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Welcome!


I teach and research ancient Greek philosophy. Scroll down for more about me, my projects, and teaching.

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Welcome!


I teach and research ancient Greek philosophy. Scroll down for more about me, my projects, and teaching.

Plato and Aristotle in debate. 1430s Florentine carving by Luca della Robbia.

What is greek Philosophy?

Twenty-five centuries ago, Socrates argued that "the unexamined life is not worth living" (Apology 38A). His successors, including Plato and Aristotle, transformed his inquiry into a thousand-year intellectual adventure that spanned the European world. Along the way, they laid the groundwork for modern science, ethics, and politics, and established the first universities in Europe. 

The study of ancient Greek thought is rewarding in many ways. Like any liberal arts discipline, it fosters valuable skills in argument, expression, and mutual understanding. But Greece and Rome also invite us to understand and challenge the sources of modern institutions and ideas. When we come to grips with provocative, world-class thinkers like Plato, we earn surprising insights into our own preconceptions, ranging from the foundations of scientific method to art and poetry.

Read more about Ancient Philosophy at UBC here.

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michael griffin


Associate Professor of Greek Philosophy

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michael griffin


Associate Professor of Greek Philosophy

ABOUT ME

Credit: Carter Brundage

I'm an associate professor in Classics and Philosophy at the University of British Columbia; I'm also joint general editor of the Ancient Commentators translation project, and Professor-in-Residence at UBC's Totem Park residence.

I study the philosophers of the ancient Graeco-Roman world, especially the vibrant intellectual traditions that emerged around Plato and Aristotle during their lives and later, during the rise and fall of the Roman Empire. I am particularly interested in the practice of philosophical education (paideia) in late antiquity, and the role that philosophy – ancient and modern – can play in cultivating public citizenship and human flourishing.

My recent books study the ancient reception of two classic "first books" in philosophy, Aristotle's Categories and Plato's Alcibiades, which respectively trained students in the rudiments of logic and virtue. 

I'm also currently working on several projects in the scholarship of teaching & learning, learning technology, and community-engaged learning.

background

I was born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, and completed my undergraduate degree in Classics (2004) at UBC’s Department of Classical, Near Eastern & Religious Studies.

I subsequently completed my master’s degree (2006) and doctorate (2009) at the University of Oxford.

I began teaching at UBC in 2010.

Projects

BOOKS

Selected papers