Department of Classics

Paul B Woodruff


ProfessorPhD, Princeton

Professor of Philosophy and Classics; Dean of Undergraduate Studies
Paul B Woodruff

Contact

Interests


Ethics, Plato, Sophocles, Thucydides, aesthetics, philosophy and literature

Biography


Well-known for his influential articles on Socrates and Plato, Professor Woodruff has also published a critical edition of Plato's Hippias Major (1982) as well as translations of Plato’s Ion (1983) and (with Alexander Nehamas) Symposium (1989) and Phaedrus (1995). He has also written on topics in aesthetics and ethics and translated works by Euripides, Sophocles, and Thucydides. His recent publications include The Necessity of Theater (Oxford University Press, 2008), The Ajax Dilemma (Oxford University Press, 2011), and Reverence: Renewing a Forgotten Virtue (2d Edition, Oxford University Press, 2014). He has contributed to The Cambridge Companion to Early Greek Philosophy (1999), A Companion to Aristotle (Wiley-Blackwell, 2009), Cambridge Companion to Ancient Skepticism (2010), A Companion to Sophocles (Wiley-Blackwell, 2012), and The Blackwell Companion to Ancient Aesthetics (Wiley-Blackwell, 2015). He has been Visiting Professor at the University of Pittsburgh and has twice directed NEH seminars on ancient philosophy.  He is currently writing a book on the role of higher education in preparing students for leadership.

Courses


T C 303C • Plan II World Lit Part I

42795 • Fall 2016
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM CRD 007A

Description:

Fall: Our theme in the first semester is war and how to preserve our humanity in time of war through love.  Our reading will come from ancient Greek classics, Shakespeare, and as well as from Vietnamese and Vietnamese-American literature. We will start with the Iliad the founding epic of European culture, with its vivid depiction of the violence of war, the power of friendship, and the overwhelming value of family. After that, on to Sophocles’ Antigone, the love poems of Sappho, and Romeo and Juliet.  I’m sure you’ve read it before, but this time will be different.          


The Actors from the London Stage will be here in late September performing Richard III, so we will have a look at that.  We will then read Henry V for the king’s approach to battle  (“Once more into the breach”) and to love (“There’s witchcraft in your lips”). 


We will also read the Vietnamese epic, The Tale of Kieu, about a woman who travels and suffers like Odysseus, but is able to triumph and reunite her family.  After that, the latest Pulitzer-prize winning novel, The Sympathizer, by Viet Thanh Nguyen. 

Spring: Our first theme this semester will be how stories reveal the people who tell them. For this, I have chosen a few books, stories, and poems in which writers or narrators discover (or hide) themselves. Our second theme will be character:  How do stories reveal the people they are about?  A character in a story is an agent who is responsible for some of the story's action; we will discuss how the best storytellers endow their subjects with responsibility, and how they bring certain figures in the story into the narrative foreground, while leaving others to melt into the scenery. 


We'll also discuss the connection between being a character in a story and having an ethical character.  Roughly speaking, an ethical character is a reliable disposition to behave in certain ways, good or bad.  Is there such a thing as ethical character in real life?    Should a well-drawn literary character have a consistent ethical character?  For this we’ll read both fiction and plays.


Our reading will commence with the first master-storyteller of the English language, Chaucer.  We will then choose at least one play by Shakespeare that most members of the class do not know.  In both cases, we will study how our authors modify the stories they have received in order to make them serve new literary purposes.  We will then proceed to books, plays, and stories written in very recent years.  Along the way we will take time for poetry, which we will read along with letters by the poets, so that we can see how poetry and life connect.  For contemporary works, we will make use of poets and other writers who will be speaking at the Joynes Room during the semester.

             

Texts/Readings:

Fall

Homer’s Iliad, Tr. Lombardo

Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, Richard III, Henry V

Nguyen, The Sympathizer

The Tale of Kieu

Sophocles, Antigone, tr. Woodruff

Various handouts

 

Spring
We will select readings during the fall semester, on the basis of student interest. 

Assignments:

Each Semester

 

1.  Two 500 word papers (5% each), one each for the first two weeks.

2.  After that, a one-page reader response every other week for a total of five (pass/fail, no
     revisions).

3. A graded research-type term paper of about 2000 words (topic statement, at least one
     preliminary draft, and a final draft required, on the dates listed on the syllabus). Penalties for
     lateness will apply. (Counts 30% of final grade).

4.  Mid-term and final exams (15% and 25% of final grade).

 

Attendance is also required at all classes.  If you are more than 5 minutes late you are not in attendance by our standards.  Penalties for absences apply.  Participation counts for 20% of final grade.  A poetry workshop will be offered for those interested (ungraded).

 

About the professor:

Woodruff is a philosopher, writer, and translator, currently finishing a book on leadership.

 

 

 

 

 

 

PHL 610QB • Probs Of Knowledge & Valuation

41580-41590 • Spring 2016
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM PAR 1

A continuation of Philosophy 610QA, this course will carry the class discussion from ethics to knowledge and metaphysics.  We will start with Nietzsche’s criticism of the ethical tradition in Europe, and then move back to Plato’s route to metaphysics—by way of his theory of erotic love. From Plato, onward to skepticism in ancient philosophy.  Then we leap forward to the modern era, where we join the debate between the advocates of reason (such as Descartes) and the team of passion and experience (Hume).   We will see how these teams handle proofs for the existence of God (with a brief look back into the middle ages). After that, we turn to questions about the self and the mind, reading classical Buddhist texts before we leap forward to discuss contemporary issues about the mind and brain.

PHL 346K • Aesthetics

41747 • Spring 2016
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM GDC 4.304

A broad introduction to philosophy of the arts, starting with Plato’s criticism of poetry and moving through Aristotle’s Poetics to a set of modern theories.  We will focus on the experience of art, especially with regard to the emotions.

After the first few weeks, you will be working, alone or with a team, on developing own philosophy for the kind of art that you love the most. 

Plato’s attack on poetry gives us a target:  How can we answer Plato’s type of criticism for any art form?

Aristotle’s account of tragic poetry gives us the classic example of a definition in our field. 

Each student will choose a form of art and ask certain questions about it.  The reading will be variable; students will read about the art form that interests them, focusing on these questions (if they are appropriate):

1.  How should your art form be defined? 

2.  When your kind of art is good, what makes it good?

3.  How does your kind of art affect our emotions?

4.  Can we live human lives without your art?

Art forms include architecture, painting, cartoons, pottery, furniture design, poetry, theater, novels, music (of all kinds), dance, and more.

 

List of Proposed Texts /Readings :

We will use a reader with texts from these authors:

 

Plato’s Ion and selections from Republic, Book 10.

Aristotle’s Poetics

Selection from Tolstoy’s What is Art?

Oscar Wilde’s “The Decay of Lying”

Selections from Paul Woodruff, The Necessity of Theater

O.K. Bouwsma’s “The Expression Theory of Art”

PHL 610QA • Probs Of Knowledge & Valuation

41400-41410 • Fall 2015
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM WAG 420

The course is a journey backward in time.  We will begin with Utilitarian ethics, which seeks the greatest happiness of the greatest number.  After assessing the strengths and weaknesses of utilitarianism, will move on to Kant’s approach to ethics, which is based on the dignity of an autonomous being.  Then we will explore virtue ethics—the study of character in relation to action—in Aristotle and the Chinese tradition (with a brief look at modern expositions of virtue ethics).  The quest for knowledge of virtue will lead us to Socrates and the seeds of Plato’s metaphysics (which will be our subject at the start of the spring semester).  We will end with existentialism, seen mainly through Camus.

PHL 610QB • Probs Of Knowledge & Valuation

41780-41790 • Spring 2015
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM PAR 1

The aim of this semester is to introduce topics in epistemology and metaphysics, initially through the works of two major philosophers, Ren Descartes (f. 1640) and David Hume (f. 1745). They will serve to introduce two main themes: the nature of knowledge and skepticism; and the nature of the human mind and action.

Descartes is known for two highly influential ideas. His skepticism arises from his reflection that we might be deceived by an “evil demon” who makes it seem as if our ordinary world exists whereas in reality there is nothing. Although Descartes hoped to defuse skepticism, it has lived on, inspiring not only generations of philosophers, but also leaving its mark in such movies as Matrix and Solaris.

Descartes’ dualism is his view that mind and body are entirely distinct. This view has been supported by religious thinkers, by many philosophers impressed by the distinctive character of consciousness, and by some defenders of free will.
Hume’s Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding is famous for supposedly arguing for a form of skepticism that Descartes did not explicitly consider: skepticism about whether the future will resemble the past. His discussion of this issue is closely intertwined with a remarkable theory of causation, a theory which led him to hold that an action can be free, and so can merit praise or blame, even though it is causally determined. We will also discuss some aspects of Hume’s philosophy of religion, notably his section on miracles, and his presentation of the problem of evil. 

GK 390 • Plato

33888 • Spring 2014
Meets M 6:30PM-9:30PM WAG 312
(also listed as PHL 381)

MON., 12:30 - 3:30

Graduate standing and consent of graduate advisor or instructor required.

Course Description

The course will be a study of Plato’s approach to ethics, from Socrates’ nagging questions to the grand speculations of the Republic, in the light of recent work in ethics and meta-ethics.  This will be more philosophy than archaeology—more about whether Plato’s ethics stands up to criticism than about how to read the text.

We will begin with Socrates’ questions:  What do they presuppose about common human resources?  What do they presuppose about matters such as reverence and justice?   To what extent is Socrates committed to these presuppositions?  To what extent is the questioning defined by the pretensions of Socrates’ partners to know or to teach virtue?  In particular, is Socrates really committed to defining virtue as knowledge, or is this a consequence of his partners’ claims to teach virtue?  If he thinks virtue is knowledge, and truly thinks he does not have that knowledge, how does he think he manages to live a decent life?  After that, we will give special attention to Socrates’ arguments with those who appear to reject ethical values as folly, such as Thrasymachus and Callicles.

Plato was closely related to men whose ethical failures were colossal, leaders among the thirty tyrants.  Not surprisingly, he was driven by a passion to avert ethical failure in educated people, and this drive led him to important insights about the nature of education and effect of knowledge and ignorance on behavior.  With this in mind we will study Socrates’ response to Glaucon’s challenge, as well as his unblinking realization that even the ideal state will decay as a result of ethical deterioration.  This appears to be due to a number of factors, which we will investigate.

Not everyone will read all of the texts; we will to some extent divide and conquer.  If one or more members of the class wish to read texts in Greek we will set aside time for that outside class time, not in it.

Grading

Initial paper, first week, 5%.

Class presentation, in week assigned, 25%.

Rated on basis of the focus of the talk, clarity, quality of engagement with audience, use of texts, effectiveness of arguments.  (By “focus” I mean that the presentation may not be a summary; it must be organized around a thesis or a question/)

Notes assembled for class presentation, 20%.

Rated on focus, organization, clarity, judicious use of secondary material, definitions of terms used.

Participation, 30% 

Members of the class are expected to contribute to each week’s discussion.

Paper, developed from the notes, due two weeks after the presentation, 20%.

Texts

The Cooper edition of Plato’s dialogues, with commentaries and scholarly works as appropriate for individual student projects.

All will read Plato’s Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Gorgias, and Republic. 

Some will read Charmides, Laches, Lysis, Hippias Major, Alcibiades, Symposium, or Phaedrus.

 

 

This course satisfies the History requirement

     

PHL 610QB • Probs Of Knowledge & Valuation

43190-43200 • Spring 2014
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM WAG 214

The aim of this semester is to introduce topics in epistemology and metaphysics, initially through the works of two major philosophers, Ren Descartes (f. 1640) and David Hume (f. 1745). They will serve to introduce two main themes: the nature of knowledge and skepticism; and the nature of the human mind and action.

Descartes is known for two highly influential ideas. His skepticism arises from his reflection that we might be deceived by an “evil demon” who makes it seem as if our ordinary world exists whereas in reality there is nothing. Although Descartes hoped to defuse skepticism, it has lived on, inspiring not only generations of philosophers, but also leaving its mark in such movies as Matrix and Solaris.

Descartes’ dualism is his view that mind and body are entirely distinct. This view has been supported by religious thinkers, by many philosophers impressed by the distinctive character of consciousness, and by some defenders of free will.
Hume’s Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding is famous for supposedly arguing for a form of skepticism that Descartes did not explicitly consider: skepticism about whether the future will resemble the past. His discussion of this issue is closely intertwined with a remarkable theory of causation, a theory which led him to hold that an action can be free, and so can merit praise or blame, even though it is causally determined. We will also discuss some aspects of Hume’s philosophy of religion, notably his section on miracles, and his presentation of the problem of evil. 

PHL 610QB • Probs Of Knowledge & Valuation

42580-42590 • Spring 2013
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM JGB 2.218

The aim of this semester is to introduce topics in epistemology and metaphysics, initially through the works of two major philosophers, Ren Descartes (f. 1640) and David Hume (f. 1745). They will serve to introduce two main themes: the nature of knowledge and skepticism; and the nature of the human mind and action.

Descartes is known for two highly influential ideas. His skepticism arises from his reflection that we might be deceived by an “evil demon” who makes it seem as if our ordinary world exists whereas in reality there is nothing. Although Descartes hoped to defuse skepticism, it has lived on, inspiring not only generations of philosophers, but also leaving its mark in such movies as Matrix and Solaris.

Descartes’ dualism is his view that mind and body are entirely distinct. This view has been supported by religious thinkers, by many philosophers impressed by the distinctive character of consciousness, and by some defenders of free will.
Hume’s Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding is famous for supposedly arguing for a form of skepticism that Descartes did not explicitly consider: skepticism about whether the future will resemble the past. His discussion of this issue is closely intertwined with a remarkable theory of causation, a theory which led him to hold that an action can be free, and so can merit praise or blame, even though it is causally determined. We will also discuss some aspects of Hume’s philosophy of religion, notably his section on miracles, and his presentation of the problem of evil. 

GK 390 • Justice In Ancient Philosophy

33170 • Fall 2011
Meets M 6:00PM-9:00PM WAG 312
(also listed as PHL 381)

Prerequisites

Graduate Standing and Consent of Graduate Advisor or instructor required. 

Course Description

Very new and very old approaches to the age-old problem of justice, with attention to questions such as these:  Can justice be, at the same time, a political virtue and a virtue of character?  Is compassion compatible with justice?  What kinds of difference in individuals justifies difference in expectations, whether of benefits or of duties?  Must justice be principled?  Can it be consequentialist?  What sort of commitment could a particularist have to justice?  What is fairness in relation to justice?  Can there be justice among nations?  Across nations?  Among species?

We will bring new eyes to ancient texts, and we will cast eyes steeped in ancient lore on very recent ones.  After a very brief survey of early Greek thought about justice (including tragic poets), we will spend a few weeks on Plato, then Aristotle, then John Stuart Mill.  That will take less than half the semester.  After that, we will divide up modern authors.  Members of the seminar may choose from the list below or introduce authors they are interested in themselves.

Grading Policy

Two shortish papers (well under 2000 words), both to be presented in class (assuming the class is fairly small).  After the first month, there will be at least one paper presented per week.  One paper about a topic in ancient philosophy, and one paper about a recent work chosen by you (not necessarily from the list above).  The papers will count 40% each, and seminar participation will count 20%.

Reading

I will order no books, as I assume you will have most of these already, or else we will be reading different books.  For Plato, I prefer Hackett translations (Crito, Gorgias, Republic (Grube-Reeve version, 1992).  For Aristotle I prefer Reeve's Politics (Hackett, 1998) and Ostwald's Nicomachan Ethics (LLA 1962) 

Otherwise, lay in what books you wish, borrow from me, or depend on photocopies, as we will be reading what the class decides to read, and not all the same things.  We will allow one week for a brief review of Rawls (Political Liberalism, Expanded Edition 2005).  Among recent authors, I suggest, in alpha order:  Gillian Brock (Global Justice, 2009), G.A. Cohen (Rescuing Justice and Equality, 2008), Raymond Geuss (varia), Richard Kraut (What is Good and Why, 2007)), Martha Nussbaum (Frontiers of Justice, 2007), Joseph Raz (varia) , Amartya Sen, The Idea of Justice (2009), David Wiggins (in Ethics, 2006).   I promise not to read all of these, and you will not do so either.  We will divide up the work in order to achieve a general view of current work in this area. 

 

This seminar satisfies the History requirement

PHL 610QB • Probs Of Knowledge & Valuation

43000-43010 • Spring 2010
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM WAG 214

The aim of this semester is to introduce topics in epistemology and metaphysics, initially through the works of two major philosophers, Ren Descartes (f. 1640) and David Hume (f. 1745). They will serve to introduce two main themes: the nature of knowledge and skepticism; and the nature of the human mind and action.

Descartes is known for two highly influential ideas. His skepticism arises from his reflection that we might be deceived by an “evil demon” who makes it seem as if our ordinary world exists whereas in reality there is nothing. Although Descartes hoped to defuse skepticism, it has lived on, inspiring not only generations of philosophers, but also leaving its mark in such movies as Matrix and Solaris.

Descartes’ dualism is his view that mind and body are entirely distinct. This view has been supported by religious thinkers, by many philosophers impressed by the distinctive character of consciousness, and by some defenders of free will.
Hume’s Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding is famous for supposedly arguing for a form of skepticism that Descartes did not explicitly consider: skepticism about whether the future will resemble the past. His discussion of this issue is closely intertwined with a remarkable theory of causation, a theory which led him to hold that an action can be free, and so can merit praise or blame, even though it is causally determined. We will also discuss some aspects of Hume’s philosophy of religion, notably his section on miracles, and his presentation of the problem of evil. 

GK 390 • Smnr: Sophocles

32255 • Spring 2009
Meets W 2:00PM-5:00PM FAC 406

GK 390 Seminar in Classical Studies:

Selected topics in Greek studies. Topics given in recent years include Mycenaean documents, Aristotle's ethics, Archaic poetry, and Plato's Symposium.

PHL 301 • Introduction To Philosophy

43570-43625 • Fall 2007
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:00PM PAI 3.02

A survey of principal topics and problems in areas such as ethics, theory of knowledge, and philosophy of religion. 

PHL 610QB • Probs Of Knowledge & Valuation

42865-42880 • Spring 2007
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM WAG 214

The aim of this semester is to introduce topics in epistemology and metaphysics, initially through the works of two major philosophers, Ren Descartes (f. 1640) and David Hume (f. 1745). They will serve to introduce two main themes: the nature of knowledge and skepticism; and the nature of the human mind and action.

Descartes is known for two highly influential ideas. His skepticism arises from his reflection that we might be deceived by an “evil demon” who makes it seem as if our ordinary world exists whereas in reality there is nothing. Although Descartes hoped to defuse skepticism, it has lived on, inspiring not only generations of philosophers, but also leaving its mark in such movies as Matrix and Solaris.

Descartes’ dualism is his view that mind and body are entirely distinct. This view has been supported by religious thinkers, by many philosophers impressed by the distinctive character of consciousness, and by some defenders of free will.
Hume’s Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding is famous for supposedly arguing for a form of skepticism that Descartes did not explicitly consider: skepticism about whether the future will resemble the past. His discussion of this issue is closely intertwined with a remarkable theory of causation, a theory which led him to hold that an action can be free, and so can merit praise or blame, even though it is causally determined. We will also discuss some aspects of Hume’s philosophy of religion, notably his section on miracles, and his presentation of the problem of evil. 

PHL 381 • Plato's Middle Dialogues

43100 • Spring 2007
Meets M 7:00PM-10:00PM WAG 210

Past topics include major figures and movements in ancient, medieval, early modern, and nineteenth- and twentieth - century philosophy. 

C C 348 • Hist Of Ancient Philosophy

32705-32720 • Fall 2006
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM WAG 302
(also listed as PHL 329K)

C C 348 Topics in Ancient Civilization:

The development and progress of ancient civilization, including history, philosophy, literature, and culture. No knowledge of Greek or Latin is required.

 

C C 348 • Hist Of Ancient Philosophy

31080-31095 • Spring 2006
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM WAG 302
(also listed as PHL 329K)

C C 348 Topics in Ancient Civilization:

The development and progress of ancient civilization, including history, philosophy, literature, and culture. No knowledge of Greek or Latin is required.

 

GK 390 • Plato's Earlier Dialogues

30605 • Fall 2004
Meets W 7:00PM-10:00PM WAG 210
(also listed as PHL 381)

GK 390 Seminar in Classical Studies:

Selected topics in Greek studies. Topics given in recent years include Mycenaean documents, Aristotle's ethics, Archaic poetry, and Plato's Symposium.

PHL 301 • Introduction To Philosophy

38570-38645 • Spring 2004
Meets MW 10:00AM-11:00AM WEL 1.316

A survey of principal topics and problems in areas such as ethics, theory of knowledge, and philosophy of religion. 

C C 348 • Hist Of Ancient Philosophy

28836-28839 • Fall 2003
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM BUR 108
(also listed as PHL 329K)

C C 348 Topics in Ancient Civilization:

The development and progress of ancient civilization, including history, philosophy, literature, and culture. No knowledge of Greek or Latin is required.

 

C C 348 • Hist Of Ancient Philosophy

28060-28075 • Spring 2003
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM WAG 302
(also listed as PHL 329K)

C C 348 Topics in Ancient Civilization:

The development and progress of ancient civilization, including history, philosophy, literature, and culture. No knowledge of Greek or Latin is required.

 

PHL 381 • Sophists

39485 • Spring 2002
Meets T 3:30PM-6:30PM WAG 210

Past topics include major figures and movements in ancient, medieval, early modern, and nineteenth- and twentieth - century philosophy. 

C C 348 • Hist Of Ancient Philosophy

28985-29000 • Fall 2001
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM ART 1.110
(also listed as PHL 329K)

C C 348 Topics in Ancient Civilization:

The development and progress of ancient civilization, including history, philosophy, literature, and culture. No knowledge of Greek or Latin is required.

 

PHL 610QB • Probs Of Knowledge And Valuatn

38725-38740 • Spring 2001
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM PAR 1

The aim of this semester is to introduce topics in epistemology and metaphysics, initially through the works of two major philosophers, Ren Descartes (f. 1640) and David Hume (f. 1745). They will serve to introduce two main themes: the nature of knowledge and skepticism; and the nature of the human mind and action.

Descartes is known for two highly influential ideas. His skepticism arises from his reflection that we might be deceived by an “evil demon” who makes it seem as if our ordinary world exists whereas in reality there is nothing. Although Descartes hoped to defuse skepticism, it has lived on, inspiring not only generations of philosophers, but also leaving its mark in such movies as Matrix and Solaris.

Descartes’ dualism is his view that mind and body are entirely distinct. This view has been supported by religious thinkers, by many philosophers impressed by the distinctive character of consciousness, and by some defenders of free will.
Hume’s Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding is famous for supposedly arguing for a form of skepticism that Descartes did not explicitly consider: skepticism about whether the future will resemble the past. His discussion of this issue is closely intertwined with a remarkable theory of causation, a theory which led him to hold that an action can be free, and so can merit praise or blame, even though it is causally determined. We will also discuss some aspects of Hume’s philosophy of religion, notably his section on miracles, and his presentation of the problem of evil. 

C C 348 • Hist Of Ancient Philosophy

27955-27970 • Spring 2000
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM WAG 302
(also listed as PHL 329K)

C C 348 Topics in Ancient Civilization:

The development and progress of ancient civilization, including history, philosophy, literature, and culture. No knowledge of Greek or Latin is required.

 

Original Books


Plato: Hippias Major

Plato: Hippias Major

Paul Woodruff

Plato: Hippias Major
1982
Hackett Publishing Company

 

First Democracy; The Challenge of an Ancient Idea.

The Necessity of Theater: The Art of Watching and Being Watched

The Ajax Dilemma; Justice, Fairness and Rewards

Reverence: Renewing a Forgotten Virtue


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Edited Books


Facing Evil; Light at the Core of Darkness

Facing Evil; Light at the Core of Darkness

Paul Woodruff, Harry A. Wilmer

Facing Evil; Light at the Core of Darkness
1988
Open Court Press

 

Early Greek Political Thought from Homer to the Sophists

Early Greek Political Thought from Homer to the Sophists

Paul Woodruff, Michael Gagarin

Early Greek Political Thought from Homer to the Sophists
1995
Cambridge University Press

 

Reason and Religion in Socratic Philosophy

Reason and Religion in Socratic Philosophy

Paul Woodruff, Nicholas D. Smith

Reason and Religion in Socratic Philosophy
2000
Oxford University Press

 

Loyalty. Nomos LIV

Loyalty.  Nomos LIV

Paul Woodruff, Sanford Levinson, and Joel Parker

Loyalty. Nomos LIV
2013
New York University Press

 


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Translations


Plato: Two Comic Dialogues (Ion and Hippias Major)

Plato: Symposium

Plato: Symposium

Paul Woodruff, Alexander Nehamas

Plato: Symposium
Apri 1989
Hackett Publishing Company

 

Thucydides on Justice, Power, and Human Nature

Plato: Phaedrus

Plato: Phaedrus

Paul Woodruff, Alexander Nehamas

Plato: Phaedrus
1995
Hackett Publishing Company

 

Euripides Bacchae

Euripides Bacchae

Paul Woodruff

Euripides Bacchae
1998
Hackett Publishing Company

 

 

Sophocles Oedipus Tyrannus

Sophocles Oedipus Tyrannus

Paul Woodruff, Peter Meineck

Sophocles Oedipus Tyrannus
2001
Hackett Publishing Co

 

Sophocles: Antigone

Sophocles: Antigone

Paul Woodruff

Sophocles: Antigone
2000
Hackett Publishing Co.

 

Sophocles: Theban Plays

Sophocles: Theban Plays

Paul Woodruff, Peter Meineck

Sophocles: Theban Plays
2003
Hackett Publishing Co.

 

Sophocles: Four Tragedies

ophocles: Four Tragedies

Paul Woodruff, Peter Meineck

ophocles: Four Tragedies
2007
Hackett Publishing Co.

 

Aeschylus, Euripides, Sophocles: The Electra Plays

Aeschylus, Euripides, Sophocles: The Electra Plays

Paul Woodruff, Peter Meineck, and Cecilia Eaton Luschning

Aeschylus, Euripides, Sophocles: The Electra Plays
2009
Hackett Publishing Co.

 


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Selected Articles


"Socrates on the Parts of Virtue," Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Supplementary Volume 2, New Essays on Plato and the Pre-Socratics, Roger A. Shiner and John King-Farlow, eds., 1977, 101-116.  Repr. In Prior, 1997.


 "Socrates on Ontology: The Evidence of the Hippias Major," Phronesis, XXIII (1978), 101-117


 "Rousseau, Moliere, and the Ethics of Laughter," Philosophy and Literature, 1 (1977), 325-336


 "What Could Go Wrong with Inspiration?  Why Plato's Poets Fail," in Julius Moravcsik and Philip Temko, eds., Plato on Beauty, Wisdom, and the Arts.  Totowa, New Jersey:  Rowman and Littlefield, 1982, 137-150


 "Justification or Excuse: Saving Soldiers at the Expense of Civilians," Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Supplementary Volume VIII (1982), 159-176


 "Didymus on Protagoras and the Protagoreans," Journal of the History of Philosophy  XXIII (1985), 483-497


 "The Skeptical Side of Plato's Method," Le Revue Internationale de Philosophie  156-157 (1986),  22-37


 "Expert Knowledge in the Apology and the Laches: What a General Needs to Know," Proceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy, Volume III (1987), 79-115


 "Engaging Emotion in Theater: A Brechtian Model in Theater History," Monist, issue entitled "Aesthetics and the Histories of the Arts, ed. by Anita Silvers, Vol. 71 (1988),  235-257


 "Aporetic Pyrrhonism," Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy,  VI (1988), 139-68


 “Pathei Mathos: the Thought That Learning is by Ordeal,” Medical Humanities Review 5 (1991), 7-23


 “Virtue Ethics and the Appeal to Human Nature,” Social Theory and Practice 17 (1991), 307-35


 "Eikos and Bad Faith in the Paired Speeches of Thucydides," Proceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy  Volume X (1994), pp. 115-45


 "The Paradox of Comedy," Philosophical Topics 25 (1997), 319-35.


 "Socrates and Political Courage."  Ancient Philosophy 27 (2007).  Pp. 1-14.


 “Euboulia:  How Might Good Judgement Be Taught.”  Lampas: Tijdschrift voor Classici 41.3 (2008).  Pp. 252-62. 


 "Aristotle on Character, or, Who is Creon?"  Journal of Aesthetics and Arts Criticism  67.3 (2009).  Pp. 301-309. 


 “Lighting up the Lizard Brain:  The New Necessity of Theater.”  Topoi 30.2 (2011).  Pp. 151-55.  


 “Compassion in Chorus and Audience.” Didaskalia 8 (2011): 185-88.


“Theater as Sacrament.”  Ramus, Critical Studies in Greek and Roman Literature 42 (2013): 5-22.


 “What is the Question in the Hippias Major?”  Philosophical Inquiry: International Quarterly, 39 (2015): 73-79.


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Invited Chapters


"Plato's Earlier Epistemology," in Greek Epistemology, Cambridge University Press, ed. by Stephen Everson, 1990, 60-84.  Repr. in Hugh Benson, Essays on Socrates, Oxford University Press (1992).


 “Aristotle on Mimesis,” in A. Rorty, ed., Essays on Aristotle’s Poetics  (Princeton University Press) 1992, 73-95


 "Rhetoric and Relativism," in A.A. Long, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Early Greek Philosophy.  Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press, 1999.  Pp. 290-310.


 "Socrates and the Irrational," in Smith, Nicholas D.  and Woodruff, Paul, eds. Reason and Religion in Socratic Philosophy (Oxford: University Press, 2000).  Pp. 130-50.  Translated and abridged for Pierre Destrée, ed., L' Ethique de Socrate, ***.


 “Natural Justice,” in Caston, Victor, and Graham, Daniel W., eds. Presocratic Philosophy; Essays in Honor of Alexander Mourelatos.    Aldershot:  Ashgate, 2002. Pp.  195-204


 "Justice in Translation: Rendering Tragedy" In Gregory, Justina, ed. A Companion to Greek Tragedy.  Malden, Massachusetts and Oxford:  Blackwell Publishing, 2005.  Pp. 490-504.


 "The Shape of Freedom: Democratic Leadership in the Ancient World."  In Joanne Ciulla, Terry L. Price, and Susan E. Murphy, editors, The Quest for Moral Leaders: Essays in Leadership Ethics.  New Horizons, 2005.


 “Socrates Among the Sophists," in Sara Rappe and Rachana Kamtekar, eds.,  A Companion to Socrates.  Oxford:  Blackwell, 2005.  Pp. 36-47.


 “Early Greek Legal Thought,”  (with Michael Gagarin), in Fred D Miller, Jr, with Carrie-Ann Biondi, eds. A History of the Philosophy of Law from the Ancient Greeks to the Scholastics.  Volume 6 of A Treatise of Legal Philosophy and General Jurisprudence.  Dordrecht:  Springer, 2007.  Pp. 7-34. 


 "The Sophists."  With Michael Gagarin.  In Patricia Curd and Daniel Graham, eds., Oxford Handbook to Presocratic Philosophy.  New York:  Oxford University Press, 2008.  Pp. 365-82.


 "Aristotle's Poetics: The Aim of Tragedy.” In Georgios Anagnostopoulos, ed., A Companion to Aristotle.  Malden, Massachusetts and Oxford:  Wiley-Blackwell, 2009.  Pp. 612-27.


 “Sophocles’ Humanism.” In William Wians, ed., Logos and Mythos: Philosophical Essays in Greek Literature.”   Albany, N.Y., SUNY Press, 2009.  Pp. 233-53.   


 “Pyrrhonian Modes.”  Richard Bett, ed., Cambridge Companion to Ancient Skepticism. Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press, 2010. Pp. 208-31.


 "Socrates and the New Learning," in Donald R. Morrison, ed., The Cambridge Companion to Socrates.  Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press, 2010.  Pp. 91-110.


 “The Philoctetes of Sophocles,” in Kirk Ormand, ed., A Companion to Sophocles.  Hobeken:  Wiley-Blackwell, 2012.  Pp. 126-140. 


 “Justice as a Virtue of the Soul,” in Rachana Kamtekar, ed., Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy, Supplementary Volume:  Virtue and Happiness; Essays in honor of Julia Annas,  2012.  Pp. 89-101.


 “Spectator Emotions,” in John Deigh, editor, On Emotions: Philosophical Essays. New York:  Oxford University Press, 2013. (Essays published in honor of Robert Solomon) Pp. 59-75.  


 “Euboulia as the Skill Protagoras Taught,” in Johannes M. van Ophuijsen, Marlein van Raalte, and Peter Stork, eds. Protagoras of Abdera: The Man, His Measure.  Leiden and Boston:  Brill, 2013.  Pp. 179-193. 


 “Performing Memory: In the Mind and on the Public Stage.”  In Peter Meineck & David Konstan, eds., Combat Trauma and the ancient Greeks.  New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.  Pp. 286-99. 


­­­

“Mimesis.”  In Pierre Destrée and Penelope Murray, eds.,The Blackwell Companion to Ancient Aesthetics. Oxford:  Wiley-Blackwell.  Pp. 329-40.


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Videos


NOW with Bill Moyers: Paul Woodruff on Reverence

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Paul Woodruff on Reverence

The capacity for awe in the face of the transcendent: that is how Paul Woodruff, one of America’s foremost interpreters of Plato and other venerable thinkers of ancient Greece, defines reverence. In this program, Bill Moyers and the author of Reverence: Renewing a Forgotten Virtue examine this crucial yet frequently misunderstood and misapplied concept and its implications for the world today. Topics include the nature of the transcendent, hubris versus humility, the reciprocal relationship between justice and reverence, tyranny and terrorism as failures of reverence, the vital link between reverence and politics, and the surprising realization that religion is not always reverent.


Game Changers Excerpt: Paul Woodruff

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Game Changers Excerpt

In his book "The Ajax Dilemma," Paul Woodruff uses a parable from classical Greece to shed light on a very contemporary business dilemma: how to reward outstanding players without damaging the team. Tapping into his experience as a boss, a professor, an officer and an employee, Woodruff uses his broad perspective to issue an intriguing call for a compassionate approach to fairness.


Paul Woodruff: The Ajax Dilemma

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The Ajax Dilemmat

How should we distribute rewards and public recognition without damaging the social fabric? How should we honor those whose behavior and achievement is essential to our overall success? Is it fair or right to lavish rewards on the superstar at the expense of the hardworking rank-and-file? How do we distinguish an impartial fairness from what is truly just?

Prof. Paul Woodruff builds his answer to these questions around the ancient conflict between Ajax and Odysseus over the armor of the slain warrior Achilles.


LHN - Paul Woodruff's Ethics & Philanthropy Course

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LHN - Paul Woodruff's Ethics & Philanthropy Course

In the Spring of 2012 Dr. Paul Woodruff, Dean of Undergraduate Studies, created a new semester-long opportunity for first-year students at UT Austin. This brand new signature course explores ethics and the art of philanthropy. See how these UT students began changing the world before their first full year of college was even over.


Book Discussion on First Democracy: The Challenge of an Ancient Idea

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The Challenge of an Ancient Idea

Paul Woodruff talked about his book First Democracy: The Challenge of an Ancient Idea, published by Oxford University Press. He wrote about the theory and practice of ancient Athenian democracy, including freedom from tyranny, the rule of law, the wisdom of citizens, and general education. He also talked about the roots of American democracy and the degree to which it borrowed principles employed in Athenian politics. Following his remarks he answered questions from the audience.


Paul Woodruff, Wednesday, February 12, 2014

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Paul Woodruff, Wednesday, February 12, 2014

For his Athenaeum lecture, Professor Woodruff examines a particular strand of ethics in ancient Greek thought. The wisdom literature of ancient Greece developed over a period of four centuries, disseminating from epic poetry (such as Homer) to variant forms of literature such as tragedy, lyric poetry and the prose histories of Classical Greece. Despite its dispersion in a variety of literature, this tradition for explaining ethics to a wider audience maintained a common understanding of what constituted "the good life". Plato, on the other hand, rejected this common approach to explaining ethics and Professor Woodruff's lecture will tease both what tragedy taught a Greek audience about ethics and how and why Plato rejected this tradition.


BYU Forum Address: Paul Woodruff (1/25/05)

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Paul Woodruff (1/25/05)

University of Texas at Austin Professor Paul Woodruff speaks to Brigham Young University students. He talks about the difference between respect and reverence and teaches that we need to emphasize reverence in our lives.