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Scholarly Interest Report
         
Donald Morrison
Professor
Professor of Philosophy
 
e-mail:donaldm@rice.edu
 
  • B.A. Summa cum laude Philosophy (1977) Carleton COllege
  • Ph.D. Philosophy (Program in Classical Philosophy) (1983) Princeton University
 
Primary Department
   Department of Philosophy
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Department Affiliations
 
  • Ancient Mediterranean Civilizations
  • Medieval and Early Modern Studies
  •  
     
    Research Areas
     Ancient philosophy,political philosophy.
     

    Egoism in Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle

     

    A scholarly orthodoxy is that ini Greek ethics generallly, the moral psychology is egoistic: agents act (or: rationally act) ultimately for the sake of their own welfare.  My research project is to examine this issue for Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, examining and interpreting all of the (many) relevant texts.  My thesis is that, although egoistic elements are present,  the moral psychology of these philosophers is not fundamentally egoistic.

     

    "Conceptions of Analytic Method in Late Greek Philosophy"

     

    A study of conceptions of "analysis" as a philosophical method or methods, roughly from Alexander of Aphrodesis through Philoponus. Certain related methods of arriving at first principles are included in the study, esp. a method called "tekmeriodic proof". The project is aimed at historians of science, as well as at philosophers and historians of philosophy. One way of describing the topic is as "the ancient antecedents of Zabarella's and Galileo's resolutive-compositive method."

     

    "The Good of the City in Classical Greek Political Philosophy"

     

    A study of the concept of the "good of the city", or the "happiness" or "well-being" of the polis, in Plato, Xenophon, and Aristotle.

     
    Conceptions of Perfectionism in Recent Moral Philosophy.
     In the thirty years since Rawls introduced the term "perfectionism" into recent moral and political philosophy, the term's use and meaning has evolved remarkably. I trace this evolution, against the background of its earlier roots in e.g. ancient and 19th century philosophy.
     
    Editing the Cambridge Companion to Socrates.
     Editing a comprehensive guide to Socrates and his philosophy.
     
    Conceptions of Perfectionism in Recent Moral Philosophy.
     In the thirty years since Rawls introduced the term "perfectionism" into modern moral and political philosophy, its use and meaning have evolved remarkably. I trace this evolution, against the background of its roots in ancient and 19th century philosophy
     
    Conceptions of Analytic Method in Late Greek Philosophy
     A study of conceptions of "analysis" as a philosophical method or methods, roughly from Alexander of Aphrodesias through Philoponus. Certain related methods of arriving at first principles are included in the study, esp. a method called "tekmeriodic proof".The project is aimed at historians of science, as well as at philosophers and historians of philosophy. One way of describing the topic is as "the ancient antecedents of Zabarella's and Galileo's resolutive-compositive method."
     
    The Good of the City in Classical Greek Political Philosophy
     A study of the concept of the "good of the city", or the "happiness" or "well-being" of the polis, in Plato, Xenophon, and Aristotle.
     
    Conceptions of Analytic Method in Late Greek Philosophy
     A study of conceptions of "analysis" as a philosophical method or methods, roughly from Alexander of Aphrodesias through Philoponus. Certain related methods of arriving at first principles are included in the study, esp. a method called "tekmeriodic proof".The project is aimed at historians of science, as well as at philosophers and historians of philosophy. One way of describing the topic is as "the ancient antecedents of Zabarella's and Galileo's resolutive-compositive method."
     
    The Good of the City in Classical Greek Political Philosophy
     A study of the concept of the "good of the city", or the "happiness" or "well-being" of the polis, in Plato, Xenophon, and Aristotle.
     
    Conceptions of Analytic Method in Late Greek Philosophy
     A study of conceptions of "analysis" as a philosophical method or methods, roughly from Alexander of Aphrodesias through Philoponus. Certain related methods of arriving at first principles are included in the study, esp. a method called "tekmeriodic proof".The project is aimed at historians of science, as well as at philosophers and historians of philosophy. One way of describing the topic is as "the ancient antecedents of Zabarella's and Galileo's resolutive-compositive method."
     
    The Good of the City in Classical Greek Political Philosophy
     A study of the concept of the "good of the city", or the "happiness" or "well-being" of the polis, in Plato, Xenophon, and Aristotle.
     
    The Good of the City in Classical Greek Political Philosophy
     A study of the concept of the "good of the city", or the "happiness" or "well-being" of the polis, in Plato, Xenophon, and Aristotle.
     
    Conceptions of Analytic Method in Late Greek Philosophy
     A study of conceptions of "analysis" as a philosophical method or methods, roughly from Alexander of Aphrodesias through Philoponus. Certain related methods of arriving at first principles are included in the study, esp. a method called "tekmeriodic proof".The project is aimed at historians of science, as well as at philosophers and historians of philosophy. One way of describing the topic is as "the ancient antecedents of Zabarella's and Galileo's resolutive-compositive method."
     
    Conceptions of Analytic Method in Late Greek Philosophy
     A study of conceptions of "analysis" as a philosophical method or methods, roughly from Alexander of Aphrodesias through Philoponus. Certain related methods of arriving at first principles are included in the study, esp. a method called "tekmeriodic proof".The project is aimed at historians of science, as well as at philosophers and historians of philosophy. One way of describing the topic is as "the ancient antecedents of Zabarella's and Galileo's resolutive-compositive method."
     
    The Good of the City in Classical Greek Political Philosophy
     A study of the concept of the "good of the city", or the "happiness" or "well-being" of the polis, in Plato, Xenophon, and Aristotle.
     
    Teaching Areas
     Ancient philosophy, medieval philosophy, political philosophy, history of political philosophy.
     
    Selected Publications
     Refereed articles
     

    Morrison, D. "Foundations of Socratic Political Theory." Polis, 18 (2001) : 27-40.

     
     

    Morrison, D. "Happiness, Rationality, and Egoism in Plato's Socrates." Rationality and Happiness: from the ancients to the Early Medievals (2003) In Press

     
     Articles
     

    Donald Morrison "Remarques sur la psychologie morale de Xenophon." Xenophon et Socrate (2008) : 11-28.

     
     

    Donald Morrison "La psychologie morale de Socrate chez Xenophon." Xenophon et SocrateIn Press

     
     

    Donald Morrison ""Socrates"." Blackwell Companion to Ancient Philosophy (2006)

     
     

    Donald Morrison "Analysis and Synthesis in Galen." Act Philosophica FennicaIn Revision

     
     

    Donald Morrison "Tyrannie et royaute selon le Socrate de Xenophon." Les Etudes Philosophiques (2004/May) : 177-192.

     
     

    Morrison, D. ""Xenophon's Socrates and moral psychology"." In Revision

     
     

    Morrison, D. ""Xenophon's Socrates on Kingship and Tyranny"." ¿tudes PhilosophiquesIn Press

     
     

    Morrison, D. "Xenophon's Socrates on Kingship and Tyranny." Etudes PhilosophiquesIn Press

     
     

    Morrison, D. "Review of Julia Annas,Platonic Ethics." Ethics, vol. 21 (2001) : pp. 617-619.

     
     Editor of books
     

    Donald Morrison, editor "Cambridge Companion to Socrates."  (2011)

     
     Book chapters
     

    Donald Morrison "Alexander of Aphrodesias on Analytic Method in Philosophy." Nature et sagesse. Les rapports entre physique et métaphysique dans la tradition aristotélicienneIn Press

     
     

    Donald Morrison "Aristotle on the Happiness of the City." Aristote et l"excellence politique de la citéIn Press

     
     

    Donald Morrison "The Common Good." Cambridge Companion to Aristotle's Politics (2013) : 176.In Revision

     
     

    Donald Morrison ""Xenophon's Socrates on Sophia and the Virtues"." Socratica 2008: Studies in Socratic Literature (2010) : 227-240.

     
     

    Donald R. Morrison ""Xenophon's Socrates as Teacher"." Xenophon (2010) : 195-227.

     
     

    Donald R. Morrison ""Xenophon's Socrates as Teacher"." Xenophon (2010) : 195-227.

     
     

    Donald Morrison "The Utopian Character of Plato's Ideal City." Cambridge Companion to Plato's Republic (2007) : 232-255.

     
     

    Donald Morrison "Is Plato's Republic a Utopian Work?." Cambridge Companion to Plato's RepublicIn Press

     
     

    Donald Morrison ""On the Alleged Historical Reliability of Plato's Apology." Plato's Euthyphro, Apology, and Crito: Critical Essays (2005) : 97-126.

     
     

    Morrison, D. ""Happiness, Rationality, and Egoism in Plato's Socrates"." Rationality and Happiness: From the Ancients to the Early Medievals (2003) : 17-34.

     
     

    Morrison, D. ""Socrates"." The Blackwell Companion to Ancient PhilosophyIn Press

     
     

    Morrison, D. "Socrates." The Blackwell Companion to Ancient Philosophy, ed. Gill and PellegrinIn Revision

     
     Other
     

    Donald Morrison "On the alleged historical reliability of Plato's Apology." Archiv fur Geschichte der Philosophie, 82 (2000) : 235-265 (Refereed).

     
     

    Donald Morrison "Politics as a Vocation according to Aristotle." History of Political Thought, XXII, 2 (Summer 2001) : 221-241 (Refereed).

     
     

    Donald Morrison "The Happiness of the City and the Happiness of the Individual in Plato's Republic." Ancient Philosophy, 21 (Spring 2001) : 1-25 (Refereed).

     
     

    Donald Morrison "On the alleged historical reliability of Plato's Apology ." Archiv fuer Geschichte der Philosophie, 82 Heft 3 (2000)

     
     

    Donald Morrison "Review of Julia Annas, "Platonic Ethics, Old and New"." Ethics

     
     

    Donald Morrison "The Happiness of the City and the Happiness of the Individual in Plato's Republic." Ancient Philosophy

     
     

    Donald Morrison "Aristotle's Definition of Citizenship: A Problem and some Solutions." History of Philosophy Quarterly (1999)

     
     

    Donald Morrison "Philoponus and Simplicius on Tekmeriodic Proof." Method and Order in Renaissance Philosophy of Nature., Ashgate (1998) : 1-22.

     
    Presentations
     Conference Paper
     

    "Egoism and Benevolence in the Phaedo." Conference on Plato's Phaedo, Harvard University. (October 20, 2015)

     
     

    "Courage in Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics III.9 1117b7-22." Courage and Moderation in the Nicomachean Ethics, Ave Maria University. (February 28)

     
     Invited Papers
     

    "Individual and Political Happiness in Aristtotle." Northern Association for Ancient Philosophy annual meeting, Durham University. (Aapril 16, 2015)

     
     

    ""Aristote et la question du bien commun : problèmes et perspectives"." Centre "kairos et logos", University of Aix-en-Provence, France. (February 6, 2013)

     
     

    "Aristotle on the Common Good." Aristotle's Politics, McGill University. (March 2011)

     
     

    "Alexander of Aphrodesias on Analytic Method in Philosophy." Nature et Sagesse, Paris, France. (June 12, 2010)

     
     

    "Aristotle on the Common Good." Trinity University , San Antonio, Texas. (April 8, 2010)

     
     

    Author.  "Aristotle on the Eudaimonia of the City and the Common Good." L'excellence politique chez Aristote, Bordeaux, France. (June 11-14, 2008)

     
     

    Author.  "Xenophon's Socrates on Sophia." Northeastern Political Science Association, Boston, MA. (Nov. 14, 2008)

     
     

    Author.  "Xenophon's Socrates on Wisdom and the Virtues." Socratica 2008, Naples, Italy. (December 13, 2009)

     
     

    ""Analysis and Synthesis in Galen"." Analysis and Synthesis in Ancient, Medieval, and Modern Thought, Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies. (Jan 26-28, 2006)

     
     

    "Analysis and Synthesis as Philosophical Methods ca. 100 AD." Notre Dame Philosophy Dept. Colloquium Series, Notre Dame University. (Nov. 10, 2006)

     
     

    "Analysis in Galen." International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science, Paris, France. (14-18 June, 2006)

     
     

    "Proclus on Analysis and Synthesis." Midwest PhilMath Workshop, Notre Dame University. (November 11-12)

     
     

    ""Conceptions of Analysis as a philosophical method in the School of Ammonius"." Aristotelian Natural Philosophy in Later Greek Antiquity, Rice University. (April 2005)

     
     

    "Moral Psychology in Xenophon." 10th Annual Arizona Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy, University of Arizona. (February 2005)

     
     

    ""Is Plato's Republic a utopian work?." Plato's Republic: Problems and Prospects, University of California-Berkeley. (September 2004)

     
     

    "Galen on Analysis." Histoire des sciences de l'Antiquite a l'Age classique, Centre d?Histoire des Sciences et des Philosophies Arabes et Medievales, UMR 7062, CNRS, Paris. (March 2004)

     
     

    "Xenophon's Socrates on Moral Psychology." International Socrates Symposium, Fort Worth, Texas. (April 2004)

     
     

    ""Galen on Analytic Method and its Renaissance Reception"." Hellenistic Schools and their Influence . . ., University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway. (28-29 November 2003)

     
     

    ""Xenophon's Socrates and Moral Psychology." X¿nophon et Socrate, Aix-en-Provence, France. (6-9 November 2003)

     
     

    "The Statesman and the Demiurge, Egoism and Altruism." The Seventh Annual Arizona Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy: Plato, Myth, and Religion, University of Arizona. (February 15-17, 2002)

     
     Invited Talks
     

    "Happiness of the City and Happiness of the Individual in Aristotle." Graduate School for Ancient Philosophy, University of Munich, Munich, Germany. (June 16, 2015)

     
     

    ""The Happiness of the City in Aristotle's Politics"

    Power Structuralism Project

    Oxford University." Power Structuralism Project, Corpus Christi College, Oxford. (November 19)

     
     

    Visiting speaker.  "Aristotle on the common good
    ." Philosophy Department, University of St. Thomas, Houston. (April 19, 2013)

     
     

    "Alcinous on Analysis." Collaborative Program in Ancient and Medieval Philosophy, University of Toronto. (January 28, 2008)

     
     

    "Conceptions of Analysis as a Philosophical Method in Later Greek Philosophy." Philosophy Department, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota. (November 16, 1007)

     
     

    "Egoism and Altruism in Plato’s Timaeus." Philosophy Department, University of St. Thomas, Houston. (October 25, 2007)

     
     

    "Analysis in Galen." Philosophy Dept. Colloquium Series, University of St. Thomas. (Feb. 3, 2006)

     
     

    "The Utopianism of Plato's Republic." Philosophy Department, University of Ottawa. (January 2005)

     
     

    ""Is Plato's Republic a utopian work?." Philosophy Department, University of St. Thomas, Houston. (October 2004)

     
     

    "Aristotle on Citizenship." Philosophy Department, Leiden University. (May 2002)

     
     Lectures
     

    "Aristote et la question du bien commun : problèmes et perspectives." Philosophy Department, University of Nice, France. (February 8, 2013)

     
     

    "Ammonius on Analysis." The Classical Model of Science, Amsterdam. (January 10-13, 2007)

     
     Other
     

    Commentator.  "Comments on "In Search of Aristotelian Epistemology" by Gregory Salmieri

    Workshop on Aristotle's Epistemology

    Boston University." Workshop on Aristotle's Epistemology, Boston . (Marcch 22, 2013)

     
     

    Commentator.  "Comments on Eric Brown, "Socrates the Stoic?"." Arizona Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy, University of Arizona. (February 2004)

     
     

    "Alcinous on Methods of Analysis in Philosophy." CSC Fellows Lecture, Rice University. (Fall 2001)

     
     

    "Aristotle." Rice Continuing Studies Course on the History of Philosophy , Rice University. (February 2001)

     
     

    "Is Plato's Socrates and Egoist?." Socrates Conference, University of Aarhus, Denmark. (May 18-19, 2001)

     
     

    "Socrates." Rice Continuing Studies Course on the History of Philosophy, Rice University. (Feb 2001)

     
     

    "The Fundamental of Socratic Political Philosophy." at the Six Annual Azirona Conference in Ancient Philosophy, University of Arizona. (Feb. 16-18, 2001)

     
     

    ""Alcinous on Analytical Methods in Philosophy"." Pacific Division, Americal Philosophical Association, Albuquerque. (April 2000)

     
     

    ""Highlights of the History of Aristotle Portraits"." Ancient Mediterranean Studies, Rice University, (November 2000)

     
     

    "Comments on George Rudebusch, "Socratic Perfectionism"." Arizona Conference on Classical Philosophy, University of Arizona. (Feb. 2000)

     
     

    "Is Socrates an Egoist?." Rationality and Happiness from the Ancients to the Early Medievals, SUNY Binghamton. (Sept. 2000)

     
     

    "Commentary on Chris Bobonich, Plato and the Birth of Classical Political Philosophy"." Arizona Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy, (February 1998)

     
     Panelist
     

    Commentator/Panelist.  "Invited Symposium: Xenophon's Socrates." Pacific Division Meeting, American Philosophical Association, Pasadena, CA. (March 22, 2008)

     
     Seminar Speaker
     

    "“What good is the Common Good? Individual and Political Happiness in Aristotle”." University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. (October 16)

     
     

    "“What good is the Common Good? Individual and Political Happiness in Aristotle”." Department of Philosophy, University of Brasilia, Brazil. (October 14)

     
     

    Visiting speaker.  ""Happiness of the City in Aristotle's Politics"." Philosophy Department, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. (September 27, 2013)

     
     Workshops
     

    seminar presentation .  ""Nicomachean Ethics VII 15"." Workshop on Aristotle on Pleasure, Louvain-la-Neuve. (February 14, 2013)

     
    Editorial Positions
     Member of the Editorial Board, Archi. (2015 - 2016)

     Member of the Editorial Board, International Socrates Studies. Academia Verlag. (2013 - 2016)

     Member of the Editorial Board, Révue de Philosophie Ancienne. (2012 - 2016)

    Supervised Theses & Dissertations
     Brandon Mulvey, M.A. Socratic Influence on the Stoic Epictetus. (2010) (Thesis Director)

     Anthony Carreras, Ph.D. Aristotle on the Value of Friendship and Virtue. (2011) (Thesis Director)

     Harry Adams, Ph.D. Autonomy. (Thesis Committee Member)

     Victor Saenz, Ph.D. On the Systematicity and Completeness of Aristotle's Account of the Moral Virtues. (Thesis Director)

     Carissa Phillips-Garrett, Ph.D. Aristotle on Blame, Moral Responsibility, and Forgiveness. (Thesis Director)

     Harry Adams, Ph.D. Autonomy. (Thesis Committee Member)

     Harry Adams, Ph.D. Autonomy. (Thesis Committee Member)

     Brian Prince, Ph.D. Motion and Soul in Plato. (Thesis Director)

    Positions Held
     Professeur Invité (invited visiting professor), Philosophy Dept., University of Paris I (Sorbonne-Panthéon). (2006 - 2006)