[Wesleyan University]
College of Letters
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Irani, Tushar

Assistant Professor of Letters
College of Letters

Assistant Professor of Philosophy
Philosophy Department

BA Colgate University
PHD Northwestern University





Plato; Ancient Greek philosophy; moral psychology; ethics (classical and contemporary)


My research interests focus primarily on Ancient Greek philosophy, particularly the dialogues of Plato, though I have ancillary interests in ethics and in issues surrounding the practice of philosophical inquiry and argument.

I'm currently at work on a book, Lovers of Argument: A Study of Plato's Moral Psychology, that explores issues at the intersection of Plato's views in ethics and politics. The central claim is that the way in which we approach argument typically reveals something at a deeper level about our desires and motivations; in particular, since the power of argument lies in its ability to influence others, a proper engagement with argument demands a proper engagement with others. On this reading of Plato, the key to engaging in argument correctly is found in his understanding of erôs. I develop this reading by focusing on the theme of philologia (literally: "love of argument") in Plato's moral psychology and its appearance in four of his works that deal with the topic of love, rhetoric, and the practice of philosophy: the Gorgias, Symposium, Republic, and Phaedrus. When complete, this book will offer the first systematic study of Plato's views on the role of human motivation in argument and on the role of argument generally in civic life.


Tuesdays, 2-4pm (Wyllys 321)