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J. Clerk ShawJ. Clerk Shaw

Associate Professor
Director of Undergraduate Studies
806 McClung Tower
Knoxville, TN 37996-0480

Phone: 865-974-3255
Fax: 865-974-3509

I graduated with a Ph.D. from Washington University in St. Louis and joined the department in August 2007.

My research focuses on pleasure, pain, and the emotions in ancient Greek and Roman psychology and ethics, and particularly on ancient hedonism and anti-hedonism.  I have written especially on Plato's anti-hedonism and on Plato's positive ethical and political views in the Gorgias.  I am currently working on my second book, The Structure of Epicurean Ethics.  In the more distant future, I plan to argue for the view that most fundamentally, we come to know what is good and how to act through pleasures, pains, and emotions, but that neither moral beliefs nor moral properties are constituted by pleasures, pains, and emotions.

Recent, representative publications

  • "Poetry and Hedonic Error in Plato's Republic".  Phronesis 61 (2016), 373-396.
  • Plato's Anti-Hedonism and the Protagoras.  Cambridge University Press, 2015.
  • "Punishment and Psychology in Plato's Gorgias", Polis 31 (2015), 75-95.
  • "Ancient Ethics", Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2015). 
  • "Socrates and the True Political Craft", Classical Philology 106 (2011), 187-207.

Recent, representative presentations

  • "Poetry and Hedonic Error in Plato's Republic", Rocky Mountain Ethics Congress, August 2015; European Philosophical Society for the Study of Emotions, July 2015
  • "Aristotle on the Emotions: Praise and Blame", Institute for the History of Philosophy Workshop, June 2015.
  • "In (Partial) Defense of Epicurus on Pleasure", Spring Symposium at UTK, March 2015; Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy, October 2014.

Ancient philosophy; history of philosophy generally; practical philosophy (including topics in ethics, metaethics, and action theory).

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