out of the previous, and from The Structure of Enquiry. My aim is to address, in a new way and from a new angle, the question of the origin of Plato's theory of Forms; and to do so based on the conclusions at which I arrived in my recent book, especially regarding the role that a specific kind of aporia, which I label radical aporia, occupies in Plato's method of argument and enquiry. The central question of the project is: In what way, and based on what reasoning, did Plato arrive at the commitment not only to definitions and essences, but to Forms and the division of all things into, on the one hand, changeless, imperceptible Forms and, on the other-hand, sense-perceptible things subject to physical change? I believe this project has the potential of transforming the current state of the art (the Forschungsstand) with regard to the question of the character and origin of Plato's theory of Forms. Both traditionally and today, there are two categories of views regarding this question. On the one view, commonly referred to as 'unitarianism', the theory of Forms is present already in Plato's early dialogues. On the other view, this being the Aristotelian style view indicated above, the theory is derived by Plato from two distinct and independent elements, only one of which is present in the early dialogues. I argue against both views. The Aristotelian style view is problematic because, as I will argue, it implies that Plato does not have a non-question-begging reasoning for Forms. The unitarian view is equally, if not more, problematic, I believe. For it leaves Plato without an attempt to argue for Forms.
  • Funding Agency
    • TCD
  • Date From
    • July 2016
  • Date To
    • Sept 2017
  • Title
    • Aporia, the Search for Knowledge, and the Demand for Definitions in the Early Platonic Dialogues
  • Summary
    • The aim of this project is to establish the function of aporia in Plato's early dialogues and to show that this is crucial for our understanding of, first, the method and structure of Plato's arguments and inquiries, and, second, Plato's demand for definitions and the view that knowledge requires knowledge of definitions. This project is now at a stage of completion, with several articles and a major book.
  • Funding Agency
    • IRC. Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin.
  • Date From
    • 2005
  • Date To
    • 2014
  • Title
    • The Aporetic Tradition in Ancient Philosophy
  • Summary
    • This project studies the role of aporia in ancient philosophy, from the Eleatics and sophists, through Plato and Aristotle, to later scepticism (both Academic and Pyrrhonian) and up to Plotinus and Damascius. The project is a joint undertaking of Vasilis Politis and George Karamanolis (Vienna). It brings together a team of fourteen international experts. It will issues in a volume of papers to be published by Cambridge University Press in 2016.
  • Date From
    • 2014
  • Date To
    • 216

Keywords

Ancient Philosophy, esp. Plato and Aristotle.; Ancient Scepticism.; Essence, explanation, and universals.

Recognition

Representations

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

Awards and Honours

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

Memberships

Member of the International Plato Society.

Member of the European Society for Ancient Philosophy.

Member of the Irish Philosophical Club.