Department of Philosophy

University of California, San Diego

La Jolla, CA 92093


University of California, San Diego: Associate Professor of Philosophy (with tenure), 2010-present; Assistant Professor of Philosophy, 2006-2010.Director of Undergraduate Studies of Philosophy, 2017-present; Director of Classical Studies Program, 2017-present.

St. Louis University: Assistant Professor of Philosophy, 2005-2006.

University of British Columbia: Postdoctoral Fellow in Philosophy, 2003-2005.

University of Toronto: Ph. D. in Philosophy, 2003. Collaborative Program in Ancient and Medieval Philosophy: 1998-2003.

University of New Mexico: M. A. in Philosophy, 1996-1998.

Dartmouth College: Debate Coach, 1995-1996.

University of Iowa: B. A. in Philosophy, 1995.



The National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, January 1, 2006.

The Isaak Walton Killam Memorial Fellowship, October 31, 2002.

The Hellman Family Foundation Faculty Fellowship, June 13, 2008.

UCSD Humanities Center Research Group Award, 2012.

U.S. International Debate Team, rep. to the U. K., Jan. 15-Feb. 15, 1995.

The 48th National Debate Tournament, held at the University of Louisville, Quarterfinalist and third place Outstanding Speaker, March 20, 1995.



Iamblichus: Exhortation to Philosophy. Series: The Ancient Commentators on Aristotle. London, Bloomsbury Press. TRANSLATION (with D. S. Hutchinson.

Aristotle: Protrepticus. Series: Cambridge Classical Texts and Commentaries. Cambridge University Press. CRITICAL EDITION, RECONSTRUCTION, AND COMMENTARY (with D. S. Hutchinson.)Online pre-publication at:



2017 Aristotelian Mechanistic Explanation. Teleology in the Ancient World: philosophical and medical perspectives, ed. J. Rocca, 25-150. Cambridge University Press.

2015a Aristotle’s Architectonic Sciences. Theory and Practice in Aristotle’s Natural Philosophy, ed. D. Ebrey, 163-186. Cambridge University Press.

2015b Luck in Aristotle’s Physics and Ethics. Bridging the Gap between Aristotle's Science and Ethics, ed. D. Henry and K. M. Nielsen, 254-275. Cambridge University Press.

2015c Review of: Aristotle's Empiricism: Experience and Mechanics in the fourth century BC, by Jean DeGroot. Ancient Philosophy 35, 220-230.

2014a Protreptic Aspects of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics. (With D. S. Hutchinson.) The Cambridge Companion to Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, ed. R. Polanski, 383-409. Cambridge University Press.

2014b Changing our Minds: Democritus on What is up to Us. Up to Us: Studies on Causality and Responsibility in Ancient Philosophy, ed. P. Destrée, R. Salles, M. Zingano, 1-18. Series: International Studies in Ancient Practical Philosophy. Sankt Augustin: Academia Verlag.

2013 Spontaneity, Nature, and Voluntary Action in Lucretius. Lucretius: poetry, philosophy, and science, ed. A. Morrison and D. Lehoux, 99-130. Oxford University Press.

2012a The Medical Background of Aristotle's Theory of Nature and Spontaneity. Proceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy 27, 105-152.

2012b Review of: Epicureanism by T. O’Keefe. Aestimateo: Critical Reviews in the History of Science 9, 1-8. 01_Johnson.pdf

2011a Democritus (encyclopedia article). Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism 136, 257-259.

2011b Review of: Being, Nature, and Life in Aristotle edited by J. G. Lennox and R. Bolton. Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, 2011.9.21.

2009a The Aristotelian Explanation of the Halo. Apeiron: a Journal for Ancient Philosophy and Science 42, 325-357.

2009b Spontaneity, Democritean Causality and Freedom. Elenchos: Rivista di studi sul pensiero antico 30, 5-52.

2008 Sources for the Philosophy of Archytas. Ancient Philosophy 28, 173-199.

2007 Lucretius and the History of Science. The Cambridge Companion to Lucretius, ed. S. Gillespie and P. Hardie, 131-148. Cambridge University Press. (With Catherine Wilson.)

2005a Aristotle on Teleology. Oxford University Press, 2005. Revised and corrected paperback edition, 2008.

Reviewed in: Notre Dame Philosophical Review 2006.06.15; Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2006.08.37; Il-Sole – 24 Ore 6 Aug. 2006; Philosophy in Review 26 (2006): 360-2; Rhizai 3 (2006): 171-8; Journal of the History of Philosophy 45 (2007): 323-4; Ancient Philosophy 27 (2007): 191-200; Phronesis 52 (2007): 248-9; Isis 98 (2007): 375; Aestimatio 4 (2007) 146-152; The British Journal for the History of Science 41 (2008): 129-130. The European Legacy 14 (2009); La Cultura 47 (2009): 174-175; Sean M. Row, Teleology in Political Contexts: an assessment of Monte Ransome Johnson’s “Aristotle on Teleology”. (A thesis presented to the faculty of the college of arts and sciences of Ohio University, 2009.)

2005b Authenticating Aristotle’s Protrepticus. Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 29, 193-294. (With D. S. Hutchinson)

2005c ‘Atomismus’ (Encyclopedia article) Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit 1: 783-9. J. N. B. Metzler, Stuttgart.

2004a Review of: The Order of Nature in Aristotle’s Physics by H. Lang. Isis 95, 687-688.

2004b ΑΙΤΙΟΝ, ΟΥ, ΟΡΙΣΜΟΣ, ΦΙΛΟΣΟΦΕΙΝ. (Translations of “Cause”, “Of/For Which, “Definite”, and “To Do Philosophy”). Suda On Line

2003a Was Gassendi an Epicurean? History of Philosophy Quarterly 20, 339-59.

2003b Aristotle on the Ends and Limits of Teleology. University of Toronto Ph. D. Dissertation. Supervisor: Brad Inwood. Committee: Ian Hacking, D. S. Hutchinson, James G. Lennox (external reader).

2001 Review of: The Discovery of Things by W. R. Mann, and Aristotle in China by R. Wardy. Ancient Philosophy, 21, 188-198.

2000a Ousia: A Fundamental Term in Platonic Ontology. Southwest Philosophy Review 17, 95-101.

2000b Review of: The Cambridge Companion to Early Greek Philosophy, ed. A. A. Long. Bryn Mawr Classical Review, 2000.03.12.

1999 Review of: The Legacy of Parmenides, by P. Curd. Bryn Mawr Classical Review, 1999.06.21.



2016a “Aristotle on Equality and Inequality”. Conference on Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics V = Eudemian Ethics IV, Charles University, Prague, September 16, 2016.

2016b “Reconstructing Aristotle's Lost Dialogue Protrepticus (Exhortation to Philosophy)”. University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Philosophy Department colloquium.

2015a “Aristotle on Shame and Having a Sense of Shame”. Conference on Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics IV, Union College, New York, October 17, 2015.

2015b “Ataraxia and Euthumia: the reception of Democritus in Hellenistic Ethics”. Conference on Ataraxia and Hellenistic Philosophy, Assos, Turkey, July 7, 2015.

2015c “Sketch of a Pythagorean Republic” (with P. Horky).Conference on Ancient Republics at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, April 10, 2015.

2014a “Aristotle's Magnanimious Man and Democritus”. Conference on Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics IV. Université catholique de Louvain (Belgium), December 19, 2014.

2014b “Archytas of Tarentum as Political Theorist”. Conference on Ancient Republics. Durham University (UK), November 15, 2014.

2014c “An Introduction to Iamblichus’ Protrepticus”. Keynote address to the Canadian Colloquium for Ancient Philosophy (with D. S. Hutchinson), University of British Columbia, May 2, 2014.

2014d “Aristotle’s Architectonic Sciences”. Aristotle conference, University of California, Los Angeles, February 21, 2014.

2013a Oxford University, Greek Philosophy Reading Group, March 8, 2013: "Aristotle's Protrepticus: from Authentication to Reconstruction".

2013b Cambridge University, Faculty of Classics, The B-Club, March 11, 2013: "Aristotle's Protrepticus: From Authentication to Reconstruction".

2013c University of Edinburgh, Philosophy Department Colloquium, March 13, 2013: "Aristotle's Protrepticus: From Authentication to Reconstruction".

2013d Durham University, Department of Classics and Ancient History, March 14, 2013: "New Evidence for a Reconstruction of Aristotle's Protrepticus".

2013e University of Florence, Philosophy Department Colloquium, March 19, 2013: "Aristotle's Protrepticus: new evidence and the basis for its reconstruction as a dialogue".

2013f University of Venice, Philosophy Department Colloquium, March 26, 2013: "Aristotle's Protrepticus: new evidence and the basis for its reconstruction as a dialogue".

2013g University of Padua, Seminario di Filosofia antica, March 27, 2013: "Aristotle's Protrepticus: new evidence and the basis for its reconstruction as a dialogue".

2013h University of California, Davis, conference on Reception History, September 28, 2013: “Reception and the Reconstruction of Aristotle’s Protrepticus”.

2013i Princeton University, conference on Aristotle’s teleology, December 13, 2013: “The Theory-ladenness of Aristotle’s Observations” (a comment on J. G. Lennox, “Aristotle on Respiration”).

2012 Northwestern University, Conference on Theory and Practice in Aristotle, April 21, 2012: "Aristotelian Mechanistic Explanation".

2011a University of Leuven, Conference on What is Up to Us? Feb. 23, 2011: “Democritus on What is Up to Us”.

2011b University of Southern California, Aristotle Conference, Decemer 10, 2011: "Aristotelian Mechanistic Explanation".

2010 Boston Area Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy, Clark University, Dec. 2, 2010: "Medical Analogies and Apories in Aristotle's Natural Science".

2009a University of Exeter, Conference on Teleology in the Ancient World. “A Mechanistic and Reductionist Model of Aristotelian Explanation” July 11, 2009.

2009b University of Manchester, Conference on “Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, and Science”. “Lucretius and the Cause of Spontaneity”. July 6, 2009.

2007a University of Pennsylvania, Department of Philosophy colloquium, February 16, 2007: “Democritean Spontaneity”.

2007b University of Helsinki, Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, November 24, 2007: “Aristotle as Mechanist and Reductionist”.

2006a University of Pittsburgh, Program in Classics, Philosophy, and History and Philosophy of Science colloquium, October 20, 2006: “Aristotle’s aporiai about spontaneity”.

2006b American Philosophical Association, Pacific Division Meeting (Portland, Oregon), invited colloquium, March 23, 2006: “Aristotle’s Protrepticus: text and context.” Christopher Rowe and David Gallop (commentators).

2006c Yale University, Department of Philosophy colloquium, April 7, 2006: “Aristotle’s Protrepticus: text and context.”

2005 University of Oxford, Conference on Lucretius at Corpus Christi College, June 26, 2005: “The continuity of the history of atomism.”

2004a University of Florence, Department of Philosophy Colloquium, June 7, 2004: “Aristotle’s Protrepticus: new methods, evidence, and confidence.”

2004b University of Cambridge, Trinity College Series in the History of Philosophy, November 19, 2004: “Spontaneity: Democritean causality and freedom.”



UCLA Seminar in Experimental Critical Theory Seminar, presenter, 2014.

UC Irvine Tri-Campus Classics Program Colloquium, presenter, 2010.

UC Irvine Philosophy Department “Scientia” Roundtable, presenter, 2010.

UCSD History of Philosophy Roundtable, presenter, 2007, 2008, 2010.

UC Irvine Conference on slavery, presenter, 2008.

UCSD Department of Philosophy Colloquium, 2008.

American Philosophical Association, commentator, 2004, 2006.

University of Western Ontario, ancient philosophy colloquium, presenter, 2006.

Canadian Philosophical Association, presenter, 2004 and 2006.

St. Louis University Department of Philosophy Colloquium, 2005.

Olympic Center for Philosophy and Culture, Greece, presenter, 2003.

Southwest Philosophical Society, presenter, 1999.

Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy, presenter, 1998.




Freshman Seminar on Aristotle’s Protrepticus (2007, 2008, 2009)

Freshman Seminar on Confucius’ Analects (with Sarah Schneewind) (2015)

Introduction to Philosophy (2004, 2005, 2009, 2012)

Ancient Philosophy (2002, 2003, 2004)

Scientific Revolutions (2003)



Plato (2005, 2008)

Aristotle (2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016)

Hellenistic Philosophy (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017)

History of Ancient Philosophy (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015)

Philosophical Methods (2017)



The Greek Philosophy Reading Group (2006)

The Latin Philosophy Reading Group (2008-present)

Epicureanism in the History of Philosophy (2008, with Donald Rutherford)

Democritus and the Fragments of Greek Atomism (2011)

Aristotle’s Philosophy of Science (2007)

Aristotle’s Politics (2009)

Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics (2010)

Aristotle's Physics (2012)

Aristotle’s Posterior Analytics (2014)

Pyrrhonian Scepticism (2014)



The Greek Philosophy Reading Group (2006-present).

The Latin Philosophy Reading Group (with Donald Rutherford, 2008-present).



Neal Lockett (B.A., Philosophy, UCSD, 2009). An English Translation of the Fragments of Cicero’s Dialogue Hortensius. (McNair Undergraduate Scholar Project Supervisor.)

David Ian McBryde (Ph., D., Philosophy, The University of Newcastle, Australia, 2010), The Foundations of Aristotle’s Ethics. (Doctoral thesis external examiner. Director: Harold Tarrant)

Andrew Beck (Ph. D., Philosophy, UCSD, 2011). A General Theory of Formality. (Prospectus and doctoral thesis committee member and examiner; Director: Gila Sher.)

Justin Lim (B.A., Philosophy and Economics, UCSD, 2012). Stoics versus Kant on Suicide. (Undergraduate Honor’s thesis supervisor.) Awarded “Honors with Highest Distinction”.

Jason Sheeley (Ph. D., Philosophy, UC Irvine, 2012). Working towards and from First Principles: Aristotle's dialectical methods. (Doctoral thesis committee member and examiner; Director: Nicholas White).

Kourtney Murray (Ph.D., Classical Studies, UC Irvine, 2012), An Enduring Message: Plato, Alcidamas, and the Medium of Writing. (Doctoral thesis committee member and examiner; Director: Page Dubois)

Ashley Attwood (B.A., Philosophy, UCSD, 2014). Visualizing Universals: Diagrammatic Reasoning in Aristotle. (Undergraduate Honor's thesis supervisor.) Awarded “Honors with Highest Distinction”.

Jason Carter (B.A., Philosophy, UCSD, 2014). Medical Empiricism: What is new and what is old in the debate over evidence-based medicine. (Undergraduate honor's thesis supervisor.) Awarded: “Honors with High Distinction.”

Christopher Suhler (Ph.D., Philosophy, UCSD, 2014). Ethical Theory Meets Cognitive Science: 
a Naturalized Aristotelian Alternative to Principles-Based Ethics. (Doctoral thesis committee member and examiner; Director: Patricia Churchland.)

Abdulai Turai (UCSD Undergraduate McNair scholar, 2015). “Is the concept of race or racism ancient?” (Undergraduate thesis supervisor.)

Nanhee Byrnes (Ph.D., Philosophy, UCSD, 2015). The Best Results Argument for Democracy. (Doctoral thesis committee member and examiner; Director: Richard Arneson.)

Mario Attie. (B.A., Philosophy, 2016). Dogmatism and Anxiety: An experimental approach to Pyrrhonian Scepticism. (Undergraduate Honor's thesis supervisor.) Awarded “Honors with Highest Distinction”.


Andrew Wong (Ph.D. Candidate). “Unmitigated Scepticism: an examination of the scope of Pyrrhonian Scepticism”. (Supervisor)

Blythe Greene (Ph.D. Candidate). “Hellenistic Theories of Time”. (Supervisor)



Classical Studies Faculty, UCSD (2006-present).

European Studies Faculty, UCSD (2007-present).

Lexis Ancient Philosophy series (Hakkert Publishing, Amsterdam), Scientific Committee (2014-present).

Referee for: Oxford University Press (monograph and anthology manuscripts and proposals), Cambridge University Press (monograph proposals), Routledge Press (anthology proposals), Ancient Philosophy, Journal of the History of Philosophy, History of Philosophy Quarterly; History of the Philosophy of Science; Classical Philology; Journal of the American Philosophical Association; Dialogue: Canadian Philosophical Review; HOPOS: Journal of the History of Philosophy of Science; Acta Classica.

Philosophy Graduate Admissions Committee, UCSD (2007, 2008, 2014)

Philosophy Colloquium Committee, UCSD (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010).

The Third Annual West Coast Plato Society Conference (on Plato’s Phaedrus) Conference Organizer (at UCSD, May 22-23, 2010).

UCSD Philosophy Department Institutional Memory essay and blog, 2010-2013.

UCSD Humanities Center Interdisciplinary Research Group organizer “Democracy and Poetics”, involving the departments of Philosophy, Literature, Theater, and Political Science (2012).

UCSD Academic Senate: Representative to the Assembly for Muir College (2012).

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