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Rachel Barney

College positions:
Visiting Fellow
Classics, Philosophy
Departments of Philosophy and Classics, University of Toronto

Professor Rachel Barney

Rachel Barney is Canada Research Chair in Ancient Philosophy at the University of Toronto, where she teaches in the Departments of both Philosophy and Classics.

She was educated at the University of Toronto (BA 1989) and Princeton (Phd 1995), and has also taught at University of Ottawa, Harvard, and the University of Chicago. She is a specialist in ancient Greek philosophy. She has published a book on Plato’s Cratylus, and papers on various topics in Plato, Aristotle, Stoic ethics, Pyrrhonian skepticism, the sophistic movement, Neoplatonic commentary, Kant’s highest good, and trolling. Her current research involves three projects: one on the ancient sophist Protagoras, one on Plato’s politics in the Republic, and one on the concept of craft [technê]. She gave the Nellie Wallace Lectures on the second topic at Oxford University in 2022, and will be giving Tanner Lectures on the third at UC Berkeley in April 2024.

At Clare Hall, Rachel is accompanied by her partner James Allen, who is likewise a Professor at the University of Toronto and a specialist in ancient Greek philosophy. His areas of research include Aristotle’s logic, philosophical methods, and natural philosophy, as well as ancient scepticism and medical thought.

Select publications

  • “Platonic Qua Predication”, Analytic Philosophy 2023, 1-20
  • “Intellectualism and the Method of Hypothesis in Plato’s Early Dialogues”, in Psychology and Value in Plato, Aristotle, and Hellenistic Philosophy: The Ninth Keeling Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy, edited by M. R. Hampson and F. Leigh (Oxford, 2022), 21-53
  • “Plato on Normative Measurement: Statesman 283b1-287b3”, in Plato’s Statesman: A Philosophical Discussion, eds. P. Dimas, M. Lane, and S.S. Meyer, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2021, 115-35.
  • “Techne as a Model for Virtue in Plato”, in Productive Knowledge in Ancient Philosophy, ed. T. Johansen, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2021, 62-85.
  • “Becoming Bad: Aristotle on Vicious Habituation”, Festschrift for John M. Cooper, ed. Ben Morison and Hendrik Lorenz, Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy special volume 57 (2019), 273-307.
  • “Protagoras and the Myth of Plato’s Protagoras”, GANPh [Gesellschaft für Antike Philosophie] Proceedings V, ed. C. Riedweg, Berlin: de Gruyter, 2019, 135-160.
  • “Gorgias’ Encomium of Helen”, in Ten Neglected Classics of Philosophy, ed. E. Schliesser, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017, 1-25.
  • “[Aristotle], On Trolling”, Journal of the American Philosophical Association 2:2 (2016): 193-95.

Further links